Running up that hill

Over the weekend I ran up a hill. No not metaphorically like this;

But that was as good an excuse as any to have a sing along – I mean who doesn’t love a bit of Kate Bush? I know that I’ll always feel all the feels as I ponce around to her tunes – I mean I’m more into Babooshka but we’ll save that for another time. Now that we’re past that I should probably confess that most of the running actually occurred when we were going downhill, and I’m gonna go with it being more of a mountain than a hill (if only to make myself feel better)…

If you’re from Adelaide, you’ll know what I’m talking about – the old Mt Lofty climb, sure it’s no Everest but it’s just as busy – if not more so (based on my extensive knowledge of the foot traffic on Everest *cough*). For the young and young at heart, the fit and the non-so fit, the Lorna Jane clad and the curiously clothed (yes, I saw a dude wearing skinny jeans and a chick in a maxi dress and runners) this fitness trend is one that all Adelaide-ians seem to be getting around. You’re hard pressed to find a car park at Waterfall Gully -a.k.a base camp, so you might need to park a bit further away and extend your journey a bit – but that shouldn’t really matter if you’re there for the fitness. If it’s just a selfie at the top of the hill for your Instagram account (with the words #blessed and #fitspo in the description) that you’re after then you might just want to drive to the top – yes, that is actually an option, although you may be forgiven for thinking otherwise considering how busy the path can get. This walk isn’t one for the faint hearted. Sure, by all means give it a go – but don’t come crying to me when your legs feel more like jelly than human flesh and even the most basic daily tasks are an arduous chore. I mean you can, but I won’t be giving you sympathy.
I should know – my weekend stroll was my first attempt in around three years – it took that long for the trauma to fade. Sure, my friend and I took the long way (via Chambers Gully) and yes we did actually run down part of it, so I have no one to blame except myself but let me have a moment…MY WHOLE BODY WANTED TO CRY TEARS OF PAIN FROM EVERY WHERE IN THE AFTERMATH OF THIS ‘WALK’.
So now we’ve dealt with that, let me say that it is indeed a lovely walk – a bitch to every leg muscle (and some other muscles as well actually…) but whatever. I do like to think I’m fairly fit, so please don’t judge me too much for my little whinge. I’ll do it again but lemme say a few things first;

People (mainly ladies) who are nearing the top, wearing full make-up and barely a drop of sweat – SCREW YOU

People – some as old as my grandparents, overtaking 24 year old me as I crawl to the top – SCREW YOU

The ones with beats pumping in their skulls, tackling it on their own – SCREW YOU

Annnnnnd I guess it’s time to be adult because when I say ‘screw you’, it’s actually ‘good on you, you’re flippin awesome’ – it’s just that when you’re covered in sweat, every muscle is screaming out in pain and your stomach is rumbling with hunger pains, then ‘screw you’ seems to be the best response to anyone coping better than you. Except for the women wearing full faces of make-up, they actually need to check themselves before they, y’know, wreck themselves.

Call me crazy but you know what? I think I might do it again next week – or at least some kind of physical exercise…stay tuned for more (and yes, I will also do a write up of The Art of Asking at some point…)

The view from the top of Mt Lofty - not too shabby at all!
The view from the top of Mt Lofty – not too shabby at all!

I’m going to tell you a secret…

I just got back from Melrose and I’m already fantasising about going straight back. Melrose, never heard of it? That’s okay, I’m sure you’re not alone – it’s one of South Australia’s best kept secrets.
I can’t remember the first time I went there – it would have been when I was pretty young. My parents have always loved this little gem of a town – and who can blame them?! It’s about a three hour drive from Adelaide, located in the Southern Flinders Ranges with a population of no more than 500. Idyllic, spiritual, relaxing, warm and inviting are words that spring to mind when describing this gorgeous town – but it’s also absolutely thriving. As a mecca for the Australian mountain biking community with some of the best (so I’m told) trails in the country, barely a weekend goes by when there aren’t tourists in town for that very reason. Expertly supported by the team from Over The Edge, mountain biking is going great guns in this town. This is the thing, (apart from the general serenity) that drew my parents here. Just over a year and a half ago, my somewhat unconventional parents decided to have a bit of a ‘tree change’ – sell up their near city home, quit their jobs and move up to Melrose full time.

Isn't it glorious? The view from atop one of the nearby hills
Isn’t it glorious? The view from atop one of the nearby hills
Tiff making her way across the swinging bridge as we adventured off!
Tiff making her way across the swinging bridge as we adventured off!

It’s been a bit of a process, it certainly hasn’t happened over night – there’s been a lot of hard work, sacrifice, sweat, tears and deliberation throughout the journey (which is still a real work in progress) however things are finally starting to take some kind of recognisable state. Many of their friends have called them crazy – why sell up a successful business and a nice house, quit a good job and move three hours out of the city?! Especially now the kids have finally moved out?! Good thing my parents don’t pay too much heed to the opinions of others – if they did then they probably wouldn’t be chasing their dreams and how dull life would be! Mum and Dad are planning to build accommodation specifically for mountain bikers – Dad can go on epic rides every day and Mum can indulge some of her artistic talents (she’s always been fantastic at whatever art or craft project she decides to take on; spray painting, stenciling, water colour, lead lighting – the list is almost endless! )

Mum and Dad's yard - there is still work to be done but I have no doubt it will be amazing before we know it!
Mum and Dad’s yard – there is still work to be done but I have no doubt it will be amazing before we know it!
Did I mention that they fed us well too?!
Did I mention that they fed us well too?!

Me? I’m stoked. I can go on holidays to one of the most beautiful little towns in the world (big call, but valid) and I’ve got parents who aren’t afraid to do what makes them happy – which is surprisingly rare in a society where people are constantly striving to impress one another with their new boat, fancy sports car or new fangled electronic device. They’re bold and brave but certainly not crazy. Inspiring is a word that springs to mind. Sure, they don’t know that it’s going to work out but they’ve got a drive and passion that many would kill for. I envy the faith that they have in themselves to follow their dream and know that if they simply love what they’re doing, and do what they love, they’ll find a way to make it work.

Cards Against Humanity - the least appropriate game to play with family. Luckily my family aren't like a normal family!
Cards Against Humanity – the least appropriate game to play with family. Luckily my family aren’t like a normal family!

We had a great time there this weekend; drinking (a fair bit…there are some great local wineries!), playing card games, going for relaxing walks and not so relaxing bike rides (there are very family friendly options available too!). We drank at both pubs (there’s plenty of variety!), had coffee at one of the three little cafes, browsed some of the gorgeous little shops and very quickly got in to the laid back swing of things. I couldn’t think of a better way to have spent my long weekend!

Mum and Dad’s accommodation should be ready later this year – I’ll post links once they’re up and running because this gorgeous little town is one that absolutely everyone and anyone should pay a little visit – we can just pretend it’s a secret!

P.S. – I spent some of the weekend reading the amazing book ‘The Art of Asking’ by the wonderful Amanda Palmer – I’ll probably talk about that in my next post so stay tuned xx