I am tired and achey after a few days of much more exercise then I never normally get.
Firstly getting to play with a gadget is encouraging me to walk more. MapMyRun.com has a number of challenges, the only one of which that was remotely achievable for me was “Walk A Marathon in 30 Days.” I got off to a good start walking to a meeting in town and back, but have now fallen behind.
Yesterday I had my first real meeting with my cycling instructor from Nottingham Ridewise. I was very kindly given a bike a year or so ago by a friend who’d replaced hers with a better one. It’s been sitting in our living room ever since, so must have enjoyed having its tyres reinflated to be bundled into the back of my car for a brief outing to the Forest Rec.
Many people have wondered how you teach 100 kilos of hulking adult to ride a bike. Stabilisers are out, as is the traditional “Dad” approach of running behind and holding the bike up. The approach we attempted was for me to free-wheel down a slope with my legs held wide of the pedals, then a separate exercise trying to pedal. The theory is all easily understandable but I have not got as far as making my awkward uncoordinated limbs do quite what I ought to be doing. So, the next plan is for me to repeat the exercises on my own and then get in touch with the instructor when I’m ready for another go. But for the time being, I am – well – saddle sore, I think is the polite way of putting it – and my hip hurts from all that swinging my leg high enough to get it over the bike. Poor me!
Then today, I have been playing golf. Not something I ever thought I would do, but two of my friends unexpectedly took it up some time ago, and invited me to have a go on a driving range. Today, two of us had a weekday free, so we went over to the Riverside Golf Centre to try a go at 9 holes of actual golf, instead of standing in a booth whacking balls as far as you can.
The centre is really approachable and will lend you clubs, so really is suitable for total beginners. I suspect people with loads of experience would find the rookies everywhere frustrating. It being a weekday, there weren’t many people around. A group of four athletic studenty types followed us immediately we began, so we let them go ahead of us, and after that, it was probably another 40 minutes before anyone else started round, so we had plenty of freedom to just get on with it.
And actually, I wasn’t all that bad. I wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination good at it. I didn’t get anything approaching par on any of the holes, and spent a lot of time toing and froing on the greens. But by and large I stuck to the fairways and avoided the water hasards and bunkers. I managed to go 8 holes with the same ball before finally sending it into a pond. Although I managed to fish it back out of the water, I then managed to lose it in a ballcleaning device at the start of the next hole by misunderstanding how it worked.
But by and large I had a really great afternoon, and I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to have a go. I’m quite a way off from doing anything rash like investing in golf kit or clothing, particularly when the golf centre is more than happy to let you borrow clubs for free.
To be honest, at the moment, I am feeling much more positive about the golf than the cycling. Which is a shame, because the cycling could be much more useful.