20th to 26th August 2011
Saturday was the Australian Cross Country Championships, Canberra weather did not improve too much for the event as it was still wintry with rather arctic winds however the rain did hold off although the clouds did look extremely ominous. Jarrett's 6km race for the 16/17 year boys was at lunch time, we were all so very excited to have him racing on home turf this year. In a huge field of over one hundred Jarrett looked so tiny but he has a huge heart and enormous determination so size does not really matter. The first lap was the 1km loop and it was at a lightning pace, then the next two laps were of the 2.5km loop. Jarrett ran his own race and ran it well, he had to use his asthma puffer three times during the race just to prevent a repeat of last years attack. He made his way up the field, had a look of pure courage on his face and came 20th in his age group, 40th overall and in a time of 19:51, a twenty nine second personal best. He had gone into the race with a goal of coming in the top 20 for his age group and running under twenty minutes. We were all so proud of him and although he was exhausted at the end of the race, he managed a dazzling smile. Congratulations to all the boys in that age group, they all ran extraordinary races.
On the Sunday Jarrett had a team excursion to the AIS where he went on a tour and then went into the interactive sports area called Sportex. Then the team and families had lunch at the AIS meal hall where all the athletes have their meals. The food was incredibly delicious and healthy, that must be why so many of our athletes are performing so well, the food they get to eat everyday.
Monday was the relay day, each State enters a team of its top five runners who in Jarrett's age group each have to run 3km. The race was on the criterium bike course at Stromlo, that meant it was on an asphalt surface, which is quite hard on your legs. Jarrett's legs were tired from his race on Saturday but he was fortunate enough to have physiotherapy early in the morning so his muscles were loose which meant that running on the asphalt was a little easier. He was the fourth runner, he took off, he put everything he had into his run and was excited to run an amazingly fast time of 8:43 for the 3km, another huge personal best. When the last runner finished the whole team had run splendiferously and they won the bronze medal for the relay. As I took photographs of the medal presentation, I was so proud to see Jarrett with the rest of the ACT team smiling, that smile still has not left his face and he wore that medal around his neck until bed time that night. He even let me wear it, it is his first ever Nationals medal and to win it at home was extra special for him.
After all the excitement of the Cross Country it was then back to school for the rest of the week, I think it was quite an anti-climax for us all. In Science we did crosswords about chemistry and a periodic table bingo game. In English we are doing work on The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas, in Maths we are still working on algebra, there are so many different areas to learn, our main work in algebra this week was on factorising and expanding. In Textiles I finished my cross stitch bookmark and I have now begun work on a butterfly design for a greeting card.
On Thursday I visited Sarah, we have been trying to catch up for ages, she is working on a new project to try to get politicians behind the effort to get brain tumour co-ordinators for brain tumour patients and their families, many countries overseas have them and they make a huge difference to everyday life for the people they work with, there is some information about them on Sarah's website which I put on my Blog last week.
I finished off my latch hook picture as you can see from the photograph I have placed on this Blog entry, they are so much fun to do and I think you will agree they look fantastic. I have now begun on another one, working on them has given me an idea that they could make terrific gifts as well as I could perhaps make some and sell them to raise money for the Brain Tumour Fund. Those five cent pieces are building up and I think it will be so wonderful at Christmas time to send a cheque to the Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Fund to help towards research for a cure for Brain Tumours. Thank you to those people who follow my Blog who have said they are saving their five cent coins also, I think the Foundation will be so pleased to receive that special donation at Christmas.
The weather has improved immensely from last week and I actually think that Spring is just around the corner, when we are driving to school the streets are now lined with trees with delicate pink or white blossoms on them and the other day I even saw a few butterflies, flitting about so gracefully in the crystal clear blue sky.
I have a doctors appointment this afternoon, some results are back from my latest tests, apparently from the results some more tests need to be organised. I still have no results back from my lumbar puncture or my neuropsychological test as yet.
This week Stuart received some disappointing news, that he has a new tumour growing and will have to have it removed, so it would be lovely if you could pray for him and his wife Meryl during this difficult time. Also prayers for Tia and her family, she is the mother of a student in my grade and she lost her battle with cancer on Tuesday.
Today is Daffodil Day, I hope that they are able to raise money to help find new treatments and cures for the many cancers that affect so many people in so many ways, it is such a cruel disease, I know because I am living with it each and every day of my life.