Open Air

It’s been over a year since I last managed a run. It’s hard to get my head round that fact especially as up to that point I would go trail running at least 3 times a week, every week.

But here’s the thing.

Do I miss the blisters – NO.

Do I miss the aches and pains – NO.

Do I miss having a face that you could fry and egg on – NO

Do I miss running up hill – MOST CERTAINLY NOT.

But I miss the feeling of open air and wow I miss the views.

Vegetate

I’ve been trying to practice yoga and tai chi for months now. I diligently watch and follow the videos. All the really glossy and professional videos. I was trying again this morning. Following the instructor through her perfect routine. Even her dog sits beside her perfectly. Never moving. In the background the gentle sound of peaceful music. Perfect.

Meanwhile in deepest Yorkshire.

A muppet is seamlessly moving from one body creak to the next groan. Losing balance and crashing into furniture. Constantly fearing my pants are going to split under the galactic pressure being exerted on them. Every time I hit the ground a mad dog instantly leaps on me and I replay the Bill Murray Ghostbusters scene – I’VE BEEN SLIMED. And no gentle sound of peaceful music here. Rather the sound of derision and laughter….

What on earth are you doing Dad”

“If this was on TV it would be banned”

“You look a right sight

Funnier than a Will Ferrell movie

Say that again Dad. Golden Rooster. More like drunken Pigeon

Are you supposed to be balancing on one leg or head butting the wall

My Dad has turned into Homer Simpson”

Please never do this when any of my friends visit”

Your just embarrassing yourself now”

Technically speaking this probably means that I still have a long way to go on my spiritual exercise journey. Or more likely …. time to get the mega pack of biscuits out and vegetate.

A year

Still just too grotty for a daily photo so it’s back a year again…..

It’s kinda sobering that this photo is taken only 2 miles from our house. On what was one of my most well used running trails. Probably ran here twice a week as a minimum. Well over a decade of running. It’s a year to the day since I last was here……

I wonder when I will return.

On ya bike

A heatwave is coming but it’s certainly not here yet. It’s a tad bracing on the knees.

The weeks keep passing without going for a run. So needs must. My old exercise bike is getting some hammer. Last year I started a Creaky World Tour. How far can I get round the world by exercising in Yorkshire. Initially using the Pokemon Go app to track my runs and dog walks. Then as our family lockdown tightened that became mainly using my battered old exercise bike. The last time I checked I had made it to Volgograd. So let’s check in again.

The bike is showing just under extra 2000 miles. Wow didn’t think my little legs could go that far in 20 odd weeks. So where am I?

Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. (All the photos from Tripadvisor)

No rest for the wicked. Let’s see how far I get in a few more months time. Plenty of months of exercise biking still to come.

Trampoline

Not bad mobile camera work given I was bouncing on a trampoline. Who needs to be 7ft tall or balance precariously on ladders…

Yep it’s still wet and that farmers field is a tad damp under foot.

I must admit to being still a bit of a kid at heart. I know it’s not my trampoline but it’s there so why not have a bit of fun. My childhood as deprived of such fun. We never had a bouncy trampoline. Not one of my friends had one. The seaside Yorkshire town never had a public one. The first time I ever bounced was when I tested this one out before Hawklad would venture on to it. I finally have a use as a crash test dummy.

Not only is it fun and can take me back to childhood feelings but trampolining is a great exercise. Not many exercises which are actually fun doing and this easy to do. Plus when I fall and I always fall, it doesn’t hurt. Now it’s a photographic tool. But there is more. It keeps on giving. It’s a great safe store for things like balls. It’s so far been storm and pet proof. AND it’s such a comfy place to lie down on. To cloud watch and to star watch.

Just had a thought. For Pancake Day maybe it’s a super place to get really spectacular pancake tossing going.

I love Hawklad’s trampoline. That’s another little thing to be thankful for during these months of lockdown and isolation. Although I might give it a miss right now for some reason….

Man of action

That’s as good as the weather has been in days. Apparently there is still blue sky up there.

I like to still see myself as a MAN OF ACTION. Unbounded reserves of energy. Chiselled, carved out of granite, built like Thor. I do try lots of exercise. Increasingly heavy weights and kettlebells. More and more sit-ups, press-ups and planks.

Sadly the reality is some what different.

Permanently feeling tired, trying not to nod off. A constant battle with my weight. A body more Homer Simpson’s than Superhero. AND I strongly suspect that any self respecting MAN OF ACTION won’t have Pirate George on his duvet cover.

The secrets out now…

Cat….

A beautiful start to the day. Early morning. A time for reflection and renewal. The perfect time for yoga and meditation.

Well that’s the plan.

The reality was somewhat different. A creaking, stiff body. A sleep deprived mind and a cat. Yes that cat. The big boy. The biggest cat on the Vets’s books. Yoga is too much of a temptation for him. Great for him. Not so great for yoga practice. Not the greatest photos. Too dark. Cat way too close. Trying to hide my exposed short covered legs….

L

Not sure it will

Temporary farmers field lake is still going strong and still delivering. Kind of want it all year round. Wonder if my hosepipe will reach that far….

I’m not sure it will.

I was doing my morning torture ritual. Set the alarm to go off while it’s still dark. Exercise and then let the real torture begin. Yoga. Trying to follow the helpful and really nice instructions.

“To extend this pose why don’t you just take those knees just a bit lower…”

I’m not sure they will.

“This is a scrumptious hip opener why don’t you just hold it for another 10 seconds…”

I’m not sure I have the will.

“Try to breathe in through your nose to the count of 7 and then breathe slowly out to the count of 8.”

I’m not sure my lungs will.

“Now try to touch the ground with the outside of your left knee while twisting your body as far you can to the right.”

I’m convinced it will not do that without rupturing my spine.

“While keeping your right leg off the ground cradle your left thigh with both arms, start to rock.”

If you count going into catatonic shock as rocking, then I can…

Posture

This time last year exercise was so easy. Didn’t need to think about it. Chuck some kettlebells about and then go running in the hills. Happy days.

Then the pandemic happened. Anxiety and fears of my son brought the walls up. Suddenly we were housebound. Running stopped.

So now it’s chucking a kettlebell about and things like yoga. It’s not easy anymore. Not just running in the direction of my nose anymore. Need to think about things. Lots of things…

  • Are the feet, hips and shoulders in line,
  • Imagine the feet sinking into the ground, a great base,
  • Am I correctly rooted,
  • Is the back straight,
  • Am I controlling my breathing,
  • Am I extending that hip opener,
  • Is this an up dog or a down dog,
  • Is my neck extended,
  • Have I just done a clockwise or anticlockwise circle with my knee,
  • Which is my left leg again,
  • Is that my knee clicking,
  • How am I going to get out of this knot,
  • Have I done my 3 minutes in the tree pose yet,
  • Remember to lower my back one vertebrae at a time,
  • Do I bring my feet together, hip wide or wider,
  • What on earth is a virabhadrasana II,
  • Is my bum tensed,
  • Don’t forget to say namaste….

If the thinking was bad enough what about the pain. Never again will I ever moan about a muddy hill climb. The agony of a delicious hip opener. The dizziness of my head being below my buttocks. The shooting pain from holding my entire and not insignificant weight on just two dodgy old wrists for a torturous crow. The brain shakes that come from yet another extended plank. That soul destroying feeling that hits you when after suffering 5 minutes of a triangle pose you here the words ‘and now for the left side’.

So yes I really do miss the good old days of just running.

Muddy puddles

This will be where I go for my one permitted trip out of the house. The farmers field at the back of the garden. One bit of outside exercise is now permitted by the Government. So that’s taking the dog for his morning constitutional. A few laps round the deserted field.

But look at those puddles. How tempting are they. So want to channel my inner Peppa Pig and jump in those muddy puddles. But I don’t want to get the dog drenched and caked in mud. So maybe I could go back home, drop him off and then come back.

But surely that would count as a second exercise trip out. Breaking the rules.

I bet those sheep would dob me in as payback for feeding them cheap biscuits.