I’ll never forget the two nights performing on stage under the stars in Zakynthos, Greece. The whole experience was simply magic and after that incredible experience, my hope is, that as many of you as possible get to feel the way I felt those two nights. They were two nights of excitement and wonder. So go for it! Don’t be afraid to let your light shine! Don’t let your age or the opinions of others stop you from being all you can be!
This was another wonderful and exciting day in my life . On this day, June20, 2013 I competed in Melbourne, Australia with the 50-59 competitors and because of my age, a film crew had decided to do a story on me. Three media people (producer, photographer and sound person) followed me around all day. It was so exciting! I also received a wonderful, warm reception from the International Vice President of the INBA, Mr Wayne McDonald. I am very grateful to Wayne. He has helped to make my dream of helping others to defy restrictive stereotypes and the expectations of others and become who they want to be. Back to June 20, 2013. The whole day was like a fairy tale and the most wonderful thing about it was that an over 70 category was officially announced and had in fact had begun. Please don’t let your light grow dim just because you are older. Let your light shine. Your time is now!
What a thrill it was to be compared on Stage with a 48 year old in front of an audience of about 500. I certainly could not match the muscles she displayed but I felt proud anyway.
I’m back at the gym now, ouch! However I’m delighted with how quickly my strength and shape are returning. It’s definitely true that if you don’t use it you lose it. So work that body girls and be strong and in shape all your life. Age 70 is definitely not too old to feel vital and be in shape.
Oh what a feeling! Simply a magic moment! I only arrived home yesterday and I’m still jet lagged. I’ll put some more pictures up in the next couple of days. But remember magic moments are for all, no matter how old! So to keep going forward. Never stop in your quest to continue to become more and more of who you want to be.
Boy, do I miss the gym! Push-ups and walking can help to keep you fit but they are no replacement for a solid weight-resistance training gym work-out. In only five weeks I have noticed considerable negative changes to my muscle-tone and shape. Shock, horror! It’s now nearly seven weeks since I left Australia and I’m desperate to get back to my regular gym work-outs.
But I had a stroke of luck about 1 & 1/2 weeks ago. I found a gym in Rhodes and I was able to work out for two days and after only two days of solid working out I noticed positive changes to my body. Thank goodness for muscle-memory.
The gym was old but very friendly and the machines were effective and the view, overlooking the sea and beach, was spectacular.
As far as eating a healthy diet is concerned, that wasn’t a problem while traveling in Greece. We simply visited supermarkets and ate in our room using plastic plates and bowls and our own cutlery.
Turkey however, was, and is, a completely different story. Right this minute it is after midday and I am lying sick in bed. I have been sick for three days now with food poisoning. I hardly ever get sick but I was hit with an upset stomach, nausea, frequent trips to the toilet, pains around the eyes, limited control of my legs, and extreme exhaustion.
Do take care if you visit Turkey. We were on a seven-day tour and all was well until our tour-guide took us to a family-run rural restaurant for a buffet lunch and the next day took us to a remote rural village where we were put into groups of six and allocated to a Turkish family to experience a traditional Turkish lunch.
I strongly recommend that if either of these things are offerred to you that you graciously decline the offer. However, this might be challenging because of political and cultutal niceties and emotional and psychological pressure.
Turkey however, has some very impressive Roman archeological sites but alas, the toilets in Turkey can be less than impressive. Yesterday I had to pay one Turkish Lira to go into an enormous service-station toilet, along with hundreds of other tourists, which I wouln’t mind if the toilents were clean, and they flushed. But neither was the case and the greedy little man taking the money would not let a woman go into the toilet when she had only half a Turkish Lira. Someone gave her the money but given the stench, the putrid state of the toilets, the absence of soap, and the fact that most of the wash-basins did not work, I wonder whether she might have been better off holding-on rather than entering.
Two days to go before we board the plane for home and head for home.
First the Magic
Do you remember the film “Shirley Valentine”? Well, I went to where Shirley Valentine was filmed and I felt like Shirley Valentine for a day.
After negotiating a maze of narrow laneway-roads with no footpaths and lined with parked cars my partner and I eventually arrived at the very beach where Shirley Valentine was filmed. It was a magical experience. I felt like I had stepped into a movie. Costa’s Restaurant was there (now called the “Hippi Fish”). The beach was there with the sapphire blue and aqua sea gently rolling onto the shore. I felt I just had to go in for a swim. So off with my clothes (bikini underneath) and into the soft rolling aqua water I went. I felt the warm breeze as the cool (not cold) soft waves washed over me. I felt excited, confident and alive as I floated on my back in the shark-free water.
The next thing was to eat at Costa’s Restaurant. I thought of cheekily asking for “chips and egg” but I thought better of it. I ate grilled calamari, Greek salad, and drank Greek sparkling wine. My partner and I were waited on like you wouldn’t believe. It was a magical experience.
Now the Might
Can you imagine waves higher than the boat you are on. Well that’s how it was on our trip to Delos. For three days now uncharacteristic wild winds had been lashing the island of Mykonos, and my idea of going to Delos, while on the one hand catered to my burning desire to visit the ancient site, was on the other hand a fearful thought. But my desire won out over my fear and my partner and I boarded the ferry to Delos (however not without foreboding thoughts), which as it turned out became a stark reality. I’ve never been surer that the boat I was on was going to capsize. The waves were monstrous, so monstrous that the Captain shut down the engines. The boat went up and down on the swirling sea, crashing down with enormous almighty thuds. Then suddenly a monstrous hit us on the side and the boat listed sharply to the left and listed, listed, and listed. Panic-stricken passengers let out excruciating screams, some cried, others went white and grabbed their loved ones. All the sea needed was another monstrous wave to hit us on the side and we would be gone. Eventually we filed off the boat in Delos, all with white-ashen faces, temporarily safe, but all carrying foreboding thoughts about the return journey.
However, there is one thing that I can say and that is that there is nothing like a near-death experience to invigorate one’s sense of being alive.
It was our last day in Paros. It was hot and we needed a drink and so we entered a convenience store that we had visited a number of times. This store had every imaginable thing one might need including groceries, kitchen utensils, and laundry needs etc.
The usual lady was there. We had interacted with her several times. She was always smiling and extremely helpful but today something was very different. Her eyes were downcast, her shoulders and back were slumped. She gave us no eye contact. I felt an enormous saddness coming from her. I couldn’t speak Greek and she could speak hardly any English but I wanted to do something to help her, so I drew her attention. I made signs of crying and pointed to her and then I made signs of smiling while shaking my head.
She looked up at me, her eyes wide and filled with tears. Her emotional anguish was clear. She made a gesture of hopelessness and disillusionment and said full of emotional pain, “I have three children”.
I understood and gestured to her that I understood her pain. I then conveyed to her that I thought she was a beautiful and worthwhile person. I then blew her a kiss and wrapped my arms around myself to indicate a warm hug. She smiled a wistful and tender smile. I felt a closeness something special, something universal. I walked away somehow enriched. I knew I would never see her again. I still think of her tenderly.
When we look it can be incredible what we see.
Here I am on the Greek Island of Paros and tomorrow we leave for the island of Mykonos. From my hotel window I can see the deep blue and then aqua sea lapping onto the sandy beach alcoves which spread around the cove, above which, are rugged and starkly barren hills dotted with white washed Greek houses. I’m loving experiencing the Greek way of life. I find it refreshing, less up tight and I am loving the Greek food. Even the carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms and cucumber taste so much better here than in Australia. I don’t know what we’ve done to our food in Australia but something definitely has been lost.
I’m enjoying the slower pace after the enormous effort in preparation for the INBA Pro-Am World Championships. Even so, every day I still do my 30 push-ups, 30 tricep push-ups, back leg raises and two minutes of abdomonals just to keep in some sort of shape. I also do a reasonable walk each day. The burning question for me now is WHAT NOW! after this Greek adventure.
Well there’ll definitely be training as usual to keep me strong and in-shape so i can feel good and wear great clothes. I also intend to keep writing my books and blog but I know there are more adventures to be had, adventures that I hope will help others as well as myself. However I believe the greatest adventure of all is to be all you can beat whatever age and I intend to pursue just that.
Thank you to all of you who have sent me lovely and encouraging messages, I really appreciate each and every one of them.
Friday 5-7-13-Day 1
What a magical experience, competing out in the open, under the stars in a Greek amphitheater with the crowd cheering and cameras flashing with athletes from all over the world being judged one against the other. The judging finishes. It’s about 1am Saturday when I return to the motel. Judging is still going on.
The amphitheater is all of a buzz. Athletes are slapping bodies to enhance tan, smoothing on bikini bite, practicing posing, pumping up and changing costumes for different divisions. The air is electric. It’s now 9pm and athletes are coming and going on and off stage. The air is warm, the stars are bright. My anxiety is growing. It’s now 12.30am and I’m pacing up and down with number 116 pinned to my bikini. Not long to go now. Finally , I’m called. It’s 1.20 am. It’s just the routines to do tonight. Routines first and then the results. We wait in the wings and then we’re on. Masters Women is now in progress. Now it’s my turn. I do my routine to “Oh You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate. The crowd goes wild. At the end of my routine the judges and many in the audience stand up and cheer. I’m living a dream! I’m stoked. Then, the announcement comes, “1st place in Grandmasters Women, Ultra Masters Women and Super Ultra Masters Women, Janice Lorraine!” I’m now standing on stage with three gold medals around my neck, cameras are clicking and my smile as wide as the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But what excites me even more is the number of female athletes that have come up to me and thanked me for showing them what is possible saying things like “I want to be like you when I’m 70” These words were music to my ears. So go girls and enjoy all of who you are! You’re not old at 30,40, 50, 60 or 70+. So go for it!
Today I”m swimming in the Ionian Sea. What an experience! The water is the deepest blue and a light aqua colour near the beach. The water feels soft and the waves are full but gentle. I feel like I’m living dream. I’m off to a big INBA party tonight!