I participated in lots of sports as a child during my school years, including cricket, tennis, baseball, chess, hockey, cycling, karate, and badminton, and it is one of my biggest secret hopes that both my girls get involved in, and more importantly, enjoy playing sport too.
Taking part in sport is of course fantastic when it comes to the obvious health benefits, but it is the other hidden side of playing team sports which is just as important – things like learning to work with and rely on others, the sense of satisfaction that teamwork can bring, the friendships that naturally arise, etc.
TED-Ed recently published a short lesson on this very topic by Leah Lagos and Jaspal Ricky Singh, with a slick video animated by Kozmonot Animation Studio and narrated by Susan Zimmerman.
(Playing a team sport is by far one of the biggest things that I miss in my current stage of life, just by the way!)
Last Wednesday saw me make my return to Funakoshi karate, for my first training session of 2012, after having enjoyed a nice month and bit holiday break from all the punching, kicking and shifting around. The break had been good, but I could feel it was definitely time to come back and get my knuckles dirty.
Unfortunately for me though, I couldn’t have picked a worse night to start up again.
With the Western Cape trapped in the burning clutches of an extreme heat wave the past week, the little dojo was like a mini furnace, and even the slightest of exertion earned you a soggy, clinging dogi as you battled to keep the sweat out of your eyes and hopefully off of the floor.
It was pretty damaging and exhausting, and it has to be said, the karate on the night wasn’t exactly pretty. Still, at least I went, so that has to count for something! :P
Mind you, it’s not like I went back completely unprepared. As a lead up, I have been doing my early morning jog/walks for the last while, and thanks to my newly discovered SmartTraining pedometer app on my Samsung Galaxy Ace smartphone, these sessions have turned into a daily mission of trying to beat the record of the day before!
An added bonus is the addition of Chantelle and Jessica on some of these morning excursions, with Chantelle finally seeing the light of my madness and venturing out into the early morning sunlight, despite the fact that she’s not exactly the world’s best morning person! (Can you say Grumpysaurus? :P)
Jessica on the other hand sits quite happy and entertained in her pram, legs kicking out with each and every step, so no problem on that front thank goodness!
Then of course there are my renewed lunch time elliptical trainer sessions at the gym on the days that I’m in at the Westlake office, but of course that is now only three times a week, so I’m cheating myself out of two days’ worth of exercise sessions!
And to be honest I need every session I can get if I want to make good on this year’s resolution to try and fight back against my now rather weighty problem…
Right, time to get back into the faithful old training regime, now that Spring seems to be finally creeping up on us, and all the Winter chest pains, bugs and coughs appear to have finally deserted me.
The karateka have returned from the very successful gushku in Germany, meaning that karate training is now back on track for every Monday and Wednesday evening (though attendance from my part is always a 50/50 – if Chantelle is working a late then I’m needed for Daddy duty, no argument there!).
I’ve started my weekly early morning jogs/walks again, now that it isn’t so cold any more, and for a change I can actually convince my body to get out of bed at 05:20! (On that topic, I rather impressed myself, having been able to pick up right where I left off on my first outing, resulting in a pretty chuffed Craig on his sweaty return.)
Lunch time gym activity is also back on track, now with every 20 minute elliptical trainer session being complemented by a quick huff with some fixed weights before I have to hit the showers and make it back to the office for more quality time behind the keyboard.
Lastly, the better weather does of course signal an increase in weekend pram strolls with Jessica, and now that she is a little older I can venture much further from home – she seems to enjoy them as she sleeps for the most part, while I basically get a whole lot of extra training while taking in some pretty scenic views, which seems like a good deal to me! :)
All this said though, the last Spring/Summer/Autumn training regime resulted in exactly no change in my waistline (though my fitness level definitely increased) which was of course pretty disheartening. This time around though, I do have more hope for this run, now that Chantelle and I have agreed upon and implemented a good eating plan that seeks to team up the right food types with stricter portion control. So far it has worked pretty well for Chantelle who has started dropping some kilos, so hopefully it will do something for me, especially in combination with my training regime.
Oh well, I’ll let you know come January I suppose! ;)
It would seem that the treadmills at Steenberg Virgin Active have suddenly all decided to rebel against me.
So picture this. It’s lunch hour and I find myself happily kitted out in gym and ready to put in a quick 20 minute run before I return to my ball and chain back at the office.
The first treadmill I step on has much promise, overlooking the swimming pool, a working television monitor, looks pretty clean – only one problem though – it looks like the software has jammed up because this damn thing simply won’t start up!
No worries though, this is a whole bank of treadmills, none of which are currently in use. So I’ll simply shift over to the next one, and punch in the exercise plan and hey, I’m off.
However, only five minutes into my run and all of a sudden the unit loses power and decelerates to a stop, leaving a rather sweaty and bemused Craig standing at a complete and utter loss for words.
Bugger. Two treadmills in one session?
Oh well, on to the next one then I suppose. This one started out a lot better and soon I was happily huffing and puffing away, plodding along at a fair speed and enjoying the exertion while watching some TV on the monitor, when all of a sudden, without warning, the machine stopped dead in its tracks, screaming a message about the track being blocked and catapulting a rather surprised Craig violently forwards.
Now of course, with my body weight being what it is, it takes a little longer for my upper body to stop going forward after my legs have already been planted (damn you inertia!), and so there was no real alternative other than to crash heavily into the front of the treadmill.
Needless to say, it really isn’t a surprise that I now pick the exercise bikes until I reckon it’s safe to approach those nasty treadmills again! :P
Well, the new year is now upon us and like most, I’m sure you already have that scrap of paper with all your new year resolutions tucked neatly under the phonebook, just in case you accidentally lay eyes on it again come the end of the year.
Now as I mentioned previously, I had surprised Chantelle by purchasing an elliptical trainer (or Orbitek as you might know it as from all those darn TV commercials they used to run a while back) for Christmas, and can now proudly say that as a man, it is currently standing fully assembled in the main living area, neatly tucked away in our newly created little fitness corner, complete with sagging exercise ball.
Actually, on that point, the thing turned out to be a bitch to assemble, thanks to the guys over at Trojan royally screwing up the package by forgetting to add one crucial metal washer to our kit – something that forced me out of my comfy home and all the way through to the mall in search of a hardware shop open on the day after Christmas. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed – and our Trojan now sports a rather large, over-sized and out of place washer on its rear arm mechanism.
Anyway, outside of that slight mishap, I must say I’m quite pleased with Trojan’s Ellipti-Pro 300 elliptical trainer. The thing is nice and sturdily built, capable of handling a max weight of 120 kg, comes across as a visually attractive (if a little on the large side) package, and features a nifty little electronic board that provides you with all the functionality you would expect from big brother over at the gym – sans built in TV screen of course!
The idea is to provide Chantelle with a nice platform to use on those days that she works too late to maker her gym classes or perhaps something to get her up and going as she takes in the latest 7de Laan broadcast in the evening or on a Sunday in its horrible omnibus format – a good plan if I say so myself as you’ll notice how cleverly placed the machine is in order to provide a great view of the TV as one happily chugs along to EARN that all important pizza takeaway meal you were hungering for as you drove past Scooters next to Pick ‘n Pay earlier in the day.
Needless to say, I too plan on making use of Chantelle’s shiny new toy when she isn’t looking, which kind of makes this fall slap bang onto my New Year’s resolution list then I suppose! :P
Just in case you were wondering whether Wink the Bear went for liposuction of not – after this he may still have to…
Hmm, the last couple of years I’ve been taking it easier and eating more than I used to, meaning that inevitably my waistline is beginning to expand. This never used to be a problem until I started noticing it while walking past mirrors etc.
I still exercise a fair bit, basically 5 or 6 days a week, so the problem isn’t there. Rather it is the complete and utter lack of self control when it comes to food, especially muffins, doughnuts and ice-cream. Seeing that I don’t feel like giving those slices of heaven up just yet, I think I’ll need to approach this problem from a more archaic, sadistic point of view – stomach exercises.
Crunches and sit-ups will now become my friend. Well at least for a week (hopefully more).
Actually, I’ve made this resolve a lot the lost couple of years. So far no luck – Its like an oil-covered snail – not sticky.