Saturday, 23 August 2014

Doing the Splits with James Bond

This month I decided to work on flexibility. I wanted to attempt the splits over the course of a few days, and whilst sat with my legs out and open in front of me. I also wanted to get some reading done. I picked out the smallest book out of a pile of unread books: On Her Majesty's Secret Service, a James Bond novel by Ian Fleming.

I've read a couple of Bond books, so I knew what I was in for. And I've seen the dodgy movie adaptation starring the forgettable George Lazenby.

More of the same from Fleming: a professional killer, heartless and chauvinist, tries to look after a beautiful but reckless young woman under orders of her gangster father. She leads him to a criminal mastermind who threatens the world. It's an entertaining read, though, and more believable than a few others. It's also the book in which we see Bond's icy persona- unlike the backdrop of the wintertime Alps- start to melt.

To do this project properly, you will need a doorway with enough wall space on either side of it to place your feet. Sit with your knees straight and feet apart, point your thumbs down and grip on to the door frame. You'll also need a cushion under your backside unless you have an incredibly thick, soft carpet. Wear socks so your feet slide against the gloss of the skirting board. Butt-scoot in as your flexibility increases.

I started at 150cm (4'11) between my heels- the exact distance that I ended up with the last time I attempted the splits. This time I stretched to 158cm (5'2) at the peak of my ability. This was maybe half way through the book. So. If I can stretch 8cm every 250 pages (the length of On Her Majesty's Secret Service), reading another book the same size would give me- in theory- the extra 8cm (3 inches) I need to do the splits fully. But only if I continue practicing with no break...

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