Thursday, 28 June 2018

Fire and fitness!

Paul Simon sang that you could hear “all about the fire in your life on the evening news”. He was really singing about “crazy love” but over the last couple of days I have had numerous friends tell me all about the fire on Saddleworth Moor, just a few miles from our house in England. Here’s a link to one news report.

The moor is huge expanse of what is basically peat bog, soggy and sticky when wet, highly inflammable when dry, which it is at the moment. After all, people used to dig up peat, dry it out and use it as fuel to heat their homes. The fire has swept across 2000 acres. That’s a lot of moorland. What’s more, fledgelings of birds that nest at ground level have perished, as have a range of plants and animals. The larger birds of prey which feed on the small animals have lost a source of food. Experts reckon it will take years for the area to recover properly.

Last year we watched devastating footage of forest fires around here in Galicia, and also in Portugal. Our Saddleworth Moor fire may not be quite so extensive but it is really bad. And really sad! And it doesn’t seem easy to put out!

Some better news! We have had a couple of days of dull and gloomy weather here in Galicia but the sun is back today. And, good news, the pool in the gardens of our our flats is open again. Starting today, I can resume my swimming routine. Hurray!

My fitness routine appears to be working. My Fitbit awarded my my New Zealand medal today, telling me, “You've walked 1,593 lifetime kilometers—the entire length of New Zealand. And while that country's native bird the Kiwi might beflightless, you, my friend, are really taking off.” So, since the end of January, I have walked 1,593 kilometres. not bad!

I take it all with a pinch of salt but I confess to working on my fitness.

Now, here’s something else on that subject. We hear a lot about the pressure on women to conform to certain body shapes. Well, it seems men suffer as well. I read about a journalist called Dan Rockwood, who works for Men’s Health magazine, who complained that the photos on their front cover did not reflect a realistic or realisable image for men. So they put him on a fitness regime to prove it could be done. A nice feature for the magazine. Here’s a link to the article.

The process of going from a mild fatty to a six-pack sporting “beauty” is called “getting shredded” and he achieved it. But it takes work. And it involves giving up alcohol, ice cream, cakes, anything sweet, and training non-stop. All the men who did it for a feature for the magazine were given personal trainers, not really what happens for most young men.

And, just like young women keeping their “beach-ready body”, it needs constant updating. If you don’t keep up the training the six-pack goes flabby. So there you go, young men are getting pressure as well, maybe not as much as young women but it’s there.

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