Monday, 19 October 2009

Exorcising exercise demons

The Devil's Chute, which is part of Victoria Falls. we visited the Zimbabwe side of the Falls. Spectacular, even in the dry season with low (!) water levels.

These guys were walking over the river on the Zambian side of the river - what were they up to we wondered?

Then they jumped in! Right on the edge of a 110 metre drop!!

Dr Livingstone I presume...

We went on a helicopter ride over the Falls with a german couple from our hotel. They had been very annoying, changing arrangements without consulting us, picking where we ate, cutting short our time at the market, just generally bossing us around. D was therefore very pleased to take the opportunity of bribing a guy from the helicopter company so that I got the front seat of the helicopter!! The woman virtually pushed me out of the way to get to the chopper first so Diarmuid said it was fantastic to see her face when the guy picked me out and shoved me in the front seat ahead of her!!! Worth it for the pics and the view I think!!

Note the smug smile!!

Hi all. Hope you had a good weekend. I was busy and quiet in equal measures. Saturday was a mad rush - I had a haircut at 8.45am and didn't stop after that - shopping, walking dogs, cleaning house, going to the football, meeting up with Jim's work colleagues for supper, Michael McIntyre gig, back home, pick up dogs and sleeeeeep!! Still, it was good to be busy. The football was excellent, they reversed a trend by actually winning a home game and Michael McIntyre was good value too. I do not know how anyone can stand up in front of 12,000 people with the express intention of making them laugh! He managed it too.

Sunday though was much quieter. I felt guilty about leaving the dogs at the farm all day on Saturday so, rather than heading out into the hills on my mountain bike as I really wanted to do, I took them for an old-fashioned walk instead. It was great - a little bit of sunshine and blue sky but crisp and clear. Plenty of autumn colours for me and my camera and my little companions in doggy heaven. I was determined to get some good exercise despite not biking so we headed up Win Hill. It's about an hour of solid climbing and then another 90 minutes or more of mixed downhill and flat. The views were gorgeous and it reminded how lucky I am to have all this on my doorstep.

All of which led me to think about how me and my chimp are getting on......

When I was planning my walk I had found myself leafing through loads of walk books trying to pick the perfect route and, to be honest, was using the walk selection as displacement activity for actually going out on the walk itself! I'm pretty certain my chimp was trying to distract me from starting the walk by making the choice too difficult. I was getting disheartened and beginning to beat myself up about starting too late etc etc

Suddenly I picked up what was happening and thought "this is rubbish - there is a great big hill right outside my door, who cares whether or not I've walked that route loads of times before? The sun is shining and the dogs are desperate - just get out there and walk you silly mare!". So I chucked on a fleece, grabbed my camera and the dogs and walked out the door.

It was lovely, I realised that I hadn't been up Win Hill for a long time anyway and certainly not in autumn colours. So, why try and be perfect when good enough is right there?

I've broken the back of a couple of exercise hoodos recently. For some reason, I had decided that I can't bear swimming (despite previously being a very good swimmer!). My chimp had been very inventive and come up with all sorts of reasons: I need to work harder so can't take that long a lunch hour - this despite the fact that I frequently spend my full lunch hour reading or surfing! I'll have wet hair and get cold - who cares! I've never worried about my hair and make-up at work so why start now? The changing rooms are smelly and unpleasant and I have to drive there - well, true but not anymore! The Council (for whom I work so I'll take full credit) has just opened a spanking new smart pool just 5 minutes walk from my office which is neither smelly or unpleasant. The changing rooms are unisex which takes a bit of getting used to but they're fine!

So, I've managed to make myself go swimming during lunch 6 times now within the last 3 weeks! One of the key factors in encouraging to go in the first place was something the TV programme taught me. Steve said to break tasks down into less threatening chunks if you (or more accurately your chimp) is experiencing resistance to doing it. So, I struck a bargain with her that we were going to go swimming once, to see if it was okay. We only had to do 20 lengths and if we hated it we'd never need to do it again. This was the deal. Of course, I did 40 lengths and didn't hate it. My chimp is now fully on board as she realises that it's relaxing, gets me out of the office at lunchtime and frees up the evening giving her more time to work on me to eat stuff!! Sigh....truly every silver lining does have a cloud after all....
I've built up my distances, increasing the number of lengths by 2 each time and am now up to 50 which is 1.25km in about 25-30 minutes. I think I'll stick at that for a couple of weeks and then start to increase up to 64 (just over a mile) but that is going to have to be my limit for time reasons!

The other hoodoo was going to the gym. I had built up such resistance to the idea that I had actually convinced myself that I had cancelled my membership earlier in the summer!! Now that the wattbike has been removed from us by Sky and the evenings are getting dark, I was casting around for another evening exercise. I thought of the gym and just checked whether I could reinstate, only to find out that I had NOT cancelled. So that's 5 months at £33 per month totally wasted!! So, the annoyance of that little discovery sent me back into the dreaded gym.
Once again, though, I started slowly - a Body Max class and deliberately used lighter weights than I thought I could handle. Of course, by the end of the class I had hardly broken sweat and was already planning which weights to use for my next trip. The gym owner (it's a small place!!) also collared me and virtually shanghaied me into making an appointment for an induction/programme!

That was tonight and I'm pleased to report that I've not experiencing any resistance to going and indeed went an hour early in order to fit in a class beforehand.

So - manage your chimp, work with her and don't scare her off by expecting too much of yourself or doing too much too soon. if you do that she will dig her heels in and probably win. If you make it manageable and non-threatening, she'll come round and start to help you achieve your aims once she feels happy and comfortable (but not too comfortable!).

No comments: