Friday, 6 November 2015

Notorious hills

It's been a long time since I've posted, but today I drove from where I live, which is in Perth's northern suburbs, out to Mundaring, which is a township that sits within the area colloquially known as the Perth Hills. Perth Hills actually refers to the suburbs on and just east of the Darling Scarp, which is kind of the border between the region of Perth and rural Western Australia.

But geographic info aside, that's where I was going. I was going to visit a friend who is moving to the US in a couple of weeks, and I didn't realise how far away her house was until I actually got there.

Getting to her house in Mundaring involved getting on the Great Eastern Highway in Midland and following its ascent up the Darling Scarp. Now, a large portion, maybe about two thirds, of the journey between Midland and Mundaring involves driving up the notorious Greenmount Hill.

I had heard of Greenmount Hill and had read about its reputation for accidents, but let me tell you, I was not aware of just how notorious it was until I was driving back home.

The hill is a beautiful drive when you aren't worrying about the descent. It winds its way up through the hills, surrounded by trees, and you feel like you're in another world. The hill itself consists of about 6 kilometres of the drive between Midland and Mundaring.

Coming back down is a different story, however.

On New Year's Eve, 1993, a heavily laden truck lost control coming down the hill and was unable to brake. It screamed all the way down the hill, horn blaring to get cars out of the way, and eventually ploughed straight through the Roe Highway intersection, killing a 20 year old woman, putting another 11 in hospital, and destroying 20 cars.

It was that accident which put into place serious traffic changes for the entire descent down the hill. As soon as you leave Mundaring, there are flashing signs warning trucks to slow down and remain in the left lane. Cars can continue down the hill at 80km/h but trucks must descend at no faster than 40km/h. Shortly after the first sign is a truck bay, where large trucks must pull in and check consignments and ensure brakes are operational.

For the entire length down the hill, signs warn trucks to remain in low gear and stay under 40km/h. And as you reach the bottom of the hill, there is a massive truck arrester bay for trucks which lose control. It's about a kilometre long and runs off the bottom of the hill. It is literally a long bed filled with loose gravel that has an upwards ramp at the end. It was constructed after the 1993 crash and has since saved countless lives.

I learned on my way down today to always stay in the right hand lane. Trucks will always remain left on the hill descent, and if a truck loses his brakes, you don't want to be blocking that lane as he goes screaming down towards the bay.

It was an interesting day going into Mundaring and finally seeing all the signage and fuss about Greenmount Hill in person. It was also pouring with rain, so that was fun.

The view coming down that hill was incredible though, I can't fault that.

Oh well. That's my rambling for the night over. I'm sure I'll have more soon.


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Minor Catastrophes


I had a fun Monday night.

Long story short, I went to my regular adult gymnastics class and about half an hour into the class, dislocated my left shoulder doing a spotted back handspring.

Whether I had a funny action going on or my shoulder literally just gave out, I do not know. What I do know is that the second my hands touched the floor, I felt the whole joint just collapse.

Now, I've popped my shoulder before. When I was about 12, it popped out during a back pushover, BUT it went straight back in and the next day, other than feeling a little stiff, I was fine.

But yesterday when I felt my shoulder joint move, I was literally able to pinpoint the moment it went past the point of no return.

I folded over onto the floor and said to the coach, Jeff, "my shoulder just popped out". I didn't say it calmly. I was on the verge of tears and a little panicky. Jeff yelled for Pete, and then asked me if it had gone back in. When I shook my head, he yelled for Tony, who immediately went to call an ambulance.

I don't remember much from when I was sitting on the floor, because I was in shock, feeling lightheaded, and legitimately trying to get some tears flowing because everyone knows tears are a good pain release. I remember saying to Jeff and Pete over and over 'I need to call my mum'.

It took them ages because I kept crying out and saying no I can't move, but they eventually got me onto my feet so I could walk to the foyer. I don't know if you've ever dislocated a shoulder, but if you set aside the pain, it is actually THE most uncomfortable feeling ever. There is not one position you can put your body in that will relieve the pressure in the joint. And it may just be a shoulder, but once that goes, you have one weight bearing hand, and any movements you make feel awkward and painful.

I wanted that joint back in, but I was terrified of every move I made potentially popping it back in. I was on my feet and my next issue was, I couldn't move my elbow. My whole arm had locked up, and it kept twitching, which aggravated the shoulder joint. I had given up on crying, but I kept whimpering every time it twitched and I was still feeling lightheaded as Jeff walked me towards the foyer.

By the time they got me to the couch, I had calmed myself down. The ambulance was on the way, Pete had grabbed my phone to call my parents, and I realised that after a short while, the pain isn't so bad. It doesn't continually get worse. It hits a high straightaway and stays there. After 5 minutes, you're used to that pain, and it's just the discomfort that continues to bother you.

I called my mum while Pete filled out the injury report form and strapped my up to keep my arm still. Mum was adamant she wanted them to cancel the ambulance and take me in herself, but I insisted I wanted to go in the ambulance because A) I've never been in an ambulance before and B) there were 80 people waiting to be seen in the Joondalup Emergency Room, and I did not want to sit on a hard plastic chair for four hours with a dislocated shoulder.

The ambulance arrived and I went by myself with the paramedic, who was LOVELY. God bless paramedics. I was a little shaky, but he was so nice and friendly. He started an IV in the parking lot at the gym and dosed me up on Fentanyl and Ondansetron. I swear to god, Fentanyl hits you like a train. No sooner had he pushed it through and I was seeing stars.

The ride was quite comfortable and by the time we reached Joondalup, I had disassociated the pain in my shoulder and was actually feeling ready to go to bed. Drugs do weird things man.

I got taken in and the nurse waiting in the back hallway told me I was surprisingly tough; apparently they get a lot of football players who come in with milder dislocations than me, and they're screaming their heads off despite the pain meds, whereas I was sitting on the bed talking to my friend on Facebook with a grin on my face.

I was brought in and evaluated by 9:30pm. The accident happened shortly before 8:30. Two nurses had to get my shirt off, cracking jokes the whole time so I was giggling and making it difficult for them. I got some x-rays, which showed a clear dislocation with no bone damage, which is GOOD. I remember at that point, I was looking at Mum and mouthing that I just really wanted my shoulder back in place because I'd been lying still so long that I was getting really uncomfortable again. Nothing worse than being able to feel your out of place humerus sticking into the hospital bed.

A short while later they drugged me off to sleep so they could set it. I woke up 20 minutes later with my arm in a sling, a complete absence of pain, and the news that Tony Abbott was no longer Prime Minister.

They took me for more x-rays again to make sure it was back in the proper place, and this time, I was allowed to get out of bed and walk to the x-ray table. I was still groggy from being sedated but holy hell I was shivering like no-one's business. After that it was a short trip back to the curtain room to get my IV pulled out and my sling adjusted, and then I was discharged.

I got to walk out of that hospital in a sports bra, my dance shorts, arm in a sling with my jacket thrown around my shoulders, and no shoes on. I got so many funny looks from people in ED. One scathing look from this older woman. Like, I'm sorry I went in an ambulance and got priority.

Then I headed home and went to bed. Sleeping with a sling is hard. I am probably allowed to sleep without it, but considering big movements may dislocate my shoulder again, I'm happier to keep my arm restricted in the sling and body strap.

Today it's been sore. My elbow is already stiff from lack of use, and I have to fly to Bali with a sling. I'm going to keep wearing the sling in Bali, despite only having to wear it for two weeks, because if people see that I'm 'injured' they won't knock into me so much, and I want to protect my shoulder as long as possible.

After Bali, it's off to the orthopedic surgeon. I will post again when I know more about that.

It's been a crazy start to the week!



Monday, 17 August 2015

It's rant time

I'm warning you all up front; 98 percent of readers will probably disagree with every point I make here. Well, it's not up for discussion. They are my opinions and I am allowed to have them any way I like. I do not have to like something just because the rest of the world does.

First on the list *holds up long list of subjects*. Ah yes.


Words cannot describe how much the hype over this overpriced overrated hipster magnet of a coffee shop annoys me.

It's just a freaking coffee. People lose their shit over Starbucks every day, all over Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. I just sit there like...who cares? And the people who go "I can't start my day without going to Starbucks" you know how much money you are wasting on shit?

And there are the people who say 'Oh, you're just jealous because you don't have it where you live, trust me it's amazing'

Well trust me honey, it's not that. I had Starbucks when I went to Melbourne, and it tasted like every other overpriced shitty coffee I've ordered in my life.


My next rant is *squints at list*...

The Breakfast Club

What the hell is all the hype over this boring ass movie anyway? Everyone on Tumblr always GIFs it and says 'THE MOST AMAZING MOVIE EVER, SO MANY TRUE STATEMENTS'

A movie can raise many very valuable points and still be a pile of shit, just saying. The characters are six of the most cliche high schoolers ever. It has plot line. And it's slow and boring. Why do people like it?

If you want a truly amazing movie, watch The Impossible. Or Maidentrip. Now THAT is amazing.

Ok. Onto the next one...

OUAT, Teen Wolf, Vampire Diaries, etc

I may have never properly watched these shows but I loathe them. I've seen snippets and they feel incredibly juvenile. Especially OUAT. I saw one episode of that, and it was honestly so awkward ad badly written.

One Direction, 5SOS

I know a girl older than me (I'm almost 19) who FOLLOWED 5SOS AROUND AUSTRALIA and actively tried to find them in public to meet them. You FREAKING WONDER WHY THEY AVOID FANS SO MUCH! She was like in her blog 'We were respectful of their privacy', no you bloody weren't, the second you got wind of where they were, you ran off to try and intercept them. It's stalking! You're delusional!

Fans like that are why I hate One Direction and 5SOS. Don't get me wrong, that's not the only reason (I'm not a fan of boy bands, and there isn't really a clear reason why), but yeah, it's one of the big ones.

I'm going to stop there before I give everyone a reason to hate me. You can bitch at me all you like, but it won't change my opinions on these things. I hate them.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Rough Days

Just as a forewarning, this post is about something quite personal that happened to me recently, and I will not be going into details of that event. I would also appreciate not being asked to divulge what happened - the people I wanted to speak to about it, I have already spoken to, and it was a small number of very close friends.

Almost two weeks ago, I had a long discussion with someone very close to me. Now this discussion took place at three in the morning, and in hindsight, I should've known how that was going to end from the start. Nothing good ever comes from a 3am discussion about ANYTHING.

However, I wouldn't say it was all bad either.

Yes, I ended up heartbroken, and yes, that hurt like hell. But I'm alive. I'm ok.

It was a horribly confusing next few days. See, I am the worst kind of person. And by that, I mean I literally cannot decide on anything. I can't decide on food, I can't decide on how I feel, I can't decide what mind numbing task I want to do to prevent me being bored. I literally cannot decide a single thing in my life. But then, in terms of not being able to decide how I feel, once I decide how I feel, I usually repress that feeling and hope it will go away because as well as being indecisive, I also can't confront anything. At all.

So, this particular feeling that I had to confront and be honest about a couple of weeks one I have known about for almost two and a half years. I know I'm being vague, but I want to protect the details of what happened.

After the entire thing was over, I felt numb. Partly because I was freezing my ass off on my friend's bedroom floor, and partly because I didn't exactly know how to react. I fell asleep feeling rather troubled and woke up feeling even more confused. Only I had one more feeling to add to the mix that morning - hurt.

I drove home in a daze, and that freaking song from Fast 7 kept insisting on playing, which didn't make me feel any better.

I didn't realise it at the time because I felt so out of sorts, but I was pretty pissed off. I didn't want to be, and I couldn't feel it, so I assumed I wasn't. But after a couple of days passed, I went 'Ok, I'm pissed'. But now I actually feel ok.

I know some people may be thinking 'It's not REAL heartbreak if you're over it in two weeks'. Well, I'm not over it yet...but I have accepted it and I truly am doing just fine. It'll be some time before I actually start to move on, I think, but that's ok. I can manage. I'm truly fortunate that the person involved in the other half of this equation is one of my closest friends. They are one of the kindest most understanding people I've come to know, and I'm thankful it was them I went through all this crap with because it could've been seriously awkward had it been ANYONE else.

I held fast to the things I love to get me through those rough few days following. I wrote in my writer's journal like a crazy person. I sang along to my music, like fully belting it out as I drove down the freeway to and from uni. And most of all?

I clung to Divergent.

It sounds silly, I know. It's just a book series.

But to me, it's more than that. It's incredibly inspiring. I reminded myself to be brave like Tris. I prided myself on the level of honesty I had showed that night. I've never been so openly and brutally honest with people before, because it's hard for me to talk about such personal things like that. I told myself that I would have made Candor proud (anyone who has read Divergent will understand that).

I drew Tris' bird tattoo in the front of my writing journal as a reminder to myself to be brave, to be honest, and to be selfless.

Who knows, I might get it as a tattoo one day :)

Now it's getting so cold that my fingers can't exactly type, so I'm gonna end this here with one last note.

I'm doing fine. Thank you to everyone who listened to me rant over the past week. I love and trust you all immensely. You know who you are.

And to the person who knows every inch of what this is about...thank you for being who you are. You truly are an incredible person and I would trust you with my life.

I've been so vague and wishy washy, but that's ok. This whole blog is a mess, an accurate representation of my life. Lol. Ok, truly ending here.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Concert Shenanigans

After my last post, I realised I have an entire gold mine of stories from my 15 dance concerts that I hope are a guarantee to make anyone laugh. I'm a bit of a klutz, and that sometimes leads to hilarity on the TWO nights of my life where I need to pull it together.

I don't remember my earlier years, but a good one that I have a vivid memory of was the year I did a penguin tap dance. I was 4 years old, and had the cutest little penguin costume, and a little penguin beak hat, with my little black tap shoes....

As I was doing a shuffle about a minute in, my tap shoe flew off. No joke. Sailed right through the air like a gliding bird. Being 4, my natural instinct was to run forward, pick it up, sit down RIGHT THERE ON THE STAGE, and put my shoe back on.

Dear god.

After that, everything's mostly splotchy. Until the last few years. And I tell you...from the age of about 16, I've had at least one absolutely hilarious mishap per year.


In 2012, I had a grand total of three mishaps in one night. The first came in my jazz dance. I had two friends watching that night, and they were fairly close to the stage. So what happened when I came out on stage and inadvertently made eye contact?

I started laughing.

And then I couldn't stop.

And then they realised I was laughing uncontrollably and they started laughing.

It was bad.

Luckily I managed to pull myself together before Sharon realised what I was doing.

Later on, during the acro number, I actually hit my headstand (which I had fallen out of on both previous nights), and I exclaimed on stage 'I did it!'. The girls within hearing distance started laughing and we all nearly toppled over.

Then not 30 seconds later, I was coming out of a three person balance, stepped on the girl below me's ankle, lost my footing, and fell flat on my ass. I sat there for a second, slightly stunned, and laughed, because I wished it had been caught on video.


In 2013, I only did two items - hip-hop and acro.

In hip-hop, we had to use basketballs.

Yep. Basketballs. What a recipe for disaster.

Of all the times it could've gone wrong, it was the night of the concert when we filmed the video.

As we were all coming out on stage, someone dropped their basketball. It bounced off of someone else's, sending both of them ricocheting off in another direction. One girl cut across me when she was supposed to go behind me, and accidentally kicked mine away. I had to run after it. We had been told if we dropped them, to run after them.

We finally got into position, and then another girl's basketball went rolling down the middle of the stage. It was hilarious.

Then later in the dance, we did this trick where we threw the ball up in the air, did a full turn, and caught it again. I panicked a bit, threw it a bit wildly, and had to lunge for it to stop it bouncing into the audience.

Next was acro. A mammoth 12 minute long dance composed of five songs and three acrobatics classes. The only time me and both of my sisters have been in the same routine.

During the last song, us seniors had to lift up two of the smaller seniors above our heads and carry them out like you would carry those ancient style carriages for royal people. I was carrying Mel with two other people, and I was positioned under her left shoulder.

Now Mel is tiny. Like, she's 24 and about 5'2. For the first time since we started doing that trick, I was having trouble supporting her. My hand almost slipped from under her just seconds before we put her down. It was actually more scary than anything.


The year of the dunce.

Basically, at the dress rehearsal, I stood up during my first jazz routine and nearly stacked it, and then punched myself in the face, how I have no idea. Then in tap, I nearly rolled my ankle. Then in hip-hop, I had to walk backwards at one point, misjudged where the line ended, and walked into one of the other girls. In acro, I fell out of my handstand way too early (I'm the only person in the class who can do a nice stag handstand, and as there was an odd number, I got to be centre front to do my handstand while everyone else did a partner trick). Then in my last jazz number, my bracelet got stuck to my tights and ripped a massive hole in them! That literally makes one incident PER DANCE!

Luckily everything went well for the actual performance.

The concert this year is in December. I hope I don't have as many problems as last year! I'll be sure to post if I do!


A Way of Life


I groan and complain about having to go every week, but I really do love to dance. Sometimes it is incredibly hard. Injuries are abound (trust me, I know), and some days your body just feels so heavy that all you can do is keep glancing at the clock hoping it's time to go home and crawl into bed.

No matter what anyone says to me, I will hold fast to the fact that dance is a sport. Seriously. I'd love to see the people who insist it isn't do what we do every week. With the way I eat, if I didn't dance, I would weigh about 300 kilograms. But I don't, I'm built like a bean pole and at least three quarters of my build has to be attributed to the 16 years of my life I have spent dancing.

My parents put me in dance the year I turned 3. It wasn't for any special reason - like how most gymnasts were put into gymnastics because of their extraordinary energy. They just thought I would like it. And I did!

I'm now almost 19, and I have really come into my own with my dancing. I'm not the most coordinated, I don't have rock hard abs like some of the girls in my class (I'm working on it though), I'm actually rather lanky and look really awkward if I don't take special care with my technique (standing at almost 5'9, I'm telling you, it takes a LOT of work), but there is something totally liberating about dancing.

I currently learn the styles of jazz, tap, hip-hop, and acrobats. Out of the four, acrobats is definitely my favourite. I was gifted with a naturally elastic back, which means I can manage all sorts of fun little tricks that lots of the other girls can't.

Dance comes with a price though. I have sacrificed the ability to go a day without feeling an ache somewhere. I have this awesome ability to injure myself. It's actually become a bit of a running gag at dancing. Sharon (the teacher) is just used to it now. Over the years, I have accumulated many bruises, sore spots, and other weird little injuries. As I got older, however, I started becoming more aware of what I'd actually done. This is the running tally at the moment.

  • Subluxated my left shoulder doing a backflip. I have been told by my doctor that when I did that, I actually partially tore my rotator cuff (he can see the scar tissue on my x-ray), but because my shoulder was just achy and I still had full range of motion afterwards, I never got it checked out. To this day, I don't trust my shoulder doing certain things but I cope rather well.
  • Sprained my ankle doing an aerial cartwheel because I came down so short and low that I severely overflexed my ankle when I hit the floor and tore the ligament. Again, even though I was limping, I didn't get that checked. I iced it, and walked it off. I had had many short landings before that gave my ankle a bit of a jolt, and assumed I'd done it again. I do see an osteopath who has gradually reinjured the scarred ligament and helped me heal it correctly. No, I'm not reckless. I actually have a reasonably high pain tolerance. I have to when you read the next point.
  • Developed neuritis which radiates from underneath my left shoulder blade and down my back. This was caused by an invisible virus which did nothing but give me EXCRUCIATING back pain in January last year. I thought it was bad posture causing it because when the pain started, I literally couldn't straighten my back up all the way, but I still had to go to work. There is nothing they can do to actually get rid of this, but it's ok because it doesn't flare up too often. If I get stressed out, upset, or don't watch my posture properly, it starts to flare up. All I can do is manage my pain with painkillers when I have a flare.
  • Punched the floor (intentionally) during a contemporary dance and gave myself a blackened wrist for a week. That hurt.
  • About two weeks ago, during a tap routine, I misplaced a movement and hit myself in the bony part of my big toe joint with the metal plate of the tap shoe. Since then, my foot has had a bit of a stabbing pain during certain movements, but tonight when I landed a leap, there was this agonising shot of pain through my foot, so there may be a slight fracture in my foot that I will definitely get checked out if my foot gets any worse by tomorrow. is not all pretty costumes and well executed movements. It's a shit ton of sore muscles, sweat, hard work, and determination.

I never fully understood how emotion can fuel dance until the other day. I had a bit of a...I don't know. Let's just call it heartbreaking, moment on Sunday. I wasn't exactly angry, maybe a tiny bit pissed off, but I was mostly numb. 

Come Monday, I was feeling weird. Like...pissed off but in the most energising way ever. All I wanted to do was dance. So when I got home and my mum left to take my sisters to dancing, I turned on the cover of 'Chandelier' by PVRIS and absolutely danced my heart out.

I can safely say I have NEVER danced like that in my life. I improvised an entire contemporary/lyrical routine and it was the most emotional dance I have ever done. And I would gladly go for it again.

Dance can be a life saver. For me, it's a part of my life. Since I was 3 years old, I have danced. Even when I quit dance for good to move into the future, I will always call myself a dancer.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Energy Drinks

I'm not a 'health and lifestyle' blog. In fact, I'm not even sure WHAT my blog is yet since the original purpose is so uncertain at this point in time.

I may not be a health and nutrition expert, but I want to share this with you.

Energy drinks are such a bad idea.

I used to drink them. Not all the time. I didn't need one every day like some people I know. But if I was at work and I was tired of soft drink, I would have a can of Mother. These were the big 500ml cans too.

I don't remember exactly when it was that I drank my last can of energy drink EVER (I've gone off them for good because of what I'm about to share), but it was probably about two months ago, because it was the same night I watched Broadchurch season 1.

I was at work. I cracked the can of Mother at about half past 6 in the evening and I drank it slowly. I hate gulping them down because they taste a bit funny.

I still had a good half the can left when I got home at half 9 and I sipped it slowly while eating my dinner and watching Broadchurch. I think I drained the can by 11pm.

I finished up the first half of Broadchurch by 1am and I had a shower and went to bed.

Well...I got into bed.

My brain was going about 1000 miles per hour. Broadchurch was still fresh in my mind (great show, by the way) so all the prominent scenes of this sleepy little seaside town were playing back in my head at about 10x normal speed. Every time I shut my eyes, it was like people were screaming and talking at top volume in my room. Not that I could hear any noise, but that's the only thing I can liken the disruption in my brain to.

It was actually the second most horrendous night of my life. The first was the night I hallucinated in my hotel room in Thailand and woke up my entire family by screaming for the people to stop chasing me. Yeah. Not fun. By the way, I am not mentally disturbed - I was not well in Thailand, and I'm fairly certain my fever and upset stomach had a hand in the strange wonky visions from the middle of the night.

Anyway, this Mother induced night of tossing and turning and my brain screaming at me like the asshole it can be was enough to stave me away from energy drinks for good. And the reason I say it is the energy drink is because my nights often end in me going to bed at 1am after watching a movie and eating dinner. The energy drink was the only differing factor that night.

I fell asleep at 7am. 7am. The sun was up and so were my dad and my sister. They were well-rested while I was having an emotional breakdown behind my bedroom door due to my lack of decent sleep.

I woke up at 1pm after a rough and disturbed 6 hours sleep. I watched the second half of Broadchurch and got ready for work all the while feeling like I'd been run over by a semi trailer.

No, there was definitely no alcohol in that energy drink.

It truly was a horrible night.

Don't drink energy drinks, guys. They might just be a drink, but if you randomly throw one into a normal part of your routine, you WILL feel a difference. Not only that, but they are so bad for you.

The choice is yours.