Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Five Months Down Four to Go

Having reached what Clodagh referred to as the boring part of my recovery I almost missed the five month anniversary of the operation.

That's today.

I went to the gym and cycled for 30 minutes. The machine said I had traveled 16.1kms. I was pretty pooped. I think if it was a real bike I would have been traveling about half the speed of the cyclists in a time trial on the current Tour de France.

But I'm not competing with them, I'm competing with myself, and I won't lose to myself. Over time I am slowly increasing the speed, and the length of time that I do all of the exercises. I'm mixing it up with the main things being a 30 minute jog (5.16kms), a 10 minute sprint (2.1kms), the long cycle, and a ten minute short cycle (5.4kms). I'm keeping a strict record so that I have a target every time I go.

The cycling is tiring but not a killer. The running though is really tough. I've never liked running and I have to trick myself into doing the whole workout. On the 30 minute run I just take in 3 minute chunks. As I approach 15 minutes and feel like I can't go on, I tell myself I'll stop at 20. At 20 I make myself do another minute with the promise of stopping. Slowly but surely I force myself to do the whole thing.

On all the machines there is a note: If you feel faint, pain, dizziness or short of breath at any time while using this machine stop immediately and visit your physician.

It's an American machine of course, and I don't know any physicians. If I stopped running in any of those circumstances I'd never get past two minutes. All of those things seem to be intrinsic to exercise. I had to give myself the smile test last week when I got home to make sure I hadn't had a stroke.

As I was walking home the other day I saw someone posting taxi cards through doors. I noticed he'd put some into a house with a big and clear sign saying 'No Junk Mail'.

"Hi. Why did you post the card there, where it says no junk mail?"

He looked at me, then at his cards, then at the door. When he spoke I realised he was Eastern European.

"What is yunk mail? This not yunk mail. This my cousin's business, good business. He pay me well. Not yunk."

"I'm sorry, you misunderstand me. (I tried to think of a clear explanation, I failed) Junk mail is defined as post that is not addressed to the household. It's unsolicited."

He stared at me blankly.

"It's mail that the person in the house doesn't want."

"How you know they don't want it?"

"Because they have the sign."

"But they all need taxis."

"They may need taxis occasionally but they don't need you posting your card through their door every day. If they need a taxi I am sure they already have a favourite taxi firm they use."

"How do you know?"

"Because they have the sign on their door saying 'no junk mail'. In simple terms if it doesn't have their name on the envelope they don't want it."

"There is no envelope."

I walked on as he continued posting in every house.

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