Progress continues

Back to back to back gym days and it’s only Tuesday. [crowd gasps]
I’m getting the car serviced tomorrow, so I won’t make it four in a row, but hey, the thought was there. I’ll come home and walk the dog instead. Something a bit more gentle with a side-order of snorfing.

Finally, the excesses of the festive season are falling away, and my knee is beginning to recover from the (still bewilderingly) rock hard sand on Struisbaai beach. I’m starting to put a bit of stress and strain on it – a short run here or a quick row there – and I can still walk.

So that’s good.

That said, I’m still giving myself another few weeks before I even consider approaching the health insurance fitness assessment. Let’s at least give me a chance of passing the test and being allowed to live for another year.

Onward and upward.

Minor loadshedding cost thoughts

Thursday: I went to the gym this morning. Yes, the hard work goes on.

And it was harder work than usual this morning because there was no electricity at the gym. Not directly because of loadshedding, but because of a substation fault, caused by the overnight loadshedding (according to the frustrated electrician I spoke to). Gym was emptier than usual, because a lot of the machines weren’t working, preventing people from working out. In addition, the aircon wasn’t working and it was HOT and humid.

I did what I could on the weights and the freerunning treadmill, but the temperature and yesterday’s blood doning left me a little short of energy.

And then when I left, I couldn’t validate my parking ticket to get my free parking. Understanding this, the car parking people had left the booms open – free parking all round this morning then. And that got me thinking: just how much is this loadshedding costing the economy?

A few thousand for the parking company this morning, maybe?  And even if they get the fault fixed by lunchtime, there’s another 2½ hours of genuine loadshedding this afternoon.

The Kauai outlet in the gym wasn’t able to operate: no fridges, no tillpoints, no smoothie makers, no hot water for coffees. Another few thousand there, maybe?
Pick and Pay was still operating downstairs, their generator churning out noise and fumes, but the other shops weren’t able to open.

And this is just one building, just one morning.

So yes, without electricity, daily life goes on in some limited form or other, but it’s irritating, costly and difficult. And we’re set for at least another 18 months of this nonsense.

Back to business

(Just as long as that business doesn’t require a reliable electricity supply.)

Part 1.
The first pub quiz in ages last night. And we won. Some things never change. Our team name did – we went with “Chinese Cabbage” for obvious reasons. It stood us in good stead, with a comprehensive victory assured well ahead of the final round. Well played, team.

Part 2.
I managed to get back (no pun intended) to gym today for the first time in about a month. Time will tell whether this was a good decision, my back being at that difficult “probably ok, unless you manage to do something really innocuous to damage it again” stage.

Notes from my really gentle session:
– Gym is quiet, but can you imagine what it’ll be like in a month’s time?
– That wasn’t as easy as I remember. It’s amazing how quickly your fitness drops off when you have been injured.
– I’m (briefly, at least) re-motivated to get back to full fitness as soon as possible, but…
– Tomorrow may well bring a world of pain.

Part 3.
I’ve secured a bit more advertising stuff for the blog. You’ll likely see a post or two in the next week or so that simply doesn’t make sense in the context of this otherwise wonderfully-written site. They’ll probably be about casinos and sports betting. I’m not supposed to say that they are paid content, but they are paid content – clearly identifiable by the “Black Label Fund” category I have applied to them. However, this time around, it’s more likely that any monies earned will go towards a Christmas bone-us for the beagle than any beer. (See what I did there?)
Thank you for your understanding.


Same Sh*t, Different Saturday.

Stayed up too late watching footy. Maybe a brandy. Maybe two.

Wake late after remarkable dreams of Winston Churchill doing a speech before we all had to hide from an impending air raid. I have no idea either. Wander downstairs. Coffee. Check in with the neighbourhood whatsapp group on the break-ins last night. Four. Great. Breakfast. Paint the laundry. As you do. Just the bit behind the beer fridge and the washing machine. No-one sees it anyway. Revise maths and history with the boy. uMkhonto weSizwe. Lilliesleaf. The Rivonia Trial. Pythagoras. And the train that leaves Edinburgh for London at a certain time and a certain speed. You know the rest. No replacement bus service. Remarkable. Get stung by a bee. Bastard. Gym. Because when your 13 year old wants to do something not involving a screen, you jump at the opportunity. Miles and miles on the static bike. Not quite Edinburgh to London, but still. Heart rate up to 183. Another hour of lifting, stretching, sprinting, sweating, dying. Home now and legs a bit hurty if I’m completely honest. I’m usually always completely honest. Considering motivating for UberEats tonight. We deserve it.

Might stay up too late watching footy. Maybe a brandy. Maybe two.

Gym idea

I am known for my great ideas. You only have to look here to see one of my great ideas, which has now been taken up by real people and was mentioned on a famous podcast by media mogul Kathan Pillay.

That one took 2½ years to catch on.

So Virgin Active probably need to get in touch pronto because I’ve had another great idea after my experience at their Claremont branch this morning.

And the great idea is this: chairs.

See, when I got to the weights machine section at gym this morning, there were a few stations taken, and a few free. Nothing unusual there, and also nothing unusual in one of the stations (it was the Vertical Traction one, for the record) being occupied by a middle-aged lady who was talking to her middle-aged friend. No big deal, conversations happen, but then this particular discussion just seemed to go on and on.

And on.

In fact, by the time I worked out (no pun intended) that it was dragging on a bit, I began to wonder if it was ever going to end. I began to watch while I worked.

Long story short, I had managed over 270 (two hundred and seventy) reps on various machines in the 20-odd minutes it took them to finish their chat. I say various machines, but obviously, I couldn’t use the one that Little Miss Chatalot was on, could I?

They did no reps at all, but you should have seen the form on their TMJ muscles. Incredible.

And then to add insult to injury*, once she’d chatted for flipping ages, she did 5 quick pulls (careful now – this isn’t Stellenbosch) and then headed off, finally leaving the station open for me and everyone else who had paid to use it for… like… “gym stuff”.

So how would my chair idea work then?

Well, if a couple of Newlands housewives (in this case, or actually anyone else who just wanted to talk and not do exercise) needed to chat, they could just sit on some chairs next to the machines and talk there. I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations and that would – I think – free up the gym equipment for people to use… as gym equipment.

It’s fairly radical, I know. But then so was the iceberg idea, and everyone thinks that’s great now.

Hey Virgin Active, my email address is here. Let’s see how this near outlandish, but ultimately rewarding, chair idea can be implemented soonest, shall we?


* there were no actual insults or injuries, although I was quite tempted.