Saturday, April 14, 2012

Use it or lose it

I first  heard this statement when I was very young. It seemed such a "throwaway" line that could apply to almost anything.

Did it mean that if I didn't play with every one of my toys my parents would throw them out ?

Did it mean that things that sat in the corner of the house never being used would disappear ?
The whole thing just didn't make sense.

When I was in my teens , it seemed to be more a saying just for old people who sat around all day or office workers who sat behind their shiny Commodore 64's, after all  I was an over active teenager doing everything.

When I was in my twenties I was fine with it as I was still relatively active. My social life was taking off, so I was still doing all sorts of stuff. In fact I barely even thought about it.

When I was in my thirties I thought I was doing fine. But the when I look back at the photos - I was a big guy. Too much of a good time was being had.

And certainly very little activity was going on.

The Beloved and I got married and along came the kids and I started to get active again. After all try being sedentary with two boys and see how that goes.

So I've always tried to get some activity in to what ever were doing even down to simply trying to ride or walk to work.  We even try to ensure holidays encompass some physical activity. But when its 3 degrees outside and raining, the urge is somewhat lessened.

And how many of us have set out the training gear the night before and mentally decided what we're going to do, gone to bed only to wake up in the morning and have no difficulty saying  to ourselves - tomorrow.

So when I discovered this article This is the full study I was impressed. Somebody had actually taken the time to look at the old adage and see if it was true. A simplified version can be found here This is the Explain it like I'm Five version and it fuelled me on to continue being active.

Which leads me to why I am at the start line of what is arguably one of the more difficult things to do on a Sunday - a Triathlon.

The start line is at St Kilda beach and I have to really try not to worry about swallowing any water as it will probably kill me with all the crap that's apparently in it.

image courtesy of

I'm wearing a fluoro orange bathing cap and seem to be the only person not wearing a wetsuit. There's a lovely southerly blowing ensuring I'm not only the coldest person there but also the whitest.

I'm sucking my stomach in and hoping that the others around me with chiseled abs are doing the same thing.

The waves on the water look little but the groups already in the water ahead of me look a bunch of black socks in a washing machine.

An hour and a bit later I'm done.

And I mean done.

Individually each activity is fine, but when you put them all together in one event the whole dynamic changes.

I did learn a couple of things along the way such as :

- You can't eat a muesli bar whilst riding a bike at 35 kph. Which is probably why they make everything for athletes in that disgusting, easy to consume "gel". Oh and by the way its not gel - its more like really thick snot.
- Always organise someone to pick you up from your event. It's very, very difficult to ride home afterwards.

So as I lay out my bike gear for the next days exercise, I wonder what the early morning discussion in my brain will sound like.......

Not going..........

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