Day 4 – Friday

This is a lesson in the importance of writing things down on the day and not leaving it for a few days. One forgets things.

I went for a 27.3km bike ride – it took 1 hour and 41 minutes. It was cold. I thought it would warm up but it didn’t so my legs were pretty uncomfortable for a lot of the time. Also, I was slow because I haven’t been on many bike rides lately.

I had a banana smoothie for breakfast. Moroccan street food for lunch with a friend. A piece of delicious homemade ginger cake for afternoon tea. And tofu and vegetable stir fry for dinner. Probably also a few handfuls of M&Ms.

The story of the apricots

In our front garden, we have five or six fruit trees and numerous other food plants. I planted out the front garden like this because I wanted to preserve space in the back garden for vegetables.

Last year our apricot tree, which is closest to the footpath, was covered in fruit. While in the garden picking fruit, or tending to the trees, I had many lovely conversations with people from our neighbourhood. People commented positively on the garden, and were impressed with the number of apricots on the tree, little kids asked their parents about them as they walked by. On one occasion, an old man who I’ve seen walking in our neighbourhood over many years, but have never spoke to, said that he had been admiring my garden for many years and congratulated me on its progress.

20140114_121114That season we picked at least four big buckets full of apricots and ate heaps straight from the tree. My daughter made dried apricots during a four day heat wave using a re-purposed insect house – this possibly being the *only* good thing to come from four days straight above 40 degrees Celsius.

We put a little basket of apricots out by the footpath in the afternoon so that people walking home from the train station could have a sweet apricot to eat.

My eight year old son and I made a stack of apricot jam. He cut all the apricots, added the ingredients to the pot and stirred it all until it got too hot to be safe for him. We made ten jars and gave a few away. It was super fun process and the jam is delicious.

20140114_080103We had more apricots than we knew what I do with, so I made apricot nectar, which if I remember correctly, was just apricots and a little sugar heated gently and then blended. I froze most of it in ice-cube trays to put in my proteins shake/smoothies.

And that is the story of the apricots.

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Day 0

I have decided to record my adventures in health and fitness. I imagine that the details are not going to be incredibly exciting so I intend to find a way to not swamp my blog with these journal entries. The journalling process will be useful for me and might even end up being useful for others, who knows.

I’ve tried all manner of approaches to monitoring my training and diet and I’ve had varying success. This, I suppose, is going to be the most public and most freestyle of all of them.

It’s pretty much the beginning of winter in Melbourne and I plan to increase my fitness, rather than decrease it, over the cold, dark days to come. The plan is to do something different everyday and with my current interests in hiking, yoga, lifting weights, cycling and gymnastics, that shouldn’t be too hard. Throw in my old habits of swimming, running, boxing and taking long evening walks, I should be fine.

Aside from a long-term commitment to maintaining my health and fitness, I have a couple of big-ish short-term goals. The first is to complete my third Tough Mudder in October – that should be pretty easy. And the second is to be able to do a handstand by my 40th birthday, which is in seven months – that should be a bit harder. I have countless other little goals including being able to do the wheel pose, being able to run (at least) 5km straight again, learning some awesome tricks on the silks, becoming a faster cyclist and being able to keep up with the best of them at both biking and hiking.

Here’s the bit that is my first journal entry. The rest are going to look roughly the same.

Today I didn’t eat particularly well. In fact, since I was at home marking, a task often associated with eating poorly, I ate fruit toast for breakfast, a ham and salad sandwich for lunch, apple pie and ice-cream for afternoon tea and a few handfuls of M&Ms throughout the day. Definitely not my usual diet.

Tonight, for the first time in ages, I went for a “run”. My Garmin watch messed up a bit. I walked/jogged about 5km in 40 minutes. My heart rate got up to the 178-182 range on a few occasions – I typically have to stop running when it gets to about 180. I shall work on getting Strava details embedded in my posts.