Weekend

Sis was here. After months of radio silence, she suddenly made an appearance for Rakhi. I wasn’t happy at first about this visit. I prefer normal, friendly relations year round rather than the tamasha of happy relations for a festival. She, and most of my family, prefer friendly appearances at festivals irrespective of relations—good, bad or non-existent—rest of the year.

On R’s suggestion, I tried ignoring the ‘Rakhi’ aspect of the visit. Once I ignored that, I could accept the visit as a rare visit from my sister, and enjoy that for what it is. Helpful advice. By the end of the visit, I was quite happy about her visit. I even wished that she visited more often.

Aside: Sis also brought gifts for Rakhi, two polo tees in a Selfridges bag. Most people who know me a bit know that I hate exchanging gifts. My sis seems to have fallen in my mom’s camp here—she’ll exchange gifts for her own prestige irrespective of what the other person thinks.

Barnaby was here. He’s an 1.5 year old Golden Retriever pup. Like any puppy, he’s hyper and restless. Like most dogs, he loves being touched. He’ll place himself next to any human who’s giving him rubs, and then refuse to let them stop. Unlike most retrievers, he’s not very interested in food. He’s not very well trained. He doesn’t understand some common commands—down, leave, wait. Like a puppy, he’s moody about obeying the ones he doesn understand—come here and sit.

One thing that I really liked about him is that, unlike Chewie and Dudley, he doesn’t make any noise. I heard him twice in the 26 hours that he was here—once when he locked himself out in the backyard, and another time at night when he heard something outside. Otherwise, there wasn’t a sound out of him. Chewie, on the other hand, barks often and talks a lot. Dudley mumbles and groans to let everyone know his feelings. Barnaby was pleasantly quiet. (But I’m still planning to cancel his week-long stay over the year-end holidays).

I learnt fat != unfit. My sister is fat. Too fat for my liking. Yet, I observed on multiple occasions that she isn’t very unfit. Not at all as unfit as her looks would suggest. The first instance where I noticed this was when she got on the wobble board. It was her first time and she managed almost 2 minutes. Amit and S haven’t managed that long yet. I’m not sure even R has. But she did. Another time was when I took the three kids out on the walk. It was a brisk short walk, but she was able to keep up with us most of the way without getting out of breath. She isn’t very flexible, can’t really squat, and has many many other health issues. But it was comforting to know that at least she’s fitter than she looks.

I didn’t run. Chewie was unwell on Friday night. I had to stay up with him for almost an hour. As a result, I couldn’t wake up in the morning for Parkrun. A mix of things—unexpected rain, Barnaby’s arrival, my laziness, and my discovery and addiction with Expanse meant that I didn’t run during the day either. R was out all Sunday, and sudden, surprise showers closed the morning run window. Result: I didn’t run on Sunday either. Instead, I did the thing I hate: I binge watched The Expanse.

I threw away the weekend to binge-watching Expanse. I saw the S01E01 on Friday evening. By the time I finally slept on Sunday night (after 1 AM), I was at S02E08. The first thing I did today was to delete the Prime Video app from my phone.

I didn’t do any of the planned house work. The tap hole in kitchen top stays unfixed. The ivy from the side fence still needs to be removed. The kitchen oven is still to be cleaned. I started, but abandoned midway, the monthly cleaning of the utility room.

The tinnitus has been bad for a few days now. It’s been wrecking my head and hearing since at least middle of the last week, but it really peaked on Friday and Saturday.

It was a horrible weekend in most aspects. The one thing I was not happy about before it started—sis visiting—turned out to be the one small bright spot.

My new toy

It’s a wobble board—a circular board with a small round base. I have to stand on it while using my the foot, leg, and core muscles for balance to keep from toppling over (or prevent the board from touching the floor).

It helps develop a better sense of balance, and with building strength and coordination for all the muscles from core down to the toes.

The proficiency targets are (largely subjective):

Level 1: Stand with both feet without touching the floor for 30s.

Level 2: Same as L1, but bouncing and catching a ball off the wall in front.

Level 3: Same as L1, but standing on a single leg.

Level 4: Same as L2, but standing on a single leg.

Level 5: Standing on both legs, squats.

Level 6: Single legs squats.

I can’t even do single leg squats on the flat, steady floor, so there’s no hope of me ever doing that on the wobble board. Completing level 3 is the ultimate target I’d love to achieve.

Continue reading My new toy

Target for 2019 – Rank within top 50 at Guildford Parkrun

My PB at Guildford Parkrun is 23:12, and my best ranking is 77.
My current time at Guildford Parkrun is 25 mins (5:00 min/km), and ranking is near 120.

To rank in the top 50, I would need to achieve a time of 22 mins or lower. This would require running at an average pace of 4:24 min/km.

Losing 3 mins will not be easy. It’s a good target – challenging but not impossible.

Continue reading Target for 2019 – Rank within top 50 at Guildford Parkrun

Fitness & diet advice from non-specialist doctors

I routinely tell most people to take fitness/diet advice from non-specialist doctors with a large dose of circumspection. This quote puts one of my reasons perfectly:

Surprisingly, medical doctors are often seen as poor sources of dietary advice because medical schools are slow to adapt to and teach new developments in nutrition.

Source: If you want to lose weight, don’t look to Instagram for inspiration—use Reddit instead

The other reason is that most doctors don’t stay up-to-date on developments in medicine (including those impacting fitness/diet) outside of their areas of specialisation.

So a generic doctor’s understanding of principles of fitness/diet may be way outdated – probably dating to when the syllabus was set for their time in med school.

It’s hard to ignore the doctor’s advice,
even if we strongly doubt it’s reasoning,
even if it’s on an area that’s not the doctor’s specialisation,
even if the doctor themself insists that they’re not up-to-date on the domain.

Better, do your research, go to a specialist for advice, and challenge their advice (even if to understand the reasoning) if it doesn’t match your research.