Summer sleep

Saturday arrives and the Yorkshire summer is still trying to hold on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic to feel warm but….. I don’t sleep well these days at the best of times. To have a chance I need to be snuggled under a warm duvet, not lying on top of the covers feeling uncomfortably warm. So the warmth has made sleep even less likely. I’m now getting use to operating through the day with two hours sleep at most. Weeks upon weeks on that. That’s not ideal, it’s not healthy but that’s how it is.

The brain so easily just boots up in auto pilot mode. The body is awake, the brain less so.

It’s Saturday, so I start the day with a yoga session. And thats what I remember doing. So why then after about 15 minutes do I suddenly realise yoga isn’t about throwing a kettlebell about. I can’t even remember taking the kettlebells outside with me. Maybe it was sleep kettlebelling….. Still could be worse. At least I was clothed. At least it was my garden I was in. At least I hadn’t just fallen asleep on the yoga mat.

The worry is that the home at school project restarts on Monday for another 7 week block. The return of the early morning alarms calls are not going to help the sleep.

But on the bright side I have not resorted to early hours QVC or pointless reality TV watching. I am using the extra hours awake to focus on what is truly important to me. That’s why I can still do this. That’s why I might be tired but I’m smiling this Saturday Summers day in Yorkshire.

Brought down to Earth.

How do you tell when you son has been watching too much The Simpsons. Maybe it was too much of the American version of The Office….

I thought I was at one with nature. Just completing a 50 minute yoga session out. I thought it going well. I felt a definite natural flow to my movements. Maybe just maybe I have finally found my inner Rhythm and goddess mode. Then I heard the icy tones of a teenage son and the moment was blown out of the water.

Dad there has never been a finer more awesome Dad squeezed into a pair of 56 inch pants…….”

Wow…..

Harsh but fair.

Thoughts and dreams

In years gone by if I needed to think. Be with my thoughts. I would go for a run. Maybe go climbing. Those things worked best for me. But then parenting and then single parenting curtailed the climbing option. It was then running. Fell running to collect and process my thoughts. Often I would start a run then become lost in my thoughts. Only the alarm on my watch would bring me back to reality. I would be miles into the hills and it would be a mad sprint to get back home for the return of the school bus.

Then the pandemic happened. We went into our family lockdown. So far 16 months of a lockdown. I lost running. But I didn’t lose my need to think. So I discovered the joys of leaning against our back garden fence. Thinking while looking over the fields and scanning the distant horizon from a little hill top home.

It worked.

So this morning I was leaning on the fence. Thinking. Looking at a distant beautiful tree. Dreaming.

But then I was joined. Someone decided to invade my space and block my view.

I’m can’t really see the tree now. I’m having to stroke and feed this one. I’m telling this cow my dreams. She seems udderly fascinated. Or maybe she’s herd then all before. Definitely deja moo

Reality

Where are the Yorkshire clouds?

That faint red sun pillar is a bit like an X marks the spot.

I had been thinking about mountains today. Thinking is bad for me really. I should leave that to others better qualified than me. I should stick to reading the instructions 😂😂😂. But I was thinking and it was me and TIME again. Years ago I set myself a goal of climbing or walking up every Scottish Munro (282), every Lakeland Fell (214), every Yorkshire large hill (38) and every Welsh mountain 3000ft mountain (15). For years I made decent progress. Maybe 20 to 30 a year. Then life happened. It’s been about 10 in the last decade and zero since 2015.

PANTS…..

So today I was trying to visualise restarting the project. Which mountains where nearest. How to pull off some summits. Much creative thinking was required. Just maybe the Yorkshire ones would be a start. Logistically difficult given life. Impossible currently but just maybe one day….

There is always HOPE. And getting back to that faint sun pillar and its significance. It marks the exact direction I need to head off in to turn that Hope into REALITY.

Hopes great but reality is better.

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.

Biathlon

I’ve always loved winter sports. Definitely my favourites are biathlon, ski jumping, skiing and ski cross. One of my dreams is to see it in person one day. Still waiting….. November to March is great as I get to binge watch it on TV. But when March comes it’s always quite sad as soon the season will be over. No winter sports for 7 months.

That thought has been praying on my mind. 7 months is a long time. What to do.

I’ve looked for some Winter Sports DVDs and Books but there isn’t much about. So I have a stock pile of 3 books and one dvd documentary. Plus one game on the Xbox. The probability of our family lockdown continuing through those 7 months is really high. With no trips out. No runs. Just feels like I need more this year to keep me going.

“Dad what are you doing?”

I’m trying to see if I can do GARDEN biathlon.

Really. It looks like you have gone mad…”

No there is method to my madness. I’ve dug out my two old walking poles. So to pretend I’m Nordic skiing I’m going to use the poles to walk round and round the garden. About 30 times round the garden is about 1km.

Ok how long is a biathlon thing then”

Going to start small first. The Spring is 10km with two shoots. So I would do 100 laps of the garden between shoots.

I think I can see what’s coming next but ok, why have you got my Nerf Gun.”

Well after 100 laps of the garden my pulse will be racing just like a Biathlete. So I will need to control my breathing and steady myself for the shoot. Ok I don’t have a rifle and five circular targets. So I’m putting some tins on the fence and I’m going to try and knock them over with your foam Nerf bullets. For every miss I will have to do a penalty loop or in my case 5 garden loops. The first shoot will be prone and the second will be standing.

OMG Dad. You have cracked.”

So from April one of my daily workouts every week will be my Biathlon competition.

“You have lost the plot”

Most probably Son, most most probably. But just be thankful I’m not trying to recreate Ski Jumping. 😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣

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.

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…

Baking hot

Don’t worry. No need for the panic room. It’s the other baking…..

Sometimes it’s hard to drag the body out of the warm bed and into the baking hot Yorkshire winter weather. I know what’s likely to greet me when I do finally get to the back room and my exercise bike.

It’s potentially colder in this room than it is outside. And it’s certainly cold outside.

That’s ice…..

I remember the days of jumping on the bike in pretty short shorts and a thin running top. At present it’s 97 layers, gloves and two wooly hats. I’ve got that many layers in that I have to peddle for at least a minute before my very outside legging layer starts to move.

Today the water and energy drinks have been replaced with hot chocolate and a hot water bottle.

So I was on my exercise bike and feeling like I was in an icy snow hole. What I couldn’t make me mind up about was….

Was the iced up windows annoyingly blocking the view of the outside world

OR

Was the iced up window forming a useful barrier, blocking out the reality of the outside world.

In the end I decided it was a bit of both.

Here’s hoping

I sneaked out for an early dog walk. That way Hawklad doesn’t go into Quarantine meltdown. For me and the dog. One thing about our son is that he is so predictable in a morning. After 3am that’s it he is asleep and doesn’t wake up until just before 8am. One of the advantages of the school at home project. This has been pushed from 7am. Much more natural for him, much less forced.

It does allow for a dog walk but sadly no run. Captain Chaos goes into bark mode when I try to sneak out without him. And it’s just a big fat NO to trying to run with Captain Chaos. He’s a dog that doesn’t believe in going in the same direction as the person with him.

But a dog walk is something. It’s a little win. We take any wins these days.

You might not be able to tell but it’s absolutely chucking it down with a howling Gale. But at least some of the mist has been temporarily blown away. Very squelchy under foot.

While someone had a little constitutional in the field I decided to play with the panoramic mode on my phone…..

This field is our sledging slope. Only ever seen us two use it really. Will it get used this year or next? Doesn’t feel like snow. But here hoping. That would be another little win.