D4D

I don't know anything about saints, but I have an uncanny instinct for sniffing out a son of a bitch.

Archive for the category “Weigh Less”

On Being A Cretin

With life taking several turns over the last year, I’d given up a bit on going to the gym.  OK, I’d given up on it a lot. So I’d put my membership on hiatus, paying a small maintenance fee rather than the full monthly amount. (Because while I’m definitely an idiot, as will be shown shortly, I’m not a complete idiot)   It meant I wouldn’t have to pay a re-joining fee etc., and could reactivate things really easily once I was back to being in the mood for it.

Last month, I decided I wanted to get back to going.  Again, a number of reasons, but mainly just realising I wanted to do more, as well as some preparation for my idiot event in September – of which more later.

So I went to the PureGym website, logged in, and reactivated my membership.  Oddly, I had to pay a joining fee again, but I thought I’d just not read the terms and conditions properly, and it’s not a huge amount, so there we go. The proper payment comes out of my bank about a week later, and all good. Job done, I’m going back to the gym from June 1st.

Come June 1st, I look at my bank account, and there’s that maintenance charge again.  Weird.  Maybe it’s connected to that billing cock-up where I paid a joining fee.

So I call PureGym, to try and find what’s going on.  They tell me that the Direct Debit reference I’ve given them isn’t connecting to any of their records, so they’ll need more information from the bank, to know where that DD started, where it’s going etc.   Annoying, but indicative that a significant cock-up has occurred.

I ring the bank, and speak to someone there.  Let’s cancel that under the DD guarantee, here’s the details, it’s a Direct Debit for The Gym…   And a light goes on in my head.   I’m a cretin.

For whatever reason, I’ve got “PureGym” in my head as the one I’m going to. (And it’s one I was a member of, in two different locations)  Only that’s not the one I’m using. I’m using “The Gym”, and that’s where the maintenance payment’s come from. So I’ve re-joined a gym I don’t want, and not restarted the membership of the gym I do want.   For fuck’s sake.

The lady at the bank (having laughed) reinstated the DD for the Gym, and re-paid the money to them that’d gone out that day.  Then I went back to PureGym, explained that I’m a complete idiot, what had happened, and asked if it was possible to get my money and joining fee back from them.  No problem if not, we’d class it as an idiot tax, but if possible it’d be great.

And they did. It’s not a standard thing, but I’d not used the gym, it was still on the first full day of “membership”, and – I suspect most importantly – I’d admitted it was entirely my fault, and that I’m a moron.  (It also made them laugh, which is fine)

All told, I got lucky in many ways.  I’m lucky that (in general) my bank are pretty good on this stuff. I’m lucky that both gyms in question are month-to-month ones rather than contracts. I’m lucky that the people in both cases were nice, and obviously far more used to people shouting and swearing, and making out it’s all Their fault.

I’ve not lost anything (except some self-respect) and it’s all worked out.   But man alive, do I feel like an absolute cretin.

Doing Less, Doing More

After this coming weekend, life calms down a bit once more. (I know, it’s a recurring theme)  From here, I’ve got fewer weekends with stuff already booked – at least until September, which is already idiotic. (Of which more later, or in a future post)

However, that doesn’t mean I’ll not be doing much.

Come the end of September, I’ll be walking a marathon distance, and I want to have an equivalent distance already under my belt by then, along with some other practice/training walks building up to it.  I did a half-marathon distance back in October, but then haven’t done anywhere near as much since, and I’m aware that I really should have done. Oops, as they say.

So in the run-up to the end of September, that’s (part of) what I’m going to be doing. Taking some time, some days out, doing a shitload of walking. It won’t all be London-based, although the majority will be.

I know I could easily just rock up on the day and complete the course – but I do want to at least appear to be taking it more seriously than that.

Changing Routines

Of late, I’ve noticed that I’d been getting a bit complacent about exercise, walking and the like.  I’ve still been doing it, and meeting my targets, but it had all got a bit easy, always making my target.

Since getting the Fitbit, my daily target has been 5,000 steps – about half of the recommended (but completely arbitrary) 10,000, but a daily target I could live with, and that was feasible with my work, commute etc.

Some days have been harder than others along the way, but I was always getting at least five out of seven where I’d reach my target, and some of those would absolutely beast the total, so I’d average around 60,000 steps a week.

This year, though, I’ve noticed that 5,000 step target has been easy – I haven’t missed a day this year so far.   I also ended up not doing as much – if I’d done that 5,000 by the end of the working day, I didn’t do much in the evening.

So last week, I upped the target, this time to 7,500.  It’s still doable, but does require me to do more. (Logically enough)

The only downside of this is that, because Fitbit have written abysmal code, the app can only handle one step target – so it’s updated all my targets since Day One to 7,500 – which means I’ve got a lot more missed days than I did have before I upped it.  In short, this is known as Bollocks.

But hey ho, it means I’m doing more and walking more, and that can’t be a bad thing.

What’s The Plan?

And here we are, at the start of 2017. Didn’t that come round quickly?

As with previous years, I don’t really make resolutions. It’s all pretty arbitrary, the whole resolutions thing, so I usually choose to make plans from one birthday to the next, rather than the whole “January 1st is for new starts” cobblers.

This year, I’ve got some plans for 2017 as a whole though – although they’re not much different to what I’d laid out back in November.  However, in my head, I’ve laid some of these down as being “this year” instead. I don’t quite know why, but it’ll work for me.

So – what are they?  Well, in no particular order…

  • Finances
    • Add a significant amount into the savings
  • Work
    • Figure out what comes next after the current contract (I’m sure that’ll happen at some point in the coming year)
    • Learn some new stuff, because why not?
    • Launch at least one of the projects that’ve been in my head for way too long
  • Writing
    • Complete at least one of the screenplay ideas I’ve started in 2016
    • and then figure out what the hell to do with it/them
    • Complete a book idea I’ve got, and publish it (for Kindle)
  • Health
    • Lose weight (I’ve put some on over the Festering Season, and want to lose that, plus a bit more)
    • Do some training/practice walks for that walking marathon in September
    • and then complete it on the day

And really that’s it. There might be a couple of other projects along the way, but that’s the main objectives, all in one place.

Whether or not they happen, I don’t know. (Obviously, as we’re only on Day One)  But I’m going to give it a damn good go.

 

2016/17 – What’s Next? The Coming Year

As usual, following on from my posts about what’s happened over the last year, it’s time to think about – and write about – what I want to do over the coming year.

Similar to last year, I’m going to keep it fairly simple and open, rather than being too detailed. I’ve got better details in my head, but they’re not going to be written down.

The basic goals are going to be :

  1. Continue rebuilding the finances, and keep boosting the savings
  2. Exercise, improve health, lose weight
  3. Complete September’s walking marathon – ideally in under seven hours. (My target is more ambitious than that, but I’ll be happy with 7 hours)
  4. Write more. (And ideally complete/publish some)
  5. Do more of the ideas around my own business
  6. Get out less.  Ideally, some kind of middle-ground between being ultra-quiet/sensible, and the idiocy of the last year
  7. Look more at some political ideas, and see how that goes. (This one’s the random ‘maybe’ one, I don’ tknow if anything will happen with it or not)

I could go into more detail – although that’s handled more in my notebook of to-do lists and ideas – but for now this’ll cover things.

On first viewings, it should be an interesting year.

 

13.1

A while back, I laid out one of my main targets for next year, to do the Shine Nightwalk Marathon. And because of that, I also set myself the “lesser” challenge of walking a half-marathon, as a proof that I was at least capable of it.

I wanted to prove – as much to myself as to anyone else – that I could walk that 13.1 miles in a reasonable time, not fall apart by doing so (or afterwards) and really just that it was doable.  I also wanted to be get a rough outline of how long it would take, to give myself a feasible target time come September.

Yesterday, with sod-all planning or training, I went down to London (might as well do the trial in the same kind of place as the actual event, after all) and did it.

13.1 Miles of prime London walkingIt wasn’t as fast as I’d hoped for, but at the same time it was about what I expected. There’s still stuff to be done, and I’ll be working on all of it – more walks etc., better distances and better times – but for a first attempt, I’m pleased with how it went.

All told, I ended up walking about 15 miles in the end – as the map shows, the 13.1 miles took me so far, but I’d mis-judged things a bit, as I’d aimed for it be a lot closer to my destination at Euston station. Instead, I was a couple of miles away, so ended up still walking those miles back to Euston as well. (As has been said before, I’m a bloody idiot on occasion)

I’m less sure now that I’ll be able to do it in my intended six hour target, but an eight-hour will be certainly be doable, with seven being (I think) realistic, and I’ll be happy with that, although I’ll continue to aim towards the lower times and see how I do.  I slowed down significantly after about 8 or 9 miles, which was partly being tired, but also partly being held up by lots of slow-moving people.

I hurt a lot less than expected afterwards, too. Sore feet and some muscle aching in my legs, but that’s about it.

I’m pleased that I’ve done it, and that I’ve proved to myself I can do the full thing. I know the full thing is still double that distance, and that it’s still a big thing to complete, but I do feel more confident now that it’s something I can do.

2016’s Smaller Target

Following on from my decision about next year, and doing the Shine Moonlight Marathon (which is a much better name than the Night Walk, IMHO) I’ve also set myself a smaller challenge for completion by the end of 2016.

You guessed it, I’m going to walk a half-marathon distance. Not sponsored or owt (although if I do it, I might just chuck some money Cancer Research’s way anyway) but a bit of a reality check, a “can I do this?”.  I know the answer to that is “yes”, but it’ll be interesting to have some quantifiable evidence of it before I plunge into doing the full 26-and-a-bit miles.

I’ve certainly done days with more than 13 miles of walking, so this plan should be utterly doable. Indeed, it might even be easier than usual, if it’s done in one dollop rather than two 5-ish mile walks interspersed with breaks, food, stopping/starting, standing in queues etc.  I don’t know – and that’s why I want to find out.

It’ll also hopefully give me a rough outline of the time to aim for on the full event.  I’ve got a target time in mind, but again want to check whether that’s even vaguely feasible when faced with reality.

I’ll write more about it once it’s been done, but it’s definitely a goal for now…

Post Navigation