First of all an apology. I entitled yesterday's blog 'Time for Action - Day 2 Part 1', which not unnaturally gave the impression that there would be a Part 2 to follow. To be honest I got to 10 o'clock last night, realised that I hadn't written Part 2 and equally realised that the only thing that I could have added was;
'Day 2 - Cigarettes or other nicotine intake - zero.'
That was it. I am actually being rather blase about the fact that I am now some 64 hours or so without a cigarette. It has been pretty easy so far, so I suppose in Allen Carr-esque fashion, I should just rejoice and get on with life, which is what I am doing quite nicely, thank you - it's just that there's the nagging knowledge that at some stage I will get a serious craving. I suppose that I will just have to deal with it when it comes and the longer I go, the more the physical addiction is being broken. For me, usually though it's the psychological dependence that is harder to deal with - you know the;
'Go on, reward yourself. You're getting so fit and you've done so well, you can allow yourself just one teeny weeny ciggie' syndrome.
Anyway - it isn't here yet and may not come and if it does I'll deal with it - right? One day at a time.
I do believe that you are all helping me too. I have had some messages of support and it's great that people have taken the time to send messages - it's really appreciated. I do know that the blog is being read by a fair number of people (I am humbled) and that fact is an added spur - I suppose it is pure pride. I don't want to come on here and say that I have failed by lighting up. So thank you.
I got up in exercise mode again this morning about 7.30am. Thought about a run outside, but there were some really heavy showers about and just didn't fancy running in heavy rain. Sorry - wimpish I know but indulge me please - this is Day 3.
So I decided to head off for the gym in Bishops Stortford. I rejoined Nuffield Health in March/April this year. I did the usual - went for about a week and then have hardly been since. How much money do we waste on gyms - not on the gyms themselves but on memberships that we simply do not use? Never mind - I am going to get my full use now folks!
I decided to plump for a running machine right at the back in the corner. I'm not keen having people either side of me when on a treadmill - nothing to do with being anti social or anything like that. I get easily distracted and having someone on one side running at one pace, someone on the other side at another pace and then me in the middle at a different pace altogether - you get my drift? So at least by being in the corner, I could only possibly have one person next to me, and as the gym was quite quiet I guessed the odds of that happening were fairly slim, anyway.
After warming up, I quickly got up to a pace of 8 minutes per mile, which I felt comfortable with. The problem I find with treadmills is the boredom factor. I cannot run with ear phones in. I just don't feel comfortable, so I do without music. However I can focus myself on the bank of TV's on the wall ahead. I'm not really bothered what is on any of the TV's - it's just a case of focusing ahead and getting in a rhythm and I find the time passes reasonably well, without too many looks down to see how long I've been running (at iT's worst that syndrome can be horrendous - looking down every 10 seconds - not conducive at all to having a successful session!)
All was going well, when about fifteen minutes in, someone came onto the running machine to my right. Fair enough, I thought, they are entitled to. I noticed a swagger out of the corner of my eye from my new neighbour as he strutted onto the machine and I didn't think that augured too well. I also noticed that he was a little chubby (fair enough, right place to be to lose a bit), that he had a baseball cap on back to front and was wearing very large headphones. He also had one of those little, pointless, goatee beards. He wasn't a kid - in his thirties maybe? (I know what you are thinking - I am being judgmental already - too right I am!)
'Goatee' threw his towel on the machine, did some stretches and then started to jog very gently. I thought it was still part of his warm up but several minutes later he was going at the same speed. The next thing - he starts to bloody well whistle! I could feel the anger welling up inside. I assume he was whistling along with whatever he could hear through the dustbin lids that were clamped round his head - however without the benefit of sharing the ballad (which I had no desire to do anyway). it sounded like my cat after a heavy night on the tiles. Then a further thought occurred to me. A running machine is designed to give you a cardiovascular workout by running or walking. How the hell was this guy going to get any kind of benefit from using this piece of equipment costing say £2500 when he was expending so little energy that he could whistle whilst doing his 'exercise'? The real problem though was that he was annoying the hell out of me.
Without losing stride or concentration I turned my head to him and held the pose for just sufficient enough time for him to clock it. I was really hoping that he could translate the look, into words. The look was intended to convey;
'Shut the f**k up.'
I think he correctly translated the message because he stopped.
I refocused and was actually having a very good run. I did notice that he was one of those annoying guys that will suddenly put the speed on the machine up to a ridiculously fast speed for about 15 seconds, nearly fall off trying to keep up with it and then goes back to jogging along at a very sedentary pace until some minutes later he has another silly burst of speed, but mainly I got him out of my mind. I also guessed that five minutes was probably about maximum for his boredom threshold, but no, he kept going for about 15 minutes. Just before he got off though I think he decided to have one final burst of defiance - yes, he started whistling again. Before I could summon up another transcendental message for him, he was off - out of the gym altogether. Each to his own!
So despite all that, I managed a respectable 5 mile run in almost exactly 40 minutes, A 15 minute session in the weights section followed. I am not a 'weights' person. I never was and certainly now, never will be, a 'man mountain'. I do see the benefit of using fairly light weights on the various weight machines to keep toned and to build a little muscle. Someone once told me that once a person reaches 60 that they are not going to be able to build muscle, only keep toned what they have already. Therefore I do reckon that I had perhaps better make some use of the next six years in that quarter!
So - another decent bout of exercise and I am starting to feel good about it. The exercise combined with the smoking cessation is certainly building my self esteem. My appetite is good and last night I slept very well. My moods are good and all in all very pleased with the progress. I do have to be careful not to get carried away. I have an addictive personality and I can get addicted to exercise (witness the five marathons in a year referred to in my blog the other day!). I am aching a little too at this stage, a sign that I have perhaps expected too much too soon. I'll see how I feel tomorrow before deciding on what form tomorrow's exercise will take - don't want to pick up a niggle or get run down with a cold or some other ailment.
One day at a time!
Enjoy what remains of your weekend.