Janathon 2017, Day 1 – New Year’s Day

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I had no intention of waking up today before at least midday, and after that the chance that I would decide upon an invigorating afternoon of exercising was very slim. So, I hatched a plan yesterday which involved seeing in the New Year at my local and then going for a wander along the Front to achieve Day 1 of Janathon 2017.

Janathon, for those of you who don’t know, is much like Juneathon. Except it’s done in January, not June.
And for those of you who are still a little mystified it can be explained a little like this: Juneathon was started as a way of trying to encourage people to exercise for every day in the month of June. And then every day they were to blog about it. At first it started as a bit of a runner’s elitism. But very soon they were forced into allowing mere mortals such as myself to take part. And now, Janathon is the same : “Janathon – like Juneathon – is an annual festival of activity and excuses. Walk, run, swim, cycle or build a snowman – all exercise counts.”

Janathon Facebook Group

I’d decided to walk to Knab Rock and back, a distance of 1.5 miles. It’s roughly how far I’m able to walk without pushing myself too much. Unfortunately I hadn’t factored in the trip to the pub beforehand. And no, it wasn’t the amount of alcohol I’d drunk that was the problem. It was the amount of standing up I’d had to do because the pub was so full. Before I even started heading to Knab Rock my knees were inflamed.
Thinking about last night a little bit longer, the dancing might not have helped much either! (In my defence, it was for only one song.)

I had a lovely walk along the promenade. No one was about. It wasn’t raining too heavily. And the views over the bay were as stunningly beautiful as always. About halfway to the Rock I sat down to admire the last of the fireworks being set off across the water in Swansea… and that was when I was treated to 15 minutes of ridiculousness: A woman bedecked in all of her New Year’s Eve Mumbles finery clambered out of a car, walked across the road and came to sit beside me on the bench. I was a little bemused until I realised she thought I was considering to commit suicide. I did try to say that I was just enjoying a walk, but she would not believe me. At one point she even tried to get me into her car and asked me if I had anywhere to go…
I’m all for trying to help lost souls. But I wasn’t a “lost soul”. I’d have thought that a couple of minutes talking to me would have removed that thought from her mind. All I actually inferred was that she thought that the “glad rags” I was wearing for New Year’s Eve made me look homeless. Erm, thanks.

That was thankfully the last of any interesting occurrences. I got to Knab Rock and then, as the tide was out, decided to walk back along the foreshore. I had great fun walking along the beach, my footprints being the first ones of 2017. I also had a fair bit of enjoyment collapsing on to the sand, giving my knees a few moments of respite. More so, because from where I was sitting nobody was able to see me from the road and I’d probably not have anyone trying to rescue me again.

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New Year’s Day: Walking to Knab Rock and back
Steps Taken: 7,543
Difficulty level: easy

Janathon 2016, Day 16 – Spending time with a sprat

sprat looking at beads

Sometimes I am allowed to look after my niece or nephew. I have no idea why their mother lets this happen as I’m sure I’m a bad influence on both of them. Day 16 found me dragging the older sprat to a beading shop. You’d have thought that being a boy, he’d have screamed blue murder about the very thought of it all. But he took it all in his stride (see, told you I’m a bad influence) and spent quite a while choosing beads for everyone (even himself).

My exercise for the day was to wander to the bead shop and back to the car where the Old Trout was waiting patiently for us. We also walked around Lidls. At one point the sprat was sent off to pick up a box of clemantines. He returned with two bottles of fizzy orange instead. Apparently it’s “nearly the same.”

Spending time with a sprat day: Walking and keeping up with a sprat.
Steps Taken: 6,233
Difficulty level: hard

Janathon 2016, Day 15 – Old fish

Salt fish

I didn’t get much done for Day 15 as the Old Trout arrived from far flung Yorkshire. She arrived at the door looking very bedraggled and worn out, but with a gleam in her eye. She’d brought me a present: of salt fish.

We’ve both only had salt fish once before: in a pre prepared meal. It was fantastic. But I’ve no idea how to prepare or cook it. I hope she isn’t expecting the same taste sensation when I cook it.

So, due to greeting my guest and general flopping about, I didn’t get much exercise done. There was a point where I got up and tried to maintain a discussion with mum whilst walking up and down the living room carpet. But I don’t talk well when breathing heavily and she seemed to dislike talking over the noise. So this didn’t work very well. But I did manage to reach the 5,000 step mark during the day. And I also slotted in a session of bed weights.

Old fish day: indoor walking, bed weights
Steps Taken: 5,074
Difficulty level: Easy

Janathon 2016, Day 14 – Dead Batteries

Mumbles front

 
I headed out today for a wander into the village and took my collection of used batteries with me. They went into the recycling point in Mumbles library and I continued on to the car park and the sea front. It was nice to be able to sit without getting drenched. It would have been a very peaceful scene watching the pigeons huddle together and the odd person passing by, but they were making a heck of a lot of noise in the car park/construction site today.

 
pot of batteries

 
Dead batteries Day: Walked down to the front and back – 1.5km
Steps Taken: 3,500
Difficulty level: Medium

Janathon 2016, Day 13 – To the Pier and back

Pirates of Mumbles Pier sign

 
After the pub tonight I walked to the pier. I nearly managed to make it there and back home without getting wet. But just as I struggled back up the last bit of the hill, it tipped down.

I didn’t see any pirates tonight. They tend not to be around at this time of year.
I didn’t really see much of anything other than darkness, boats and sea.
It was an incredibly enjoyable walk.

 
darkness, boats and sea

 
To the pier and back day: 2 mile walk to Mumbles pier and back
Steps Taken: 11,282
Difficulty Level: Medium

Janathon 2016, Day 12 – In the Buff

Portrait of Methalda wearing Buff

I’ve finally bought myself a Buff – the extremely versatile piece of headgear that’s essentially a very expensive bit of tubed fabric.
Hints had been thrown out to my family before both my birthday and Christmas. And believe me, my hints are very strong indeed. I not only go so far as to tell them what I’d like, I even have a pinned Facebook post dedicated to “Things you could buy me”. This probably seems a trifle over the top. But I watched on Christmas Day as my brother-in-law unwrapped dozens of pairs of socks from various people. He doesn’t have a “Things you could buy me” post. I, on the other hand got some lovely candles and a bottle of perfume that I adore. Unfortunately I didn’t get a Buff.

I’ve fancied one for ages.
But it is expensive.
But it would be perfect for me for the winter.
But… no more excuses. I decided to buy one. I chose exactly the design I fancied. Showed mum… and apparently the old trout had just bought herself one. Which just so happened to be exactly the same design as I wanted!

The Buff I’m wearing in the picture is my 2nd choice of design.

Please note that I am also wearing my new blue Helly Hansen. Hopefully they’ll get a fair bit of wear during my upcoming holiday. (I’m beginning to get excited about it now)

And Janathon?
My exercise for Day 12 was to plod up and down the living room whilst watching a couple of programs on Netflix. I got a few calf stretches in and then also managed a session of “bed weights”.

In the Buff day: Indoor walking, bed weights
Steps taken: 4,306
Difficulty level: Easy

Janathon 2016, Day 11 – Yoga

my feet

It’s been 20 years since I last did any yoga.
Dang, that makes me feel old!

I used to go to evening classes in a dilapidated Victorian building which had formerly been the local secondary school. At the age of 15 I’d be there, with the slightly more mature members of the group, trying to hold various poses on my mat. They must have hated how I did every pose with ease.

The evening classes were virtually free to students, so I tried to find as many as I could to attend. I’ve vivid recollections of walking up the creaking flight of stairs to the first floor and then making my way to one of the many small former schoolrooms. The least favourite class I took was typing. I’d finish every class wondering why I’d pushed my hands through such torture. It didn’t help that I haven’t got “pianists hands”. My fingers are short and stubby. It also didn’t help that we were using old fashioned mechanical typewriters, when computer keyboards had already been in use for years. I blame those lessons for being the reason that I still can’t touch type properly. Every time I try, my hands start to hover inches above the keys and then crash down with keyboard-smashing intensity.

But the yoga: I really enjoyed that. I knew that it really wasn’t that beneficial to me as a 15 year old, but over the years I’ve thought about trying to use it to gain some much required flexibility and core strength.

And I finally managed.
It was the simplest of beginner sessions, but hopefully it was the start of more to come.
Thanks to the Janathon blogger who recommended the you tube video. I have searched (both my brain and Google) to work out who you were, but have come up with a complete blank. The video was perfect.


Yoga with Adrienne for complete beginners

I had a very enjoyable exercise session. Except for the point at which I was trying to maintain the downward dog pose. That was virtually impossible without a fair bit of gritting of teeth. In fact I probably missed the whole de-stressing aspect of yoga whilst my bottom tried its best to remain stuck up in the air. But I did get some much needed stretches in. And boy do my legs feel it!

But considering that a few months ago I found it difficult to rise from a chair, I think that floundering about on the floor like that was a great achievement.

Yoga Day: 20 minute session of yoga, 3.5 minutes of dancing,
Steps Taken: 3,125
Difficulty level: medium