Janathon 2018, Day 31 – Reaching the Finish Line

It’s all over.

Janathon is finally over!

Today I headed out for a walk. This is the glorious view from the start of the walk. Unfortunately by the time we got there I was in the middle of a full blown episode and I couldn’t get out of the car. I so desperately wanted to go for that walk, but my brain was shouting out all manner of ridiculous things. In the end the Old Trout made me take some diazepam to calm myself down, before we headed back home.

I’m sad that I didn’t manage to get to go for the walk. But I also know that it’s days like this which are the reason I can’t work and thus get the chance to head out for a walk any time I want. And I still appreciated how beautiful and wild it was out there today, even through the fogged up, grimy window of schizophrenia.

I was reconciled to the fact that I wouldn’t meet my daily step goal today. But for some reason, I did. I can’t work out how. But I’m not going to wonder too loudly in case some deity hear me and removes some of the steps.

Here we are at the end of Janathon. I mentioned at the start that I didn’t want to push myself too much, because by the end of last Juneathon I had got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying exercising any more. And in that I’ve succeeded. I really did want to head out on that walk today. And I’m certain that it’ll happen in the next couple of days. My relief at being able to stop is entirely because I don’t want to have to write another blog post for a while.

But take a look at the screenshots below. The comparison between my activity last month and this month is quite amazing:

The blue lines are days where I reached my daily step goal. The dashed lines, those where I didn’t. And the green lines show every time I did an activity other than walking, such as attempting a plank.

And so, once again, dear “athon”, I thank you for what you have done for me. And I bid you adue until next time.

To end, here are the photos showing me, racing over the Janathon finish line like the true proffesional that I am:

See you all in June 😉

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Janathon 2018, Day 30 – My first swim of the year

I’m very happy tonight as I got to do one of my favourite things today: swimming.

The day started off with some geocaching maintenance. And some shouting.

I found myself stuck up a muddy bank armed with some WD40. The Old Trout was shouting instructions up at me. Further shouting ensued when I got caught on a prickly bush and became irritated. I hope no one was in any of the multiple nearby fields listening to us because we were both turning the air blue at one point. Irritation had got the better of both of us.

This is the geocache from where I was standing. It isn’t a simple traditional where you open a box to find a log to sign. There’s what’s called a field puzzle aspect to it. Essentially you have to solve a little puzzle out in the field in order to get the log.

The log is hidden in the right-hand tube. But there’s a padlock on the end to stop you from getting to it.

Attached to the left hand tube is a long piece of string with a magnet on the end. You have to use the magnet to fish in the left hand tube.

Fish well enough and you can catch this green bison tube which has a key inside; the key for the padlock on the other tube.

It should take a cacher a few minutes to work out all of the elements of the puzzle and how to solve it. Having never seen it before myself, I know that I was up there too long for my liking. I was standing on a bit of a slope and my calf muscles got quite a stretch. One which required some Ibuprofen afterwards.

(The WD40 was for the padlock, which got squirted liberally).

The Old Trout and I continued our drive around the countryside, periodically screeching to a halt as we nearly passed the layby we were meant to be stopping in for the next maintenance check.

Until it all went awry.

You see, I went up on to this footbridge to check one of our caches and I spotted the most stunning pool…

It looked deep enough to swim in…

And I just couldn’t help myself. The Old Trout took a little persuading. We hadn’t finished the arranged maintenance for the day you see. But I am a master of persuasion. I got my way. And I went swimming.

I love swimming. Yes, even in cold Yorkshire streams. Is that what they’re called up here? Well, if it’s a beck, a burn, a nant, or any other name, it doesn’t matter. I love swimming in bodies of water.

You get to see the world from a different perspective and feel the water surrounding you.

Yep. One very happy Janathoner here.

I probably expended more energy getting in and out of the water than I did swimming. But I had my few minutes splashing about. So it counts towards my exercise for today.

And then, because I’m not a master of persuasion at all, we carried on with the geocaching maintenance as I’d promised the Old Trout that I would.

For 3 more caches I sploshed out of the car and up to a cache. Yep, 3 times I peeled my soaking wet leggings off the bin bag I was sitting on and headed out into the cold to pick up a plastic box.

Here’s a photo of the last one, as proof that we did indeed continue until it got dark.

And as soggy and as cold as I was, I still think I got a great deal.

My first swim of the year Day: a swim, reached daily step goal.

Steps taken: 4,231

Difficulty Level: Easy

Janathon 2018, Day 29 – Nearly there…

Yesterday’s trip to Scarborough really wore me out mentally. I love going to events like that and chatting about my hobby, but it’s still quite a strain. As we were getting back into the car on the way home, my mind had already begun to race and to question the whole thing. Was I polite enough? Did I allow people to speak enough? Were my mannerisms over the top? Did I upset anyone… And so on. The two hours was replayed in my head constantly last night. I’ve come to the conclusion that everything went well enough. No one is going to come to shoot me for my misdemeanours. And yes, that’s what my head says after I talk to people: that I’ve done something wrong and that if the negative outweighs the positive then someone will come and get rid of me. It’s a good thing that I’m naturally gregarious and outgoing because otherwise I would probably be unable to punch through the fear and become a recluse.

So I was mentally worn out. And when you’re mentally worn out, It’s difficult to push yourself physically. I did nothing today except for a little bit of pottering. One thing I did was to start painting a magnetic key safe silver. It’s going to be a little geocaching container hidden behind a sign. As the sign itself is silver, I thought that I’d paint the key safe silver to blend in. And as a finishing touch I’ve made a decorative item out of filmo to glue on the top. Hopefully when people find it they’ll get a nice little surprise.

All of the pottering meant that I had got far closer to my daily step goal than I’d expected. Once again I was then spurred on to achieve it. Today I headed out for a short 10 minute walk to get that done.

Then came my attempt at a plank. I think I’m going to give up with them because I really can’t feel anything “going on”. The other day the Old Trout had a go. I could see that she was itching to. But neither of us knew if she’d manage because of the poor manouverability in her shoulders. There was probably an equal chance of her screaming in agony as even getting into the plank position. But she did it – she got down and held a plank for an entire 15 seconds. We were both flabbergasted. It was great. Not so great for me was the Old Trout declaring that her abs were sore. And for the next couple of days she’d periodically rub her sides saying “I can still feel that”. Hmph! I am not one to be outdone by my mother, but in this instance I shall be graceful and admit defeat. It’s probably got something to do with the fact that I was born with two left feet and am about as physically unaware of what my body is doing as anyone can be without getting mortally wounded; whereas my mother was so physically able in her early years that she went on to become a P.E. teacher of all ridiculous things!

Thank goodness Janathon is nearly over. I really need a day off from wittering on about nothing.

Nearly there Day: Reached daily step goal, 60 second plank

Steps Taken: 4,015

Difficulty Level: Easy

Janathon 2018, Day 28 – Scarbados

Day 28 found me hobbling around sunny Scarbados (Scarborough) for the 2nd time in a month.

I’m sure that Scarborough is a very pleasant town, but during this trip we saw even less of it than last time. Today I walked the length of 3 streets to a Wetherspoons pub, ordered a half of “The Beast”, sat down and waited.

I’m pretty certain that I would have easily surpassed my daily step goal today had my fitness tracker not fallen off in the car. The problem with my vivofit3 is not that the clasp is loose, it’s that the strap irritates my wrist. I’m constantly having to move the watch from one wrist to another to ease the sore patches. It’s such a shame, because I didn’t have anywhere near the same amount of problems with the strap on the vivofit2.

And, as we were meant to be meeting people in the pub at 2pm I did feel a little lost without my watch at first.

The Old Trout kept grumbling as I asked her what the time was. I suppose that most people would if they were asked every 10 seconds though.

And here we all are: gathering to celebrate “Australia Day”. Please note the attention to detail, in that there wasn’t any.

This was an event held by local geocachers. Geocaching events happen every so often, when a geocacher can be bothered holding one. We meet up somewhere and natter about the little plastic boxes that we’ve found. It’s rather nice when that “somewhere” happens to be a warm pub.

And don’t ask me anything about “Australia Day.” That was a theme that our powers-that-be at Groundspeak decided we should celebrate. Rather like on New Year’s Day when we were awarded a digital souvenir for finding a cache, today we were awarded one for attending an Event.

Talking to relative strangers for a couple of hours wore me out mentally. (Even if I did fortify myself beforehand with The 6.2% Beast) I was in no fit state to do anything afterwards other than walk back to the car and collapse whilst The Old Trout drove us back home.

Scarbados Day: Reached daily step goal (really, I did)

Steps Taken: 2,323 (lies!)

Difficulty Level: medium

Janathon 2018, Day 27 – Bed

I have been exercising today. Just not quite so much as I’d have liked.

A couple of days ago my right knee gave way underneath me. Yesterday it was quite painful, but I still managed to reach my daily step count. Overnight it gave me quite a bit of jip and I thought that at least for today I would give it a rest. But not wanting it to seize up, I resorted to an exercise I used in previous years when my muscles couldn’t take my weight:

I did that for 30 minutes.

And then I decided to stay in bed in order to do a little bit of an upper body workout with the lonesome 5kg dumbbell.

Not bad for today.

I’m happy enough with my efforts.

Bed Day: 30 minutes lower leg lifting, 3 x 50 5kg alternating chest presses.

Steps Taken: 1,139

Difficulty level: Easy

Janathon 2018, Day 26 – Doggy Isla

Doggy Isla has apparently been begging to take part in my Janathon activities for some time. Perhaps it’s because she sees the exposure as the first step to super-stardom. Perhaps it’s just because she likes having a walk.

So I believe that when she finally came over today to give me New Years greetings, she did not want to find someone who was refusing to go out for said walk.

My right knee is sore! But Isla didn’t show any sympathy. Indeed, when I suggested that instead of a walk she could help me with some kneeling press ups she totally ignored me. And during the pre warm-up photo session it was almost as if she was trying to ruin the shots.

It’s true what they say: never work with children or primadonas.

As for helping me with Janathon exercising: nope. She showed her true colours when I attempted my press ups by ignoring me completely and sucking up to the Old Trout.

I really couldn’t be bothered after that, so I gave in after 14 press ups.

Doggy Isla Day: reached step goal, 14 kneeling press ups

Steps Taken: 3,032

Difficulty Level: medium

Janathon 2018, Day 25 – Look how far I’ve come

It’s not the best picture in the world, but that Ladies and Gentlemen is Loftus War Memorial. And that is where I strolled to tonight – with ease.

When I started this blog back in January 2015 I was suffering from severe muscle degeneration caused by medication I had been taking for years. Although I’ve always been overweight, I’d also been active and tried to remain as fit as possible whilst trying to cope with a quite severe mental illness. But the problems caused by statins left my muscles so weak that it was an effort to physically get out of bed, or to walk across a room. By the time I started the blog I had worked out what was causing the problem, but recovery has been slow.

Back in January 2015 I struggled to walk the length of 20 houses and back. I remember how much my knees ached and how difficult it was to put on clothes. Tonight I decided to try it again. There was no problem getting out of the door. I walked the length of the street and then I decided that I’d carry on for a bit. So I did.

That’s how I arrived at the war memorial a mile from mum’s house. And then I walked back, very happy with myself indeed.

In other news today which isn’t Janathon related: the Old Trout’s squeezy marmite pot turned up. This is the one that she’s turning into a geocaching container. Apparently the plan is to decant the marmite into a different container. That way there’ll be no time pressure with regards to finishing this yeasty delight.

But just look at that box!

There were other items in the box. Things like UHT milk and toilet rolls. But essentially my mother bought £25 worth of goods from Amazon Pantry in order to get a jar of marmite that wasn’t glass. A box that she couldn’t even lift!

Look How far I’ve come Day: 2 mile walk

Steps Taken: 7,023

Difficulty level: Easy