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What Will You Learn From Ed's Journal?


Ed

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Someone I know was recently featured in Buzzfeed.  She was one of about ten people who held up a sign with something they had written.  The "journalist" basically took photos of each person with their message and posted that.  The only thing he did was type their names above the photo.  Photos he took with his iPhone.  Half the pictures had light behind the person he was photographing.  Buzzfeed is not as evil as some of the other media outlets but their standard for "journalism" very low.  Most people on this forum are much better writers than the ones they have at Buzzfeed.

Daily Habits:

  1. Writing - Done - 16 in a row
  2. Exercise - Done - 16 in a row
  3. Public Speaking practice - Done - 15 in a row
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've kind of crashed recently.  Metaphorically speaking.  I haven't really been dealing with things as well as I should have. And I was over two weeks behind on my self-imposed podcast schedule.

I'll write more later but for now I'll just say that I'm getting back on track.  It may be late but I have published the first episode of my podcast.  It's not perfect and there are some points I could have said better but overall I'm pretty happy with the quality.  For now it will be exclusive to the GameQuitters forum, tomorrow I'll finish of the show notes and publish them on my website.

It seems that I'm unable to embed the player on this forum so you can click here for direct access to the mp3.

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The first podcast had some room for improvement but there was also things I was quite happy about.

Points to improve -

  • I think I could have covered my point a bit better, perhaps I didn't concentrate on the introvert aspect of public speaking enough
  • My speech has a bit of a start-stop quality to it, Need to work on making it smoother
  • Some words could have been enunciated a bit better

Points I did well - 

  • I'm happy with the production quality.  I'm sure a sound engineer could make it better but I believe the sound quality is comparable to much bigger podcasts.
  • Overall I think I was clear with my message

It's not perfect but it's a good start.

 

And to get back on track I recorded a second podcast.  It wasn't on the list of titles that I wrote about last page but that list was never meant to be set in stone.  I'm not as happy with it but that's ok, one step closer to being back on schedule.  The third podcast was originally scheduled for the 4th of July, so long as I record it by Monday I'll be back on schedule.

 

Here's the link to episode 2 : 6 Ways to Battle Procrastination

Edited by Ed
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If you improve each podcast a little bit each time you'll get there eventually. Keep shipping each week and improve quickly. You'll get there sooner than you think. :)

That's the plan.  Tiny but consistent improvements.  As with anything else I've practiced, there are going to be those occasional huge breakthroughs on top of the small improvements.

I'll listen to your podcast after finishing Slight Edge. Seems to be very inspiring ones!

Thanks.  I'm not sure how inspiring they will be.  The general idea of the podcast is to talk about things that I have learnt over the years.

 

 

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Going to the top of the mountain to think.  That's not a metaphor.

 

I'm heading off to Mt Bartle Frere tomorrow.  Just need to finish off throwing a few more things in my backpack.  I've got my tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, 10L of water, some basic first aid stuff, compass, and other things I think I'll need.  I feel like I'm forgetting something but the main thing is that I have everything that will keep me alive.

I'm doing it alone, so there's a bit more danger involved.  The two big risks are getting lost and snake bites.  I'm staying on the track and not walking at night to mitigate the first one.  To avoid snake bites I'll be wearing some sturdy Army boots and trying to spot them before I step on one.

 

Just weighed my pack.  A bit under 30kg.  I don't have the most lightweight equipment.  You can buy stuff that weighs less but it costs a lot more.  While I like heading off into the bush it's not something I do regularly enough to justify spending a heap of money.

 

Back in a few days....

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I knew it would be a challenge, but I wasn't expecting the level of challenge that I faced there.

It was Thursday I started climbing Mount Bartle Frere, the tallest mountain in Queensland, Australia.  It's probably a good idea to start hiking a lot earlier than I did.  I started at 11:30 am, thinking 7.5km isn't that far for a walk, I should easily be able to make it to the top within the afternoon.

Besides some inclines, declines and small creek crossings the first 3.5km of the track aren't extremely difficult.  I saw two interesting things on this part of the journey.  The first was what appears to be a shrine.  There was a picture of a guy with a bottle of Tooheys Extra Dry next to it.

Shrine.thumb.jpg.3e34ee8f05d04e0e84f59ab

Was he someone who died on the mountain?

Was the mountain his favorite place in the world?

There was a bushwaker who died on this track in 2011, I don't know if it's the same person but I think that would be a reasonable assumption.

 

After a brief rest and drinking some more water  (you do NOT want to be dehydrated), I started walking again.

That's when I saw it.

I stopped.

Across the path was the biggest snake that I had ever seen in the wild.

I slowly lowered my pack, took out my camera/phone and took a couple of pictures and a video.  Pictures are terrible but you can see it a bit better in the video. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzev-qm8pus

 

Just before the 4km mark and the Big Rock camp I met the first person I had seen since being on the track.  He told me that I wasn't far from the camp and that from just a bit further it gets much more difficult.  He had given up because he had decided it was too hard.  Great.  At this stage I could feel the blister forming on my right heel.

I soon made it to the camp.  Or to be more precise a small area that is flatter than the surrounding area.  No amenities.  Doesn't matter, it was too early to stop and although I was covered in sweat, I still had the energy to keep walking.

I crossed the creek next to the camp, carefully navigating the wet and slippery rocks so I didn't fall in.  The last thing you want is to be weighed down by water you can't even drink.

 

He wasn't wrong about it getting harder.  Almost every step from there was lifting myself up by about half a metre.  By the time I had reached the 5km mark, I could feel that the blister on my right heel had formed.  Every step I could feel it rubbing just a little bit more.  My hamstrings and calf muscles were burning.

I felt like giving up.

Also it was getting dark, I had maybe another hour or two of daylight left.  I wasn't going to make it to the summit today.  Walking on the track at night is a really stupid idea.  Doubly so because I was walking alone, which some people would say is stupid in itself.  I had to find somewhere to camp for the night.  But the bush is so think for most of it that there wouldn't be anywhere near enough space to set up a tent.

I met two other guys who were on the way down, they were rushing to make it out before dark.  They also told me that it's about to get much harder and that there's a near vertical wall you need to climb up not that far away.

I was getting a bit worried at this stage.  What if I don't find somewhere suitable to camp?

Every painful step I was hoping that there would be an opening just big enough for my tent.  I started cursing myself for not buying a smaller tent.

But fortunately there was an almost perfect spot open up.  I decided this would have to do.  It would be too dangerous to continue on.  And I'd come too far to go back.

I set up camp for the night.

tent.thumb.jpg.3096481b1be27540462c80408

Did I make it to the summit?

Did I survive the climb?

These questions and more will be answered in the next post.

To be continued.....

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^^^ It was the biggest snake I've seen outside of a zoo.  Fortunately the size of a snake has little to do with how poisonous they are.  I believe that particular snake is a carpet python.  They aren't likely to kill anyone but they can still give a nasty bite.

It's the small, quick snakes that can kill you.

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Friday Morning:

After an extremely restless sleep I got up and started to pack up my tent.  Leg muscles still feeling very sore and blisters starting to really rise up.  I knew that I only had a couple more kilometres to go.

But if I thought what I had done to this point had been hard, the last bit of the track was hell in comparison.  It didn't take too long to get to a point where the it suddenly got extremely difficult.  It was almost a wall in front of me.  It was steep, I couldn't even see the top from the bottom.  Every step required me to pull myself up to the next ledge and with a heavy pack on my back it took about an hour to travel about 30 metres.

I rested at the top of the wall.  (Not really a wall but don't know how else to describe it)

It was still difficult terrain to the 7km marker.  But it was such a relief to see the hut and the helipad.  I could finally leave my big pack behind and just take the small day pack to get to the peak.

The peak is only 500m away at this point, but it doesn't get easier or less dangerous.  To get there you still need to cross the boulder field.  It might not look like it but a lot, but between the boulders are gaps where the drop is about 2 or 3 metres down.  I hadn't seen another person the whole morning, so if I slipped and injured myself I had no idea how long I could be waiting for help.  Hours? Days?

I wasn't going to rush it, I took it slow, just needed to get to the summit, get back down.

Here's the view looking down at the helipad and evacuation hut from about halfway through the boulder field:

boulder_field.thumb.jpg.ec122690ca9c0730

The angle makes it look a lot shorter than it is.

The rest of the hike up the mountain was relatively easy, though somehow I did manage to walk past the summit and somehow end up at the camp on the other track.

After getting my compass out and making sure I was heading in the right direction I finally reached the summit:

Bartle_Frere_Summit.thumb.jpg.8225084730

Yep, the actual summit was very much anticlimactic. The trees obscured any view and the official sign was no longer there.  That didn't matter, I had conquered the highest peak in Queensland, Australia.

The walk down was extremely painful but relatively uneventful.

The next few days I could hardly walk, every muscle in my leg ached and the various cuts and bruises on my legs didn't help.  Also the blisters meant that wearing shoes was also out of the question.  Here's what my left heel looks like after 4 days:

blister.thumb.jpg.280fb1b3072de498280d0d

The journey was dangerous, full of pain and arduous work but I'm so glad that I did it.

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Awesome story.

Note to everyone else. More stories! 

Thanks Cam, glad you enjoyed it.

I've get rid of blisters thanks to buying good trekking boots. Maybe that's the reason of that?

I used old Army boots that had been sitting in my closet for years.  They're pretty good quality, but they were also relatively unused, so they weren't worn in.  I should have worn them more often before attempting climbing the mountain.

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I don't know if it's from climbing the mountain but over the weekend my middle finger on my left hand became severely infected.  I didn't think it was a big deal, didn't hurt that much but over the weekend it just kept getting more swollen.  I was joking around saying that it's either going to fall off or I'll have a finger with superpowers.

Saw a doctor on Monday and he put me on antibiotics and told me to come back on Wednesday to have it lanced.

Wednesday today.  Hasn't been fun so far.  Went to the treatment room, the doctor gave me a couple of anesthetic needles.  They hurt a fair bit.   Then I was left alone for ages, just laying on the bed wondering if the doctor had forgotten about me.

Eventually he came back and cut it open to drain it.  He actually said that it was one of the worst ones that he'd seen.  And if I had left it any longer there was a very real chance that I'd be in hospital and lose my finger.  So I guess I wasn't that far off when I was joking that it was going to fall off.

So if you do have an injury get it checked out by a doctor sooner rather than later.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've started a 30 day podcasting challenge.  I'm putting more importance into getting them published rather than making them good.  I found that when I was trying to make them good, I'd record half an episode, decide that it isn't good enough and then delete it.  Obviously very little actually got published.

Here's the day 1 podcast :

http://edtrigger.com/30-day-podcasting-challenge-day-01/

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Sometimes we overthink things too much. Same was with your podcast. It's good that you've made routine out of it.

It makes sense to aim for perfection in some cases. Generally that's when you're already good at something and someone's paying money for your services.  Neither of those conditions apply to my podcast.

 

I've decided that I won't be making a new post for each episode.  If I get the time to make one to a certain standard it will get a new post and some shownotes.  For all the others they'll just be added to the original post.

The Day 02 episode was uploaded yesterday.  It's crap, don't listen to it.

The Day 03 episode isn't great but it's an improvement on yesterday's one.  Even though I'm struggling to talk properly.  I got veneers, they look good but I'm not used to talkking with them yet.

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