My gym subscription finally ran out today. The gym is too far away from Ava's flat, where I'll be moving to in a couple of months, so today was my last visit. The last three years of exercise has been a time of ups and downs, with frequent gaps in gym visits due to gout, dizziness, neck and chest pains and various injuries. But I can honestly say that whenever I've been fit enough to go, I've gone - and that was the only promise I made to myself when joining up. Over the three years I have lost 11kg (over 1½ stone) and certainly feel a lot fitter. My future options include joining the gym at the bottom of the hill where Ava's flat is, running around the courtyard outside her flat (500m a lap) or dusting off her running machine!
Ma ra th on
I ran a marathon this week, albeit spread over four consecutive days and on the gym's treadmills. Still, it's a sign that I'm feeling somewhat better these days (despite a hacking cough - hopefully just temporary).
Flip flop trip drop
You'd think that running on a running machine would be best done in running shoes, right? Well that presumptioon was given a thorough test today by a girl at my gym. At first she managed to keep jogging on the machine surprisingly well in her flip-flops. But as the speed passed Level 9, and she started to text a friend, the machine finally got the better of her! Fortunately the piped music in the gym muffled my guffaws. No great harm was done to her, the running machine or indeed the flip-flops, but she learned her lesson and continued her run barefoot!
Less fat, more fit
I've been taking advantage of a spell of good health recently by visiting the gym 3-4 times a week. We have had a light start to the term at school and my gym subscription runs out in November, so it's now or never! I've been running for about an hour on each visit, covering 9-10km (about 6 miles) and have managed to lose over 6kg (a stone) over the last month. Losing the weight now gets harder (I had plenty to lose at first!) but it's encouraging to feel a little fitter that fatter these days. Let's hope the better health continues this time.
Running up that hill
When time is limited, a trip to the gym sometimes gets sacrificed and some exercise on Ava's treadmill has to suffice. Mind you, having found it to be stuck in a "15% incline" mode it's usually more of a power-walk than a run. Still, it gets the heart pounding and the sweat dripping (sorry about that, Ava!). The route to Ava's flat also involves a long walk up a steep hill. So, as it turns out, the treadmill isn't always that necessary!
A health update is probably overdue, especially as there is largly good news to share. My year of headaches and dizziness may at last be over - today marks a full month without any problems in that area. The gout and stomach reflux seem to be under control with a daily pill each and my blood pressure seems to be OK too - another pill a day. I've even felt well enough to get back to the gym [see photo] which has good psychological, as well as health, benefits. A few niggles remain - not something I need to mention here - but generally, I'm feeling such a lot better. It's so nice to get through a day without having thought about any health issues. Long may it continue!
D-Day has arrived (D standing for dirt and destruction)! The wreckers from TBTB (the powers that be) have finally arrived to demolish the balconies in my living room and bedroom. Thankfully the kitchen and spare room can keep their balconies, as they don't overlook a public road. Since those two are used to house my kitchen sink and for drying clothes respectively I am, at least, losing the two least used balconies. The workers have been smashing and crashing all day long, so I've been resigned to not leaving the house and yet getting very little done (at least I managed to get to the gym yesterday for my first "gentle" workout in 8 months!).
The first crew arrived at 8am this morning and put in some new and very poor quality windows flush to the wall - a really shoddy job - and left my wooden floor strewn with glass shards, nails and screws, excess lumps of grouting, cigarette butts and a thick layer of dust. Then, this afternoon, just as I cleaned away the worst of rubbish, the second crew arrived and proceeded to smash the balconies off, and screw hideous silver burglar bars to the outside of the windows (the sort that ensure you can't possibly escape in the event of a fire). Yet more cleaning up and now my flat is, apparently, "legal and beautiful" once more.
Better late than never
The Chinese biomedical industry needn't panic just yet but, very tentatively, I think I can say I'm feeling a little better! After 8-9 months of various ailments, including persistent headaches and dizziness, Dr Yang last week suggested I simply stop taking almost all of my vast daily pill regime [see photo!] and see which syptoms improve, which persist and whether any of them return. I was delighted to do that - I'm not a fan of taking lots of medicine, but I have tried to follow medical advice as far as possible. For a change, this was a doctor telling me to stop taking medicines! Within a couple of days, I was noticing a clear-headedness that I've not had for months. A week later, I'm only having occasional and short-lived light-headedness, and none of the all-day headaches I had before. What was causing them, I still don't know, but I'm now feeling well enough to plan little trips out and think about some gentle workouts at the gym. I have a Uric Acid test later this week to see if the gout is still an issue I need to take preventative medicine for but otherwise, blip or otherwise, I am finally feeling a bit more like myself.
Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
Past blog entries