Thursday, 29 November 2007

Building blocks of A Good Day

Last Wednesday was A Good Day. Perhaps even A Very Good Day.

First thing, woke to the sound of my alarm (actually John Humphrys' dulcet tones). I was refreshed, had slept well, and on attempting to move discovered I was as stiff as a corpse following the previous evening's strength training exploits. It had been a long time since I woke with the realisation that I had Done Something Requiring Effort the previous day. It really is a most satisfying and affirming pain. I do commend it to you all.

Then my commute to work. On foot. (I remembered the days of commuting by train when the concept of a twenty minute walk to work seemed like a such a good idea. I had neglected to build into my blueprint of this new commute the pain which rowing in my newly discovered free time would add to the journey. D'oh.) I must have resembled a crippled kangaroo, full of energy but unable to stretch sufficiently to make walking with a normal gait a realistic ambition. I limped and groaned my way to work, the stiffness gradually receding, with the result that I was doing a quite reasonable impression of a fully mobile person by the time I rolled up at work.

Breakfast, 8:30 am, 30th floor revolving restaurant. Good company. Enjoyable, pleasant and useful conversation (only partially work-related). Bright sunshine streaming in through the windows. Two waiters to a table of four. No-one else in the restaurant. Sufficient time was spent resting on my posterior for all that lovely stiffness to seep back into my legs, where it lodged itself resolutely for the rest of the day. Did I mention breakfast? That was damned good, too. Particularly the fruit salad/yogurts/honey/mixed nuts construction. And plenty water. Just what I needed.

Lunchtime, and the rigmarole of collecting a parking permit from Fulham Town Hall. I discovered that the tube station is thoughtfully positioned directly opposite said Town Hall. Almost as if someone had had the foresight to realise that busy office working types would one day need to collect parking permits in their lunch hour. The process of getting the permit was easy, almost efficient - right down to the availability of a free photocopier for all those last minute photocopies of log books and driving licences that may have been forgotten.

Afternoon. Catch up with the team and find out what's going on in advance of management types returning next week. For once, there's a fairly consistent story emerging. It might just be an embryonic sign of hope that the programme ducks are being brought into a row.

Evening. Jog (or a close approximation to a jog) to the boathouse for a long erg. I was pleased to discover four things:

  1. I had regained the range of movement necessary to erg;
  2. Despite being out of training, I scraped together a respectable split for the duration of the piece;
  3. My new skincare routine of applying surgical spirits twice a day is keeping my palms blister-free. It does make me smell something of an alcoholic, which I doubt is a great thing for my reputation;
  4. I did my periodic table countdown over the (estimated) last hundred strokes. It's a great distraction from the pain. For a bonus, this time I didn't forget Actinium, Thorium, Protactinium, Uranium, Neptunium and Plutonium.

Late evening. Collect car. Get slightly disorientated on the way back and manage to cross the Thames four times, despite starting and finishing my journey on the same bank of the river. I discovered new and exciting things I never knew existed, including a bright pink stone lion. (It make have been a stone-coloured lion illuminated by pink light, but the effect is much the same. Where the beast is located, or how to get there, I have no idea. Perhaps I'll happen across it again in a similar fit of disorientation...?) My car is now parked only a short stagger from the front door. I have missed it. It is odd how London makes the simplest things (e.g. parking a car) unbelievably complicated.

Night. Food. Water. Lots of water. Hot shower. I was lucky to catch the last ten minutes of the England match, thus not even missing anything of any consequence.

Finally sleep. Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, broken only by the dulcet tones of Mr Humphrys, and the knowledge that any attempt to move would be resisted by every sinew in my body.


Wayfarer Scientista said...

I always remember the mantra "Ergs don't float" from my days of rowing. I hated the ergs. But the periodic there is an idea!

KindaBlue said...

London - and it all works! By 'eck...

DJ Kirkby said...

Managed to get out of bed yet?

But Why? said...

Fortunately my technique is more robust to time away from rowing than my erg scores - it's a good thing too that ergs don't float, otherwise with my current erg scores I think I'd be consigned to the remedial rowing class. Funnily enough, I quite enjoy ergs (it's circuit training which is my personal nemesis). Perhaps not the erging per se, but the bit at the end of the erg when I've exceeded my expectation of what I could achieve. Never mind that I can't control my legs or that my vision has closed down to a fuzzy grey tunnel, it's good to have worked hard, and won. I used to do 15k at the boathouse on Sunday mornings when I was at uni - a superb way to work off a hangover and justify a massive (subsidised) breakfast fry up back at college. I think I enjoy the pain-displacement mind games, rather than directly enjoying the pain. I hope I don't directly enjoy the pain. That would be worrying...

I'm as surprized as you are. It's difficult to admit this, being as anti-metropolitan as I am, but I'm actually rather enjoying living in London. But don't tell anyone or I'll be facing allegations of hypocracy.

I've been up for hours. (Yesterday was a rest day). Everything bends in the places it's supposed to, it's a gorgeous day, and I'm in the Peak District. I think I'll go for a leisurely walk...

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Stiffness in the morning is something I have suffered from since puberty so I can really relate to what you are saying. My wife has her own special way of relieving that feeling of stiffness and it is a process that I can thoroughly recommend to anyone of the male persuasion.

But Why? said...

And that first sentence seemed almost innocent... You're not another one of these people intent on turning my ears pink, now, are you? Pixie has managed to maintain my ears at a permanently flushed state for the last few months. (But very clever. You get full marks and a smiley face for that.)

Casdok said...

Dont you just love London!!

But Why? said...

I'm not sure how to reply. There are things I love - going out for a jog last week and happening across a French market in Putney which sold me smelly cheeses and saucisson at 7pm on a Sunday evening. That's the sort of thing that tends not to happen if I go for a jog in, say, Sheffield, where on Sundays all commercial activity terminates promptly at 4pm.

And then there are things I dislike immensely. The density of humanity is something I find oppressive. The constant evidence of human activity, from massive office buildings down to neatly manicured parks, is stifling and suffocating. And also strangely stimulating.

I both like and dislike the fact that seeing a fox, a heron, or even a grey squirrel is something of a novelty. I find myself marvelling at the various milky shades the night sky presents. Light pollution can be fascinating stuff, but it's not quite as pretty and absorbing as a starry, starry night.

Don't I love London? Yes and no...

Pixie said...

Oh I'm blushing now!
Sounds like life is getting really sorted.
And I haven't written anything rude for ages..... Now that'll start me thinking!

But Why? said...

For what I hope is a short and temporary stop in London, life has been very rapidly sorted indeed. However, four weeks after moving, I still haven't ventured into any of my local pubs, bar the rowing club bar, and that for a mug of tea between outings or a pint and chips after circuit training (gotta replace those lost calories somehow!).

And you're right - my ears had almost returned to their normal colour until Pudding showed up to break my smut cold turkey. Nothing rude for ages - it's almost feeling safe for geeks to visit your blog!

trousers said...

There's nothing like that pain from having exerted yourself it there?

I like the distraction in the form of the periodic table, my equivalent (this will sound so pretentious) is that of counting in Italian. Uno, due, tre.....quatro cento trenta quatro, quatro cento trenta cinque....etc.

Oh, and I assume the restaurant is actually supposed to revolve?

But Why? said...

...what are you counting? Dare I ask?

Yes, the restaurant is intended to revolve. I have independent witnesses who can confirm that the restaurant is indeed revolutionary.