Friday, February 18, 2011

What the blog?

You may have noticed that Trailing Grace has been very stop start, all over the place, and with no real direction.

Guess what?

So have I.

Aside from my training in preparation for the New York City marathon, the rest of my life has been like an erratic pinball bouncing around from one end of the machine to another - ting, bling, flash, shake, woooooo, yeah, ahr, no, boo. 

I couldn't ignore the decline in numbers and the interaction I had enjoyed with Project Grace 2010 taking a dive. It was disheartening. However on the upside, everytime I'd post a Facebook status about a personal acheivement in my marathon training - the response was overwhelming.

This got me thinking...

Trailing Grace was to be a central spot for people who know me to keep track of me - whether I'm hosting a cycling tour, preparing for a marathon, publishing a children's book, producing a song or having moments of enlightenment - you can always drop in for a virtual visit. But for those that don't know me - it's pretty boring.

You see, when you're a 'somebody', everybody wants to know EVERYTHING about you - what you ate for breakfast, who you met for lunch, where did you go, what did you talk about and what brand of toilet paper you use. On the other hand, when you're a 'nobody' - people don't care. And let's be honest - right now, in the big wide blogging world, I am a nobody. This will no doubt hinder me on my road to world blog domination ;-)

So how do I become a somebody?

I write about things that people want to read - call it marketing if you will [gasp!].

If the response to my Facebook post is anything to go by - people are interested, even inspired, by my journey to New York. So in light of that, a new blog - 9 Months To New York - was born.

9 Months To New York is specifically about my mental, physical and emotional journey to the New York City marathon. It's the blog that you subscribe to by email, you share on Facebook, tell all your friends, family and colleagues about, and wait for each post with bated breath. It's the blog that everybody tells everybody about and in a few years there'll be a movie about it and you'll get to say "I was following Grace waaaaaaaay before the rest of the world was"... and you'll be cool (which I already know), and everybody will want to know what your next hot tip is. 

So what will happen to Trailing Grace? 

Well, Trailing Grace was to be what it was always intended to be - a central spot for people who know me to keep track of me. So watch this space and see what else evolves in this bustling world of mine. 

Until next time, allow your pinball to settle before shooting it straight where you want it to go.

Grace xx


Friday, February 11, 2011


I've just returned home after an action-packed day, followed by my brother's celebratory birthday dinner held at The Boathouse by the Maribyrnong River bank. Lovely.

I had a delightful evening with my family and returned home feeling all warm, fuzzy and... alone (Pat's working at wharfy-world tonight).

I sat at my beloved laptop (correction, Pat's beloved laptop) looking for a theme for today's post. I breathed out a 'thank God it's Friday' sigh of relief and thought, "that's it, my theme!"

I proceeded to search for TGIF images and came across this little number. "What the flip?" Seriously. What's the message here? Is Friday the day that women loose their clothes prior to doing the limbo, then opt to give themselves double handed pleasure? Honestly, WTF?

I'm trying to think of something smart, funny, insightful, social, political, anything really - but all words escape me. Perhaps all that's left to do is strip, lie backwards, fall into bed and... sleep! What else is there to do on a Friday night and you're feeling all warm, fuzzy and... alone?

Until tomorrow, may you rid your mind of this and all other mental disturbances you've accumulated through the week. Ah, thank God it's Friday.

Grace xx

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Throw me a lifeline!

I've done it again...

All this running has given me energy to burn. In the past, I'd have taken the edge off with one or twenty glasses of wine, followed by vodka, mystery cocktails and dancing till 5am. This would have ensured that the next few days were spent recovering on the couch.

This time, in place of wine, I have taken on projects, tasks and commitments. Too many. When you've got energy to burn, that's all well and good. But when you hit a bump in the road, it all gets too much.

That's where I am now. Completely overwhelmed by all that I've taken on and feeling exhausted. My run yesterday was testament to that. I felt completely crap. It's time to take stock and prioritise things in life. Pursue what's important and dump what isn't.

I am having a tug of war between head and head (aka parent and child) over work pursuits - and have been doing so for some time now. I watched an Indian movie called 3 Idiots last night that touched on this subject. Follow your passion and your fortune will follow. That's what I want to do, but then comes the responsibility of being an adult and having to put food on the table.

So what is my passion?


I love blogging. Seriously. I love sharing my life, my stories, my insights, my challenges, my triumphs. I love knowing that perhaps somewhere in this big wide world, I might connect with someone who needs to know they're not alone. I love the idea that remotely, we may share a laugh or a tear.

Knowing we're not alone gives us comfort. Knowing there are others who have walked the path before us gives us assurance. Knowing that personal mountains can be conquered, gives us courage. Knowing that it all can be done with a smile, gives us inspiration.

We are all connected by similar fears, feelings and challenges. If I am facing this, then perhaps you are too. Let's talk. If I need a lifeline, then maybe you do too.

Until tomorrow, connect with those around you when you need a reminder you're not alone.

Grace xx

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Project 365 in 2011

Towards the end of last year, I was invited to partake in a Facebook group called 'Project 365 in 2011'. The object is to take a photo every day and upload it onto the group page.

This has proved to be a very interesting project indeed - and one that is gaining a surprising amount of interest.

Firstly, it forces me to seek something photo-worthy each day. This means I'm seeing the world with different eyes. Things that I would ordinarily just walk past now become objects of interest.

Not only am I looking at the world differently, I'm also expanding the way I think about what I am capturing. I've learned that a good photo in this project is not only about the images, but also a title that is clever, quirky or both.

Take today's photo for example is a tightly cropped photo of a wall that I have been running past every morning for 8 weeks. Today, I saw something that made me go 'click' - literally and metaphorically. The title? Liquidation.

Love it.

Until tomorrow, seek beauty and magic in every day things and watch how it brightens up your life.

Grace xx

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Twenty Years ago today...

You may remember a few weeks ago in a post titled My own Mt. Everest, I wrote about my friend and spiritual mentor Garry who inspired me to trek to Everest Base camp.

Well today marked 20 years since his adventure and he sent me this amazing email. I asked Garry if I could dedicate today's post to him and his achievement, to which he replied "I would be honoured, my fellow adventurer".

So without further ado, I introduce you to my amazing and wonderful friend Garry. I trust he will inspire you as he did me.

Until tomorrow, let the spirit of others touch you so that you may also reach great heights.

Grace xx

Twenty Years ago today... (by Garry Benson)

20 Years ago today I set off with the lovely Val to trek to Everest Base Camp via the wonderful Arun Valley in Nepal. We were one of the first groups to go via this route, and 35 days later and 5500 metres higher we reached Thengboche monastery, where I decided to become a practising Buddhist!

Back then I was fit & still had hair to spare!

Thengboche monastery- the first sight was of Mt Everest when we woke every morning. The monastery had burnt down several years before and was being rebuilt. Volunteers included Peter Hilary, son of Sir Edmund whom we later met & ate with a couple of times.

At Thengboche monastery we met the abbot and were blessed. The monks & nuns were wonderful, looking after me when I had a dose of altitude sickness. So dare to dream and carpe diem - seize the day!

'I have spread my dreams under your feet;
        Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.'
                                                                W.B. Yeats


Thank you Garry, you never cease to inspire and enlighten me my friend xx

Monday, February 7, 2011

Life is a roller coaster

Life is a roller coaster at the moment. No sooner were we celebrating our gig at the Giro d'Italia (tour of Italy) and life took a turn...
  • Our Apple airport has died, which has a gazillion important files (didn't think of backing up a back up) and we cannot get local wifi without piggybacking off our neighbour's faint signal.
  • I have several YouTube videos needed to be uploaded, and I can't do it (grrrrrr!)
  • My women's support group (at my gym) is currently up in the air. Tomorrow night will reveal whether it's a goer or not.
  • Our tenant gave notice so we have to find someone else to move in by next month.
  • My brother's dog was hit by a car and passed away this morning.
  • My health care practitioner is taking particular interest in my unusually low heart rate (which is making me slightly nervous)
  • I miss YOU!
The only thing that is making me happy is my running - then I got my updated program and I've got a few cycling sessions in there, which I'm not too happy about. I understand the logic (need to have my heart rate in a zone for prolonged periods and running would require greater recovery than riding). But still, it's the running that I have (strangely) grown to love.

I have 3% battery, so I guess it's time to say good night. I just want you to know that I'm thinking of you and can't wait till the ride flattens out a little.

Until tomorrow, hold on when the ride gets steep and fast.

Grace xx

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Colourful Joy Rides

Yesterday was massive. After getting my guaranteed placement into the New York City Marathon, my brain just went NUTS!

I was thinking of all the ways I could raise funds - not only for the children of my chosen charity Team for Kids, but also to fund my trip over. Thoughts were coming to me faster than an automatic tennis ball machine on hyper-drive, and it didn't stop there.

I then thought of being in New York for my 41st birthday and thought I ought to do it Bollywood style - which is what I actually I wanted for my 40th only decided against it for the pure love of a very close family member (who has an aversion to aromatic food smells and consequently would have spent the entire evening dry-reaching). The fantasy continued, and I thought of using the Bollywood ball as a fund raiser for my India project, which was also delayed due to changed Indian visa laws.

With my head swirling full of ideas, I didn't get to bed before 2am. As a result, I struggled to keep my heart rate within the parameters during this morning's run - not to mention that it was 36 degrees Celsius outside (aka 96.8 degrees Fahrenheit). I have promised myself that I need to get to bed early - but after a long session at the gym (hosting a women's support group), the clock has already struck midnight and I'm still a few paragraphs and proof readings before bed.


When I sat down to write my blog, I received an email from a wonderful Indian female artist who lives in Mumbai (whom I virtually met via a mutual friend and haven't heard from in ages). Her name is Saaz Aggarwal and she sent me a link to her latest work, which I think is just delightful. 

I responded to her email (quote) "Nice. Love them. We soooooo have to do a children's book together" to which she responded, "Would love to, Grace!" Oh. My. Goodness. Are we about to embark on an adventurous joy ride? One that is potentially hazardous (note woman with long sari near back wheel), yet full of colour and family joy? We shall see, we shall see.

Until tomorrow, remember that in a world of potential hazards and tragedies, there's always a colourful joy ride to be had. Hold on, have fun and be safe.  

Grace xx
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