Sunday, 29 September 2013

Three Strikes: Week 44

Suffering with serious post-Ibiza blues this week, not to mention a suspicious cough. I'm still working on the holiday blog post(s).

I finished reading Kill Your Friends, by John Niven. A hilarious satire on Britain's music industry, the novel tells of Steven Stelfox's bloodthirsty attempts to rise to the power in the A+R department of an unnamed and secretly struggling record label. It's been noted by many critics that there are a good number of parallels to Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho, but there are plenty of differences and twists in the tale to keep Ellis fans surprised. The writing style is very similar, though.

Ibiza has beaten me senseless. It was an incredible holiday, but I've been so tired since- streaming eyes, a chesty cough, lack of concentration- but NEXT WEEK I will straighten myself out. I jumped straight back in at the gym, struggling through a few classes, dawdling through a few gym sessions, not being able to get anywhere close to my PBs. But I'm on the cough medicine (literally, no metaphor) and I've got a fridge full of fruit.

Stay tuned for some Ibiza blog posts...

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Three Strikes: Week 42

9-15 September

Nothing but last-minute gym-smashing before the flight out on the 14th. No PBs. The last few days before departure chaotic but worth it. Ibiza post to follow...

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Three Strikes: Week 41

This week's PB: 0.36km added to the 10-min hand bike record, pedaling in a forward motion.

Life progress: Ticked off “cook for friends” from the list of life. Post to follow.

May have made some writing contacts at a wedding (awesome night- congratulations Gemma and Dean).

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Reading on a Treadmill: Take 3

Pic courtesy Taumengineering

How easy is it to read and burn fat on a treadmill? I've been trying to figure this out for a few months now. See the attempts below.

This week I decided to read Neil Strauss' Emergency whilst treadmill walking at the gym. The book is broken up into 5 main parts. I read in intervals, breaking to work the abs between each “part” of the book. Here's how long it took:

Part 1 (introduction): 17min
Part 2: 1hr 53 min
Part 3: 2hr 53 min
Part 4 (incomplete): 60 min

I make this a total of 6943 minutes: 6 hours 3 minutes. Correct me in the comments if I'm wrong...

I gave up some way through part 4 as my legs had seized up, as had my brain.

Advice if you're going to do this:
  1. Walk at a steady pace. 5Kph was fine. The slower you walk, the longer you can work for.
  2. Make sure your breaks are long enough to give your legs a real rest. At least 5 minutes.
  3. Drink LOTS of water. Not only will you sweat a lot, you won't be eating any food, so you'll need it to keep your stomach full and fend off hunger pangs.
  4. Pick a treadmill not too close to any speakers. Even Kissfresh can get irritating after a few hours, and you want to keep the music as “background” as possible. Also try and find one near a window. You're going to be here a few hours, so you might as well get all the sunlight you can.
I got more than halfway through the book. Where The Game was an autobiography / guide to pickup, Emergency is more Strauss' account of learning modern-day survival techniques for preparation against a range of loosely defined dangers that today's society can unleash on us. Although interesting to see what a man will do to “protect” himself from supposed perils out there in the big bad world, Strauss and the survivalists he encounters come across as slightly paranoid doomsday-willers, stocking up on guns and knives for security reasons, gleefully preparing against hypothetical threats, and killing and eating animals just to see if they could go through with it. I couldn't help think, why put yourself through all this when an apocalypse HASN'T happened? Surely you'd MAKE yourself do these things after the asteroid / zombie outbreak / plague HAS hit us? But I suppose it's easier to learn in a current, comparatively safe contemporary environment.

Hmm. Worth a look. An interesting read.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Three Strikes: Week 40

I've been hammering the hand-bike recently, a machine for upper body toning. My original PB- recorded in August last year- was much higher than the attempt I recently made on returning to it. My guess is that I'd not paid attention to the level of difficulty I'd set the machine to on my first attempt, so I've started the process again at Level 5, and hit a distance much higher than the original from 13 months ago.

Away from the gym I finished reading Dom Joly's The Dark Tourist, a first-hand account of the comedian's tour of the world's most unlikely- and most uncomfortable- holiday destinations. I read a large part of this on a gym workout project (see here). Coming back to the book, I found that the content was quite interesting. After all, where else have you heard of 3-hour North-Korean stage plays or acid-ingesting cocktail barmen in Beirut?

Eventually, though, Joly's excursions take their toll- you get the feeling he's doing these trips to be zany, rather than because of a genuine interest in the countries he visits. Yes, you could go skiing on the segregated slopes of Iran, but why would that be enjoyable? What do you hope to gain from this? Although interesting- and funny- in places, Joly's pompous ramblings and over-wordy phrasing becomes tiresome. Too many sentences started with “It was” followed by an adjective that we can work out for ourselves. Yes, Dom. I'm quite sure that passing a 12-year-old girl “energetically conducting” an orchestra of pioneers on a Pyongyang high street under an enormous poster of Kim Jong Il would be “totally surreal”. I can gauge that from your description.

An interesting book, but Joly's obsession with himself is too evident, something publishers Simon & Schuster should have reigned in to make shorter.

Moving on. Guess how long I have until I'm gracing Ibiza with my awesome presence and stunning dance skills? I'll let the fat woman from Total Recall give you a hint.