Going without is a Lotta struggle
Mum and reporter JO McKENZIE-McLEAN is taking on one of the biggest challenges of her life training for the Northburn Station 50km. She reports on her progress.
I amnot an addict. However, I have a strong love of food that is bad for me, and an even stronger love of wine.
Those of you who have been following my Uphill Battle journey from day one, may recollect I mentioned part of the motivation of taking up the challenge of the Northburn 50km was I had got into a rut with drinking too much, running to the fridge after work for the wine bottle.
Over the past several months, my physical training has been rigorous and I have been totally committed to it — getting up during winter in minus five degrees Celsius frosts - so cold my sweat would freeze to my face; I would grumble but still soldier on scaling a hill on my hands and knees; and after hard days at work when all I wanted to do was get into my PJs and have a drink, I would pull on my beanie, get my head torch and hit the pavement.
I lost the desire to drink as much because getting up at 5.30am to go for a 10km run with a sick stomach and parched mouth was not pleasant.
Slowly, the wine bottle that was in my fridge on Monday was still in the fridge on Friday.
Pre-training days, that would have probably been replaced three times over. Don’t be fooled, though improved, I have not been reformed and I continue to struggle with the nutrition and drinking side of my ‘‘rut’’.
I have found some inspiration from a woman who I had developed a slight dislike for.
One of my best friends, and drinking buddies, has not touched a drop of alcohol since reading Lotta Dann’s book, Mrs D is going without.
We don’t catch up that regularly, so when I saw her in Wellington recently, instead of hitting the wines like we would have done in the past, she drank pots of tea while I drank wine. Damn you, Lotta Dann. Last week, I headed into a room where the woman herself was delivering a talk in Alexandra. I texted my friend and told her I was going to listen to her ‘‘cult leader’’ (my friend refers to herself as one of Lotta Dann’s disciples).
After the first 15 minutes, I started to squirm in my chair as I could relate to many of the stories she told of her relationship with alcohol.
She showed a picture of her as a 15-year-old drunk on bubbly wine. Been there. Drunk at her school ball. Been there. Fast forward 20 years with a husband, children and house— clock-watching for the time she will let herself take her first drink, using alcohol as a reward after a busy day, drinking an entire bottle and not feeling the effects.
Been there. I amnot saying I am or was an alcoholic— or that I want to stop drinking— but I had let myself get into a bad habit of drinking alcohol, for whatever reason, far too frequently and drinking far too much.
After listening to Lotta Dann, I felt she had empowered me with some practical, helpful tips to fight that urge to pick up that bottle as regularly. I amalso going to ring my friend and apologise for hassling her devotion to an amazing woman that is helping change lives around the country, and world. ■ Feedback and comments welcome to email@example.com, on twitter @jomacmacjourno or on her Uphill Battle Facebook page.