Monday, 13 May 2013

Karen writes: Napier, town of surprises.

We have been at conference in Napier, what a cool town that is.  I got to walk many miles as part of  my recovery from the marathon a few days before, felt a bit twitchy and out of sorts, but the body seemed to be in good shape and ready to do more. At the conference itself we had excellent talks from our colleagues working in diabetes, most speakers were from New Zealand but there were a few brave souls from overseas. A high point was a run along the path beside the beautiful ocean early on Thursday morning.   We watched the sunrise from our 6th floor apartment (shared by 5 of us), and headed for the run start as that fiery ball rose out of the sea.  It was pretty cold so there was a bit of shivering until we started running. I surprised myself with my fastest 5km in recent memory, and a bonus was beating a couple of people I haven't managed to catch for all the years I have been attending these conferences, I'm pretending to forget that most of them were injured this time!  Good on you Novo Nordisk (Kevin) for organising these runs every year.

Napier had another surprise for me.  This is a picture of the wallpaper in my bedroom in the Napier apartment.
This is a picture of the Ironman logo.
This is a picture of my brand new tattoo!
The story is, I went for a walk one evening, walked past a couple of tattoo places and finally thought, why not, I'm procrastinating about getting my tattoo done so it wouldn't hurt to take the opportunity in front of me to ask some questions.  After grilling the poor guys with challenging questions, which they coped with remarkably well, I walked out with an appointment for the following day and instructions to come back with my ideas.

I went back to the apartment, I wanted a reminder of Ironman but thought (don't tell anyone this), that the logo was pretty...well...not pretty. Just...you know, the thing itself gives me a feeling of delight when I see it somewhere and remember what it represents, but did I really want that blocky red box with sharp corners, instantly recognisable (the whole point I guess), on my skin forever?  I did, and I didn't.  So I sat with my pencil and a bit of paper and thought. Then I gave up and went upstairs to my room and for the first time noticed the wallpaper in my bedroom, and that, so they say, was that.  The next day I took a photo of the wallpaper and a copy of the Ironman logo back to the tattoo man and a quick line drawing and twenty minutes of slight ouch I was done.

I'm delighted, I LOVE my tattoo!  The whanau was kinda surprised when I got home though, in a good way I hasten to add.

It does seem that I am not unusual in wanting a more permanent reminder. Ray Fauteux of Ironstruck has something to say about remembering your Ironman journey here, and he struck a chord with me when he said that he didn't get his tattoo so much for others to see, but to remind him of "just how much is possible if we never give up on ourselves". He went on to say that "seeing that tattoo reflected in the mirror always has a way of making things better".   I do hope mine comes with that sort of magic.