Sunday, 27 November 2011

If I only could, I'd be running up that hill...

It's been a while since I last blogged and life has a habit of running away with you when you own a shop. Barely enough hours in the day to fit everything in let alone exercise, so a short walk in the day and a 3.5 mile walk in the evening with the pooch is as good as it gets.  That's enough to help keep Roxy's weight in check but sadly I have grown a bit of a muffin top, which would be fine if it was of the edible kind but a small lip above my waistline is in danger of completely hiding my belt and I'm a few pies/cakes/chocolates away from never seeing my feet again. So what to do? I'm hopeless at dieting, I love food too much to give it up. My other form of exercise, the mountain bike, has been cleaned and covered up ready for the day I can pluck up the courage to sell it, a new boiler purchase has somewhat thwarted my plans to get myself a new steed and the old ally mule has to go. Sob, Sniff.  Feeling inspired by all my friends who, over the past year, have taken it upon themselves to cycle, swim, run, dance, gym and take up martial arts, I decided to have a go at something that requires very little investment, running :-O

One night whilst out walking with Roxy, I had this sudden burst of energy and started running. I'm not sure whether it was the curry I had just eaten or the 'inner' Steve Cram inside me that had given me the fuel/encouragement to break out into a canter but there I was, running! It was like that scene from Forrest Gump sort of. I ran and ran and ran until I could no longer breathe and felt like I was going to see my curry again. Looking back at the lamppost I had used as a starting point just to see how far I had run, I was slightly disappointed at the distance I had covered.... I was so close to my starting point that I could actually lean against it whilst catching my breath :-/ Hmmmmmm  So feeling more like Steve 'Crap' than Steve Cram at the moment, I decided to walk until my heart beat had slowed down its 'Techno Rave' rhythm to a more sensible beat. In total I managed to walk/run/walk a total of 2.5 miles that night and had planned to do more of the same the following night but my ankles and shins had other ideas.

Waking up the next day with Lungs that had less air in them than a bag of Walkers Crisps, ankles that had been massaged by 'Miserys' Annie Wilkes' sledgehammer and shins that felt like they had more cracks that even Gavin from Autoglass couldn't cope with. Oh my goodness, how sore did I feel.  I decided to leave any form of running for a few days until my body had recovered from it's state of shock and just stick to walking with Roxy.

Last night I managed to get out for another trial and actually managed to run for longer between my walk/rests. I've noticed that my route is a slight incline before I hit the dreaded Arterberry Road Hill which feels like the equivalent of Mt Snowdon (on a smaller scale) to someone as unfit as myself. And I have also noticed just how bad my lung capacity is. I've never smoked, urrggghhh filthy habit, but have lived/worked with heavy smokers and previous occupations have seen me working in dusty environments and my years as a paint sprayer with nothing more than a mask that was the equivalent to just holding my hand over my mouth for protection could have something to do with my pensioners lungs. Excuses aside, I reckon my poor fitness is due to the complete lack of interest in physical exercise.... unless it's a cycle ride with a rucksack crammed full of 'goodies' or a gym with a well stocked vending machine/cafe.

I will continue with my slow progression and will post some updates, but for now I'll finish this blog with a few stats for you to have a giggle at and 1 goal.

Age 39
Height 6ft
Weight 16st 6lb.... Roughly 105kg
Waist 38" (roughly)
Distance run until failure About 300 metres :-D

Goal Is to run 1 complete mile without stopping for a burger. Its not a massive distance but I'm aiming low with something realistic to start with.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

"Dizzy! I'm so Dizzy my head is spinning"

 Well, since my last blog, we have celebrated the 2 year anniversary of being a happily married couple. Both enjoying married life and all that being in love brings, as well as that comfortable feeling that we can break wind in each others company without feeling embarrassed or blaming the dog etc.

During the actual day of our anniversary, a day of romance and reminiscing, we had to visit a supplier and afterwards we decided to have a sneaky afternoon off work and headed to Windsor for a wander around the Queens pad and a walk around Eton. We took a ride along the Thames in one of the funniest, for the wrong reasons, 'scenic' boat tours and with both of us feeling like naughty school kids bunking off school, we had a lovely day away from London.

Windsors Royal Holiday Inn
Packed Tour Boat

Swans on the Thames

With my renewed sense of enthusiasm for getting fit and losing a few pounds, i was quite keen to continue fixing the bike and start hitting the trails again. However, I have learned that whilst the mind is willing, the body has other ideas. Waking up one morning feeling quite 'eager' to get on with the day ahead, I opened my eyes to see the room spinning slowly and a sudden wave of nausea causing me to spend the next hour shouting down the toilet. I couldn't stand up properly or walk straight. A concerned wifey called the doctors and after an escorted walk (shuffle) to the doctors surgery and a 3 hr wait! I was checked over and told to return the next day. I had completely lost my balance and felt drunk, severely drunk but with out the fun part of drinking alcohol. So after another appointment the next day,  i was finally diagnosed with labyrinthitis, an inner ear infection that cause violent episodes of imbalance and dizzyness. Pooh!  So i have spent the past week walking around like the neighbourhood drunk and having to have my poor, long suffering wife escort me around. "Thank you honey! xx"
 I have managed to sort the bike, a bit slower due to the dizzy spells, but none the less it is now ready for action. Holly decided to take it out for a spin and after a few miles and a safe return with no dramas, the bike passed with flying colours and is now ready for me to recover and take it out for a blast.

New rubber. A nice set of Maxxis folding tyres.
New tyre on the right.
Off with the old

On with the new


Also It's that time of the year where I sit in the comfort of my sofa and watch in awe at the runners in this years London Marathon. During the 2hrs + that the worlds elite will have taken to complete the course I have managed to eat 2 slices of toast, 2 poached eggs, 2 chocolate marshmallow eggs and write this blog. Proof that even watching someone else push themselves to the limits can make me feel hungry. A massive congratulations to all the participants of this years London Marathon, it's a life changing event for both the runners and the recipients of the money raised. Amazing!

So the quest for me to gain some kind of fitness and to lose this spare tyre that I'm carrying around my waist has taken on a new sense of urgency. If 30,000 people from all walks of life and various levels of fitness can put themselves through a punishing 26.6 miles, then I can surely get off by backside and do a bit of exercise.

And with my dizzyness finally sorting itself out I have just one more hurdle to conquer...... the free cakes that we get at the shop. Oh my!!!!!!

Have a great week and enjoy the sun xxxx

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Punctured Bicycle on a hillside desolate... Will nature make a man of me yet???

Ok, well it's been a while since my last blog and it's been a time of expansions. Nicholas & Steele have expanded into the vintage wedding hire sector, successfully too, and my stomach has increased to the size of a super moon! I even have my own gravity, anything that remotely looks like a cream cake, biscuit or a tender steak seems to be pulled towards my mouth at a speed that Galileo or Sir Isaac Newton couldn't even calculate.
I promised on my last blog that I would have at least gone for one cycle ride before the christmas food fest happened but sadly, I failed. The bike never made it past the 'open shed door, look at bike, pity it's condition, close shed door' stage.... until just recently!!!
My lovely wife was gifted a bike from one of our customers who adopted us as her UK son and daughter. Sweet. So after a short spin around the block which saw us attempting to set off the digital road sign around the corner, 20 mph on a dutch style ladies bike is an amazing feat (if not slightly amusing to anyone who watched the 6ft man cycling at full pelt on a very small ladies bike) I came back feeling i should give my old girl a bit of attention and get her out of the shed... at this point i should say i'm talking about my bike and not my wife.
So, with a renewed sense of purpose, I pulled the bike from the shed and promptly banged my head on the roof.



After a lot of swearing, I wheeled the bike slowly from the shed and couldn't help feel slightly guilty at neglecting my trusty partner for so long. It was actually 2 years since I last swung my leg over the razor thin saddle and wobbled off into the distance. On closer inspection I now realised that there was no chance of a quick blast as it was in much worse a state then i had hoped. The tyres were not only flat but had actually perished in places, and the inner tubes were about as much use as an inflatable dart board. The chain and all the little nuts n bolts had signs of rust.

I returned to the shed to fetch my foot pump and once again banged my head, so hard that it made me feel sick and dizzy. It was after much swearing and jigging around that i could see the funny side of my mishap and carry on with the assessment. Needless to say that the bike is going to need a bit of tlc before I can take it out. I'm really itching to get out and about but for now I shall have to cut back on the food and use the money saved to buy the parts i need.

Oh and one more thing before i go, on clearing away my tools I banged my head again. This time much worse than the others that i had to sit down for a bit.  3 times on the same spot in one hour, that has to be a record. I think I should add a crash helmet to my list of bike parts.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Truffle Shuffle (non Goonie fans look it up on YouTube)

On one of my many late nights working in the studio, there I was, freezing my tits off and totally forgetting that I had a heater, a working heater,  one that worked so well that if I had bothered to turn it on it would instantly save my man boobs from turning blue, when a thought crossed my mind (this happens quite often)..... I'm 38 years old and what happened to my childhood dream of becoming the Pilot of the Millenium Falcon and fighting Darth Vader?  As I was painting another piece of unloved furniture, and annoying the neighbours with my loud music,  I realised that I have become the 'up-cycling' equivalent of the Oliver Twist character 'Fagin'.  I find these scruffy waifes and strays (that's furniture, not children.... I'm not quite in the Paul Gadd league) take them back to my lair, clean them up and then make them work for me (sell them on for a profit).

It is quite satisfying when I get to see the joy on the new owners face as they hurry off out of the shop with their new purchase and as I stand on the drive waving goodbye, my eyes narrow, the pleasant smile on my face turns to a menacing grin and I rub my hands together at the thought of the hunt for my next victim.... again, I'm talking about the furniture.

But enough shop talk. Monday was our first proper day off for a while and we spent the morning delivering our new shop postcards. During my brisk walk around the neighbourhood I had an urge to get my mountain bike out and go for a ride, but as quickly as the enthusiasm came it soon disappeared when the thought of watching movies all afternoon, eating junk and lounging on the sofa had teased the energetic side of my brain into submission.

My poor mountain bike has spent this past year as a lovely tool prop in my shed. Instead of helping me get fit and lose a 'few' pounds It has also become a spiders playground, much to the disgust of all the sheds insects trapped in the silky webs.  The tyres are flatter than my jokes... If only my stomach was as flat as my bike tyres. Sigh.

A conversation with an old friend of mine reminded me of when as a youth (weighing 8 stone in wet clothes) I would consume 4 protein shakes a day and exercise with weights to 'put on' weight. Ha Ha Ha how times (or metabolisms change) now I'm older.  At nearly 16 stone (naked) I only have to look at food and my stomach sticks out instantly, just like Pinocchio's nose when he tells a lie. I often wake up in the morning to find my dog has climbed on to the bed and has fallen asleep with her head on my 'pillow' like belly.

So, I am making it my mission to try and get out on the bike at least once before christmas. There, I have typed it out for you all to be witness to that statement. I have to try and get fit, puffing and wheezing like a chain smoker whilst tying my shoe laces is not a good sign. My weakness is food and my lack of willpower is pathetic. The wife has suggested a diet, it was a good suggestion and I replied, with a mouthful of ice cream that i was eating at the time,  that "I shall do it".... although I followed that with a whispered "one day".

Since I have typed this short blog I have consumed two biscuits and half a bag, a large bag, of Flings (like cheese wotsits) and this is before I go pick wifey up from art class and come home to cook dinner. So you see, I have a problem, a big problem.... food!

Maybe I should have solid tyres fitted to my bike... At least they won't go pop when I sit on it next.

TTFN my lovely friends xx