Miss me yet?

Note: I don’t even know yet if I’m going to write anything offensive, but just in case… No offence is intended in the writing of this blog. If you do get offended, then you obviously have no sense of humour and you shouldn’t be here. K, bye…


I know you all can’t see it, but while I’m writing this, there is a squiggly red line underneath the word ‘humour’ above this and it’s really grinding my gears.

I mean, C’MON America, whenn r y’all gunna lern 2 spel tings write?! Huh…

That’s enough of my jibba-jabba, let’s get on with it…


Well, it’s hard to believe that it has been almost 2 months since I’ve written one of these. Shocking, I know. The fans will be gettin’ crabby…

So, how are we?

Since the last time I was talking to you all, I have packed up and moved my ass over to the South of France for a while… (Read my previous blog post to catch up on the shtory there because I haven’t the energy to type it out again.)

So yeah, I’m here over a week now and even in that short space of time, I have learned a lot about France and the French that I didn’t know before, and let’s face it, I didn’t know anything so it’s all a plus!

…*7 hours later*

I started writing this post this morning and I thought I was on a roll, but I had to go and adult for a few hours there and lost my concentration, so I might ramble on a bit.

Seriously though, I can only be useful for a certain amount of hours a day and I’m pretty much running on fumes at this stage… so bare/bear with me… (Use whichever one is right… I’m drawing a blank here.)

So, just for the people who know me and might be wondering how I’m getting on; everything is going good, I’ve settled in well, the job is great, the kids are so lovely, I am keeping up the powerlifting training and yes; I have in fact eaten my own body weight in bread… To be fair, it was bound to happen. This is me we’re talking about here.

It’s kind of strange; even though I’m in a country I had never even been to before now, when I’m in the house, it doesn’t even feel like I’m in a different country, because the family I work for aren’t French, so I’m very comfortable with them and I feel at home… But then I leave the house, someone talks to me in French and I’m just like “AAAAGGHHHH DON’T TALK TO ME, I DON’T KNOW WORDS”…. *runs away*….

But yeah, everything is just dandy!

Ah no, I’m happy out besides the language barrier in shops and that. I’m using an app to teach myself basic French though because there is only so far you can get by nodding and smiling at everyone. They’re going to start to think I’m just a proper dumbass if I keep doing that…

Aw lads the car… I’m feelin’ like a right beasht now driving around in a big automatic Audi. Four kids in the back & me there roaring “MOVE B*TCH, GET OUT THE WAY” at the other cars….. Ah Jaysis no I don’t do that… but can ya imagine though…

It’s one mighty vehicle altogether. Thank God it’s an automatic, because you should see some of the crazy steep roads and lane-ways they have here. The clutch would probably be gone in no time in a manual with all the hill starts in traffic jams!

Enough of that nonsense now. This is off topic altogether but; great news lads!… My next IPF competition (powerlifting) is on the 10th of December and I can’t flipping wait! I entered it there this evening and I’ll be flying back for it and will hopefully get to see the aul’ fam while I’m there. (Of course I will… sure me mother would have me murdered if I didn’t.) Anyway, I’m delighted now that I have an actual event to train towards again to keep me focused. That being said, I should have gone to train today, but did I?… I’ll let ye guess that one yourselves…

So the competition… It was just announced as a ‘last chance’ open competition to qualify for the 2018 Nationals, but I am just focusing on competing to put up a new total, because the standards are crazy high to qualify for Nationals and I probably won’t make it this time… It’s not that this is a really touchy subject for me or anything but let’s just move past it really swiftly… *crawls into corner crying*……. kidding!…Sort of…

I suppose I’m going to get a tad sentimental here for a minute… *dims lights*…

I won’t get too soppy here now but, before I came over here, I was up in a metaphorical heap of sadness over leaving people behind… (You would swear I was moving away or something?!…….oh wait….)

I wouldn’t mind, but I was actually grand until I was handed a lovely ‘good luck’ card signed by my club mates after the powerlifting competition we were at the day before I flew out. Just at that moment, I completely lost all control over my waterworks. (I mean that I started crying….. I didn’t p*ss myself or anything.)

I’m going to be honest here though; I am a seriously ugly crier… Like, full-on red face, mascara everywhere, shnots streaming and the lot, so all I kept thinking was “F*CK YE AND YE’RE CARD, I LOOK LIKE TOTAL SH*TE NOW…. WAAAAAAHHHHHHH…” But anyways…. I’d like to say I pulled myself together then, but I swear, I was crying like a lil’ b*tch the whole way home in the car and throughout the night while we were out for drinks I would just randomly start bawling again, so yeah… Obviously I’m completely emotionally stable….Ahem…. but yeah, it was so sweet of them and it meant so much to me. I miss them all madly, so just a little shout-out to my APC buds…xXx

Right, that’s enough sad talk before I start again…

Anyways… My point is; it nearly killed me to leave, but I am enjoying my time here now that I’ve made the move!

It’s a scary thing to do though when you can’t be guaranteed to like the place, so I am very fortunate to be in a good situation here…. (Serious bad buzz about the fact that they haven’t discovered turkey burgers over here yet though… get with the times people, it’s not 2015 anymore.)

While I’m here, I just want to throw this random statement in; all mosquitos are w*nkers and I hate them. That is all.

…I had actually planned on writing a super funny list of things I have discovered about France since being here, but I’m not feeling very witty today so I went with a super long essay style blog instead… everyone’s fave! I’ll just keep the list one for next time when I’m my usual hilarious self again…. *Watch this space.*

Anyways lads, I hope to write a bit more frequently, so I shall talk to you all soon about what I’ve been up to.

Just one last thing though….. I love the way I’ve typed over a thousand words here, yet back in school, if I had to do that, I’d have just been like; “Nope. I don’t even know that many words, it’s impossible and I hate writing about sh*t.”

….and now I LOVE writing about sh*t!… Lucky ye!

Have a great week.

A bientot,

J.

Au revoir… for now

Warning: The following post is guaranteed to cause a serious dose of ‘the watery eyes’ once you read the news.

 


 

Bonjour! Well that’s it… the extent of my French.

So here’s my news; *drum-roll*………I’m moving to the South of France!  To be more specific, I’m moving to a place 10 minutes from Cannes in an area called Mougins. (I’m not sure how that’s pronounced but I’m assuming the ‘s’ is ilent?!)

I know, I know, you’re all heartbroken right?…..Right?

It hasn’t really sunk in yet but I’m super excited about going and I’m up in a heap at the same time! I mean, it’s fairly unlike me to make such a big change but I think I need this… Ya know, YOLO and all that! It’s about time I did something different with my life… Ya know9, something other than changing to gluten-free bread. (Wild, I know.)

Before I go on, I just want to state a few things; (this is more for my own peace of mind)

1. I am 100% continuing with powerlifting training and will be coming back to Ireland for any events and competitions etc…

2. I checked and there are gyms within 10 minutes walking distance from where I will be living so I’ll have no excuses.

3. I actually don’t have a third thing to say but it always looks better when a list has 3 parts.

So yeah, I’m going to be working as an au pair (live-in nanny) minding 4 children for a family with one Irish parent, one English parent and then the 4 kids (or ‘sproggs’ as some people call them!) Seeing as I did German in school, luckily enough, the parents aren’t French and they run a chain of Irish bars in France so there won’t be too much of a language barrier… Well, that is unless I meet someone from Kerry over there, ’cause nobody ever knows what they’re saying!

I’m not going to get into too many details but it was a great job offer, I get my evenings and weekends off, they have a pool and the living situation will be really good so I couldn’t say no!

The family I’ll be working for are spending the month of August in Ireland so I am going to get to meet them while they’re here (and charm their socks off of course) and then I’ll be heading over for good in the first week of September. I won’t know what has hit me with the good weather there but I guarantee you I will come back still looking like a milk-bottle!

I’m not going to lie, I’m definitely going to really, really, REALLY miss some people (and dogs) when I go and that part of it kills me and makes me not want to go. All of those people might not know who they are but I plan on letting them know. Even though I’m very independent, I’ve never dealt well with seperation from people (yes I’m a big sap), but I have to just keep reminding myself that I can come back and visit at any time, it’s not forever and I’m not going to be a million miles away! (This is me trying NOT to talk myself out of going…. As you can see, it’s going well.)

On the bright side, I am going to have a lot more things to blog about! (Aren’t you all so lucky?!) I’ll hopefully get a bit of travelling done on the weekends to give me something to write about and get some good photos too… *Watch this space…*

In the mean-time, I’m trying to spend more time with the people I care about. (I know, cringe.) Over the past few years I definitely haven’t taken advantage of any of my free-time so I’m going to use it now to see friends and family and hope that they have free-time too! I know there’s Facebook and all that to help me keep in-touch with people but it’s just not the same talking to a phone or computer screen ya know? It’s not like you can give your laptop a hug… Well you can, but it would be weird.

Anyways, I literally have nothing done to organise myself for going. I know packing will be the last thing but even that will be a challenge. Let’s just say, I wouldn’t be the lightest packer… Other than that, I’m a bit in the dark. I mean, I don’t even know what I should be doing? Can I even use my phone over there? Or my Visa Debit card? What sort of plugs do they use? WHO AM I?!!!!

*Calms self*……This is what happens when I start to think about it so I might just leave this stuff ’til the last minute… like I normally do.

Well, that’s the most news I’ve had in a while, but before I start to make this long story any longer, I better wrap things up.

So, to summarize; I’m going to try and see as many people as I can before I go (you could be next), I’m heading off in the first weekend in September (giving you all enough time to organise my going away party… don’t worry, I’ll act surprised) and I now need to go and ask if there is a maximum amount of suitcases one can bring on a plane… asking for a friend….. I swear.

 

Until next time…

 

J.

 

What not to do…

Warning: The following post contains a serious dose of sarcasm.

Based on true events…


Don’t panic, don’t panic, I’m back and it’s good to be back!

Right, so here’s the shtory… I haven’t blogged in almost 3 months, because to be completely honest, I haven’t felt like myself for quite a while and if I had written anything, it would have been super depressing! (Unlike my usual hilarious stuff…)

I suppose you could say that it has been ‘one of those days’ for the past few months! I know a lot of people go through times like this, (a sh*t shower as I like to call it) but I can only speak for myself and my own experiences!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not on here to complain, but more-so to share some of the ‘crap’ that has happened lately for a couple of reasons. Those being; to get it off my chest and to maybe get a laugh out of someone! It’s a win-win!

Where to start… Well if you happened to read my last post (of course you did), then you might remember the whole saga about me having to start commuting to Dublin for work. It was costing me a fortune on diesel and I was between a rock and a hard place wondering whether I should leave or not, blah blah blah… Well, I did leave in the end! The whole situation was a bit of a pain in the hole to be honest but ‘everything happens for a reason’ right? (Sure it does…)

So yeah, it has been nice not having to go to work everyday, even though somehow I am still busy with other bits and bobs, but reality soon strikes and one must still pay one’s bills and all that so I had to go back to the drawing board on the ol’ job front! Luckily enough, I have always been one of those ‘save your money for a rainy day’ type of people, so this is my rainy day I guess… or year?!

I’m not going to lie, I’m being super picky about jobs, so I am waiting for the right one. (Aren’t we all…sniff.) Speaking of such jobs, I really, REALLY thought I had found the perfect job. (Here comes the water works.) A good friend of mine who started working for a great company recently, told me about this job with that company that was really different, had great hours and suited me down to the ground. He really helped me out with the whole process (shout-out to Adrian for that) and I was super optimistic, so I actually put effort into applying for the job. (I know, fair play to me.) Anyways, I went through all 3 stages of the interviews (all online based) and well let’s just say…

THEY’RE ALL W*NKERS!!

…Ah no, I’m only kidding. I didn’t get the job though and that’s ok! It happens! We’ll just pretend that it was them and not me… Capiche?

It was a really good experience though because the whole interview process was very different and technical and it scared the crap out of me, but I did it and I surprised myself…

Well that wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be!! (No holding grudges at all here.)

I’m going to skip past most of the ‘sh*t shower’ because I could be here typing for the night, but let’s just say it involved a broken down car, the end of a long-term relationship (still friends), being rejected by not one, but two bands (sniff) and getting a rib injury at a vital time in my training. Yes, yes, I know it sounds like I’m complaining or looking for pity, but I’m really, really not. EVERYONE hits a few hitches in the road. It hasn’t been easy and I am still figuring out what the hell I am going to do but it could be a lot worse! As the band ‘Yazz’ would say; “The only way is up!” …(Yes, I had to google that.)

So, here’s something that I am super excited about; my first Irish Powerlifting Federation Open competition in Cork on the 27th of May. (Why do I keep saying ‘super’?)

I have been training for it for months and months, so for the big day to finally be here is fantastic and terrifying! As I mentioned above, over a month ago I somehow injured the soft-tissue around some of my left ribs (not a clue what that means, but it f*cking hurts like a b*tch.) I was unbelievably frustrated with it for a couple of weeks because it was making lifting quite difficult and I thought it was THE END OF THE WORLD, but like the trooper that I am, I pushed through. (Still waiting for my medal of honor.) Ah no though, it was bad. Really bad! I was popping painkillers like you wouldn’t believe to get through my training sessions and even then it wasn’t easy. In a way it ended up being a good thing (oddly enough), because it forced me to lift with better form to minimize the pain and that ended up improving my technique a bit. Silver lining eh?!

So I am 12 days out from the competition, I have 5 training sessions left and lifting is currently going to plan (ish). Now all I have to do is lose 2.5kgs of body weight! Piece of cake! (Poor choice of words. No cake for me.)

If I don’t get down to lower than 63kgs, I get to lift on the day but not actually compete or place anywhere in the competition and I didn’t work this hard and come this far just for the day out and a 99!

My coach; Joe, advised me to move up a weight category in the competition to -72kgs to take some pressure off myself and to just focus on the training. I always follow everything he says and he was 100% right in what he said, but this time I had to dig the heels in! (I can almost see him rolling his eyes.)

Although it would be the wiser thing to do, after planning to be in the -63 category all this time, if I was to compete in the -72s, I know I would be completely unhappy before I would even lift at all and that wouldn’t be a good start to the day! I have had a plan all along and I suppose I want to prove to myself that I can stick to it, whether it’s wise or not.

For anyone who hasn’t a clue what I am on about with the whole powerlifting competition situation, you can go back and read my old posts and it explains the lot. It’s really rivetting stuff, I promise!

So that’s the craic with me at the minute. I’m seriously out of practice with blogging so forgive my rambling, giving out and general sh*te-talking!

Just to finish up, if I’ve learned anything in the past while, it’s the importance of having a hobby that you love. Whether it’s a team sport, a class, collecting rocks or whatever else you’re into, when everything else seems to be going a bit haywire, it’s a great comfort to have that hobby there to help you escape for a little while!

Have a great week.

J.

The waiting game…

To read the first part of this story, click here

A continuation…

Despite getting loads of emails and letters from thousands of my fans requesting a new blog post, I kept putting off writing this until I had enough news. OK, maybe not thousands, but I do have like 2 fans and I promise one of them isn’t my mother.

I was hoping that I would have news about both the powerlifting competition and the manager’s job interview I went for last week, BUT due to something that is super top-secret, private and confidential, we won’t find out who has gotten the job for another few days. (It’s actually not top-secret, it’s just that really lame procedures have to be followed and I don’t think I can discuss them and I thought ‘top-secret’ would sound a bit more dramatic and cool.)

The competition

So anyways, the competition results… I WON!!!

Just kidding, I didn’t win…*cries uncontrollably*.

Ah no, I didn’t win in my category but I did come 3rd and I’m actually really, really happy about that! I got a score of 225 which is an improvement of 17.5 on my score from the last competition, so happy days! The score is in kilograms so even though an improvement of 17.5 doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s quite a bit when it’s a score measured in ‘kgs’.

I’m not going to lie, I was in a bit of heap just before my category started lifting. I was freezing cold and every one of my muscles started to cease up like…I don’t know, something that ceases up a lot…

Even after doing my warm-up lifts, I was still the same, so in the end, I went into the changing room to where there was a tiny electric heater in the corner and I just knelt in front of that for 10 minutes like a little camper in the woods trying to keep warm by the fire.

At the risk of boring you all, I’ll just skip the small talk and get to the good shtuff.

For those of you who might not know what the story is with powerlifting, you do 3 of each of the 3 lifts in a competition. So 9 lifts in total. The lifts are squat (or shquat as I like to say), bench press and deadlift. All going well, you increase the weight each time you lift.

Starting with my fave (it’s not my fave), we have the squat. I lifted 70kgs 72.5kgs and 75kgs. Overall I was happy with this BUT I would like to have lifted 80kgs for my third lift, but that’s just me, always the critic!

For the second lift, we had the bench press. I was very, very nervous about this as I find this to be the lift that is progressing the slowest for me. The heaviest I had benched before the competition was 42.5kgs so I had come to terms with the fact that I was going to fail my third lift if I had to go heavier than that! Surprisingly, this was not the case and I benched 40kgs, 42.5kgs and wait for it… 45kgs! I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but when I saw myself actually lifting the bar back up, it was like the greatest moment of my life. (How sad is that?)

Fair enough, a bit of strength had a part to play in it but I think it was definitely a mixture of knowing I was being watched, the sound of people cheering for me (I didn’t even know most of them so I was really grateful for their support) and just pure, thick stubbornness that made that bar go back up! Whatever it was, it worked. So say nathin’!

Last but not least we had the deadlift. I had planned to open with 100kgs but my coach (also one of the judges) said to me days before the competition not to open with a difficult lift and that he would just sit there at the competition, shake his head and roll his eyes at me if I failed my first deadlift! So in the end, he managed to get into my head and I changed my opening deadlift to 95kgs. He was right though. YES Joe, I said it.

My deadlifts were 95kgs, 102.5kgs and 105kgs. I had hoped to get to 110kgs but I hit a bit of a block during training when I hurt my lower back. Onwards and upwards though, there’s always next time! Look at me, being all inspirational again.

Although I didn’t win, I have taken many positives from the competition. I lost the weight necessary to get into the -63kg category, I added 17.5 to my previous score, I am the only person from my category who didn’t fail a lift (no bitchiness intended, I am just grasping at straws here people) and I got a new personal best in the bench press and deadlift.

Not bad for a day’s work!

The future

I only had the chat with my coach the other day, but he told me that I am now training for an open qualifying competition that will be on in either April or May this year. If I reach the standard (250), I will qualify for the IPF Nationals in July 2018. (You really wouldn’t want to be an impatient person.) Because of the constantly rising standards among powerlifters, the competition standard may very well rise again, meaning I will have to compete again and get a higher score in order to qualify. No pressure.

I am absolutely loving powerlifting. It might be a slow process but you can’t compare the feeling of getting stronger and better (kind of) and believe it or not, although I haven’t done any cardio in God knows how long and I’m using powerlifting as my only method of exercise (plus a few walks and weights here and there) I am managing to maintain my weight. Either that or I am losing all my muscle weight and am slowly turning back into a blob…

The moral of the story is, cardio is not the answer to everything. I used to run like a mad yoke thinking it was the only way I would lose or maintain my weight, but it’s a myth in most cases. Don’t be afraid of weights. Unless someone is throwing one at you, then you can be afraid… and go back to running.

The burning question

Just in case anyone was wondering since my last post, yes I did go to Eddie Rocket’s. Not only did I absolutely demolish a chocolate milkshake, I also knocked back a chicken burger, bacon/cheese fries and an ice-cream cookie sandwich… and no, not one single f*ck was given that day.

J.

My 2017 so far

WELL! I’m new enough to this whole blogging thing and I haven’t got the biggest following, so I spent the last few days wrecking my own head trying to think of the perfect topic to post about hoping that people might like to read it.

After days of thinking way too hard about it, of course I couldn’t come up with the perfect topic, so instead, I’m just going to write about the past week or so and what has been going on for me…

The Hobby.

Well, the first item on the ol’ agenda is… I have been training for a novice powerlifting competition (squats, bench & deadlifting) for the past 5 months or so and it’s all happening this Sunday.  I took part in my first competition back in August after about 2 months training and I really, really enjoyed it. (Although I didn’t win and came nowhere near it either. Yeah, yeah winning isn’t everything blah blah blah…)

BTW, please don’t mistake my sarcasm for me being an a**hole, it can’t be helped.

After a lot of trying and failing, over the years I have come to terms with the fact that I am not naturally good at any group or team sport so instead, I am just going to compete against myself in powerlifting, whether I am any good or not!! Although I’m being trained by the best in the business (just in case you’re reading this Joe), I am by no means a brilliant lifter when it comes to the weight I lift or the form I have. Despite this, I am always improving so even though I won’t be the best competitor there, I know I will do better than last time and that’s a win in itself!

Woah, I was actually quite inspirational there. I should write a book.

So anyway, luckily enough, I managed to lose the weight I needed to in order to get into the category I want to be in for the competition, so that has been one highlight of 2017 so far for me!! Couldn’t believe it when I stepped on the scales and saw that I was down. I actually nearly hugged a stranger. All that aside, after the competition on Sunday, I am 100% going to Eddie Rocket’s in town and I am going to absolutely demolish a chocolate milkshake. Pretty sure the weight won’t be long going back on me then but it will be so worth it…

Just a little side-note about the weight loss thing…

This might not be the way it works for everyone but it’s just a simple bit of advice… Even though I have been told this a thousand times, it took me a long time to follow it myself; you can go to the gym as many times as you want, but if you are eating too much of the wrong things and too little of the right things, you’re not going to lose all the weight you want to lose. I’m just going on what I’ve been told, but it makes sense. Exercise is the easy part, having a good diet is the challenge! (Well it is for me anyways… apple tart you b*stard.)

The Job.

So about work. Going to make this a quick one. I work in Carpetright. It’s a carpet shop. (Hard to believe, I know.) There’s more to it than one would think. I will never again underestimate what a job entails… So anyways, I’ve been with the company for over seven months now and to cut a long story short, (no carpet pun intended), the manager’s position in the store I work in became vacant recently and I went for the job. I had an interview on Thursday with my regional manager and it actually went really well. Now, when I say it went well, I mean we had a good long chat and a few laughs and he told me he “enjoyed the interview” BUT, that doesn’t mean I’ll get the job! I have only been in the business for seven months and there are others to be considered too…. Anyways, I find out early next week what the shtory is, but either way I will still have a job so I am not going to worry myself about it. I think I already used up all of my worry and anxiety during the days leading up to the interview…

That wasn’t as short as it should have been. My bad.

I’d like to think I have some tips to give about interviews but I don’t really. (How helpful am I?) The only thing that comes to mind is ‘be yourself’. Unless you’re a complete d*ck, then be someone else… and no that’s not supposed to be ‘duck’.

I know it sounds clichéd, but I actually think that by me just being myself I was able to talk more naturally and come across more genuine than if I was trying too hard to be ‘managerial’. He probably thinks I’m a pure mad yoke now after the interview but sure look it, at least if I do get the job, I know I will have gotten it by being nobody else but me.

Well that’s the craic from my week. For anyone who is interested, I will be posting next week about the competition results and also about the outcome of the interview (good or bad.) For those of you not interested, why are you here?? Just kidding… don’t leave me.

Have a great day.

J.

To read what happened next, click here