I spent the first half of this year focusing more on the training side of my career, and I learnt a few important things from that. Like, it’s wonderful working for a project manager who expects you to be the expert in designing, creating and delivering training, and lets you work accordingly. And that I really do have a big picture bent, so I have to see the outcome first and then plan out the pieces that will go into creating that. If I get to do things that way, everything comes together so easily. (I’d already learnt that I’m not so good at just getting in and starting work on something if I’m not allowed to look at it from all angles first.)
But as much as I loved working in that way, I also wasn’t getting any time to sew. My poor machine didn’t get touched for nearly 3 months… and I felt like something was missing.
What I was able to do when I wasn’t working was to spend some time on my own professional development. There’s been something I’ve been wanting to do for a good couple of years now, and so I’ve been brushing up my skills in that area (as well as doing a couple of business courses).
To get my creative juices flowing, I started by drawing some bunnies. Mostly these were bunnies I found on the internet, some were pictures sent to me by friends.
And then I decided it was time to learn how to draw using new tools. So I created a digital self-portrait.
Following on to that it was time to design the invitations for a significant birthday party. Like one of those ones that end in a zero. I wanted something fun, so I searched out some penguins, then drew this guy.
I actually have a goal for all this digital drawing. So today this is what I’ve been working on.
Can you work out what it is I’m really teaching myself to do here? Well… you’ll have to stay tuned until the 1st of September. If you want to get updates, why not sign up for my brand new newsletter, or follow me on Twitter or Facebook, where I’ll be using the hashtag #SpringsWings for updates on this project.
Last week I told you all about day one of my awfully big bike ride: as much of the Rimutaka Cycle Trail as I could manage in 24 hours. And I promised you pictures, which the absence of rain made possible.
The morning of December 31 dawned nice and early. At least I presume it did, it usually does at this time of year. And I’m usually still asleep when it does. I had every intention of getting up early and setting off somewhere between 9 and 10 am, but in all truthfulness, it was the first night we’d spent in our own bed in a week, and it was rather lovely to not wake up in one of our mothers’ spare single beds or on the single mattress on the floor beside it! In the end, I started pedalling away from Maymorn station at 10:58 am.
A couple of years ago to took up cycling (again) as a form of rehabilitation. When I started my year of productive non-employment in mid-2011, one of the things I wanted to do was get myself back into shape. The means of doing this that I’d chosen was the Couch to 5 km programme from Cool Running. 4 weeks into that however, and I discovered that my ankle injury from late 2010 wasn’t going to let me do it. Months of physio, sports medicine, injections and other interventions later, it was clear that I needed to keep my ankle moving, and cycling seemed to help rather than aggravate it. By the start of last year I’d seen one of my friends increasing posts on the cycling she was doing, and felt pretty inspired by it. By that point, I’d already achieved my initial goal of cycling into Wellington (20km) a few times.
I started to look for some challenges to keep me going (cycling there and back wasn’t providing enough of its own incentive). I decided to sign up for the GrapeRide, but I was realistic about what I could achieve in 3 months, and went for the 42km option. At that point I also decided that by the end of the year, I’d be capable of cycling 100km in a day. Now, as we know, I didn’t quite make the GrapeRide, but it certainly gave me motivation to keep going on my bigger goal – and I still plan to sign up for the 101km version this year. I also decided somewhere along the way that I was going to earn my new bike – putting a dollar into the budget for every kilometre I cycled. I can’t quite remember when I made that decision, but I tracked 1022 km of cycling in 2013 (I suspect there may have been a few unrecorded trips), so that’s my budget.