Off to see the wonderful wizard of Oz

Anybody that has read my Twitter bio will know that I describe myself as a cunctator.
A few people have asked me what that means. In the least prattishly condescending way possible, I’d like to tell those people that Google is your friend. 

But in case you and Google aren’t on good terms right now, let me give you an example. It pretty much sums up why I describe myself in such a way.

I’m flying to Australia for the Australian Youth Olympic Festival tonight. My taxi is coming at 5. It’s now 1.30pm. I still have a LOT of packing to do. So naturally, I am sitting on my bed, in my underwear blogging about how I have so much to do and intermittently looking at pictures of cats on Reddit. 
Yes I am aware that the case will not pack itself, as much as I would like it to. Yes I am aware that time is running out. But why do now what I could do later? 

I’m basically writing this blog for two reasons. The primary reason is because I need something else to occupy the time in which I could be packing. Secondly, because I feel like I should tell people that I’m competing. I’m not sure whether anyone gives a toss, but I thought I’d tell you anyway, just in case some of you do. (Please give a toss).

I’m lifting in the middle of the afternoon (Sydney time) on Friday the 18th of January. So in less than a week.

I went up to Leeds last week to get my last bit of training in. Why is it that it’s only when you’re training under the supervision of the head coach and some of your teammates, just over a week away from competing, that it becomes apparent how unfit you are? My legs felt like they were going to physically fall off. I managed to work my way up to about 90% of where I was before the Olympics, the peak of my physical fitness. Weights that would have flown up 6 months ago now felt like they could literally kill me. Well, I suppose they could. And they might. 

After that session, our coach announced to me that they would be my opening lifts.


I am quite genuinely hoping for a miracle. Please GOD let nobody else turn up in my category. In fact, let nobody else turn up for weightlifting at all. I don’t want them to see me like this.

Yes this is nobody’s fault other than my own for delaying the hard work as long as I have. I am now mentally screaming at myself “for God’s SAKE, Zoe, stop being such a flipping cunctator!!” 
Normally these things work out for me, somehow. I don’t know how. But it’s never landed me in any real predicament just yet. So I’ve got to the bargaining point of desperation – “please please PLEASE just let this work out for me, I know I’m an idiot but I promise I’ll never procrastinate again EVER as long as this just goes reasonably OK for me, please!” 

I’ll let you know in a week if my prayers were answered. 

In the mean time, I have 21 hours at 30,000 feet to contend with. A whole day of travelling. I find it really weird that you lose a whole day. I feel like I’m being robbed of some life. 

I also know practically no one else going. I certainly won’t know anybody on the flight out there other than my coach. It’s not that he and I don’t get on… It’s more that we don’t really speak. In my experience, he sits there doing important stuff on his laptop and reading/answering emails. That’s fair. However, what am I supposed to do?! I’d be fine if I just knew one person that I’m travelling with reasonably well. They could help get me through this nightmare.
I imagine I’ve mentioned how socially awkward I can be. Well, that would be ‘hugely’. Once I’m in conversation with somebody that I’m 100% sure doesn’t hate me, I’m fine. But introducing myself to people who MIGHT hate me is just not my cup of tea at all. For the record, no, I’m not a massive bitch in real life and they probably don’t really have any reason to instantly hate me. But they could.

So, it’s either come across as an asshole who won’t speak to anyone and sit on the plane sobbing inwardly to myself about how lonely I am, or nervously approach people who might very well hate me and struggle to think of a good topic of conversation while sobbing inwardly to myself about how badly this is going for me. Either way, the whole journey will be one big awkward cringe-and-sob-fest for me. Welcome to my personal hell. 

Right, I’ve been blogging for almost half an hour. I really must start packing. Well, should. I imagine I’ll find something else that needs taking care of during the 9ft walk from my bed to my suitcase. Hopefully. 

See you on the other side, guys. Or maybe when I’m back on this side, depending on how much cunctating I feel like doing. Really must stop doing that.

Z. x


13 thoughts on “Off to see the wonderful wizard of Oz

  1. Hi Zoe
    I give a toss. If I was near I would give you a big hug and squeeze. What your doing is amazing and I know what it’s like training in the gym. I have start/stopped more times then a busy traffic lights red and green. It’s so hard, but then when you get that buzz or you feel that freshness about you, that feel good feeling, yeah I give a toss. I’m in your neighbouring borough(the one that begins with L) but though you got a long journey ahead, I be looking forward to your tweets on how you are getting on. If u got no one on the plane to chat to, I for one will be here, so tweet girl and I and all the others that follow u can keep you company. I wonder what film they will have on your flight. Maybe The Lord of the rings trilogy looool. There that should last the whole flight :). Hope it all goes well for you Zoe. Come back safely hey and with that lovely smile you have.

  2. Now then,i’ve told you this before-as you get older you really wont mind if people like you or not,so spare yourself the pain and just get on with it.You’re smart,pretty and talanted,with a life that lots of folks would love to have–enjoy it,and good look with the competition. xx

  3. You can have:
    a) Best of luck
    b) Knock ’em dead
    c) Get your knickers in the suitcase and your arse on the plane. Now!
    d) All of the above

    Really hope it goes well for you in Oz. (And yes, I was trying to work out something on the lines of; For you, a toss? No probs. But it doesn’t work, does it?)

  4. Hey! Of course we give a toss! Lol bless ya.
    Have a good time in Oz, and hope you do well.
    And in truth, we all can be socially awkward at times, and lets be honest, a plane and airport experience can grind on anybody’s mood. Just picture strolling out of the airport and into the lovely warm weather (which btw, u can feel free to bring back with you! Lol) and you’ll be fine.

    Have a good’en over there, keeps us informed over twitter

  5. Take it from a fellow procrastinator and socially inept worrier – you’ll be fine. there’s plenty of people who do give a toss! Re the packing try the pomodoro time thing (another google!) – set a 25 minute timer on your phone and pack until the timer goes off. Once it goes off you can go and do something else (you may have to do another session later on to complete the packing but that’s ok)

    Have a great trip and good luck with the comp.

  6. Greetings! I’m so glad you posted this because I had no idea you were going to be competing soon! That is so exciting!! If it helps motivate you at all, you should know that many of us look up to you, and believe in you, especially for your brilliance during the Olympics, so give it all you’ve got!
    Although I’m not an athlete by any measure, I’ve been trying to invest a good amount of my limited free time/energy towards weightlifting, and I understand how it feels when there’s a been a gap in your routine, and you find yourself feeling “unfit,” though I have a feeling that even in what you claim is an “unfit” state, you’re a thousand times in better shape than a whole lot of people, including me. I wouldn’t be able to offer much great advice, but simply to trust yourself, don’t push yourself beyond what you can handle, etc.

    I completely understand about procrastination–it is my daily–no, hourly–affliction. I’m in academia, so my tasks are mostly reading/writing/thinking/over-thinking/self-doubting,etc–and I procrastinate. (In fact, I’m on twitter so much because it “helps” me procrastinate…) But we just have to keep up that struggle with our inner cunctators, as futile as it may seem sometimes, like Sisyphus in his endless boulder chore; as Camus said, we must imagine Sisyphus happy–or one hell of an optimist…

    Anyway, here I go, rambling again. The point is that it’s fantastic news to know that you’ll be competing, and I’m looking forward to it! Also, your writing is so engaging and expressive, and although you are spectacularly talented as an athlete, I also hope somewhere down the line we can look forward to you shining as a star in the literary world as well!

    [ I also hope that you’ve started packing by now–I’m every bit as guilty about leaving packing to the last minute, but I hate the feeling when I think I’ve forgotten something due to last-minute rushing! ]

    Have a wonderful, safe trip, and all the best luck at the AYOF!!!

    Cheers! 🙂


  7. Have a good flight, it’s a long one…best to rest as much as you can because it is exhausting. Try to worry less because worrying never helped anything. Hope you enjoy visiting the land of Oz.

  8. Zoe I just love your cunctuating although I have no idea what it is really all about..However, I just know you will love Australia, and Australia will love you……. Just enjoy every moment, as weight lifting has given you the chance to visit Oz, and I for one wish I could have gotten to Sydney to see you…… Maybe Irene and Niki should have come as well and you could all have jumped ship together…… anyway, all the very best……… Ian

  9. As I fellow procrastineer this is something that very much resonates. I’ve been meaning to pop into Europa to have a look since it opened but despite running past it three times a week it’s not quite happened. One of these days I’m sure I’ll do it. I once ran the great North Run with no training because I never got around to it. I finished it due to sheer bloody-mindedness but couldn’t walk properly for a week.

    I also have a box of books in the kitchen that need to be carried upstairs. They’ve been there for over a year. But it’s much easier to sit reading blogs and leaving meandering comments instead, surrounded by crap that could be cleaned up in about three minutes, but, well, you know how it is.

    Anyway, all the best with the lifting.

  10. Zoe by the time you read this you will be in Oz, or even back. Good luck with everything.
    One thing I’ve learned in life is that you’ll never please everyone, so please yourself! You are such an inspiration to so many people. Of course there will be jealous people and of course not everyone will like you, that is life, but what you can do is carry on doing what you’re doing, working hard, going and doing it and holding your head up high. Don’t worry about pleasing everyone. Don’t worry what people think. If they don’t like you that’s their problem and a reflection on them, you have to have a little arrogance sometimes and being happy is a good ‘up yours’ to people who are not supportive.
    You go girl, have fun and keep doing what you’re doing, there are plenty of people who are all routing for you!!
    Sheila Smith xxx

  11. As your number 1 Sydney Sider Australian supporter, I can’t freakin wait to see you lift down here on Friday! I work in the Sydney CBD and everyone in my cafe is a big fan of weightlifting, and of you. So we will be there! If I run into you in Sydney during your stay I might freak out! Keep us posted on the twiiter if you’re around so I can get a photo with you, or drop into Palomino Espresso (61 York Street, Sydney – heart of the city) for some lunch if you’re out visiting the harbour bridge and all that. We are very near by!

    Love, Dani!

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