Making hay

It’s next to impossible to not be carried away with the peaceful and easy feeling that the current spell of warm weather has brought to the UK.

Recently Scotland recorded the hottest day in its history (link) which was measured at a scorching 33.2C degrees in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, and the forecast for Warwickshire is similarly toasty for the next week or so ahead.

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To use a well trodden phrase I’m ‘making hay while the sun shines’ and getting the most I possibly can of my usual twalking companions’ willingness to get out and about and my own desire to enjoy the outdoors plus (when necessary) de-stress.

Usually I count my walking weeks (and work toward my 70 mile objective) from Saturday to Friday – and already I have enough in the bank to take my foot off the gas a bit, but so far I don’t feel the need, because I’m just loving life.

Every day currently just seems to come pre-loaded with a reason to bounce out of bed. Most days have seen me begin a little early and take a longer route than I actually need to so that I can make the most of the world while it looks so beautiful.

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A reader asked me recently some practical questions about walking to work (in an attempt I assume to replicate my behaviour) and queried what I do about sweating, ‘beetroot face’ and the need to shower after doing so much exercise.

You may notice in the photo above the sun is shining and I’m wearing noting but a dangerously light coloured blue cotton shirt.

Truthfully this used to be a big consideration – and in the job I had before this current one (when I was a little heavier) this was a daily concern.

I’d already lost a lot of weight and in August 2017 I had started walking to work (two miles each way in that case) for the first time (link).

I remember being quite paranoid about how i’d look when I arrived in the office and was wearing a white tee-shirt under all of my shirts to soak up any sweat if it happened. At that point I was four stone heavier than I am now (12th August 2017 – 18st 8lbs) but still pretty proud of where I’d managed to get to in terms of fitness and put some before and after photos in my blog.

In the full length shots the comparison is from 7th Jan 2017 (25st 2lbs) and the portrait shows me at 34st in April 2016.

‘Beetroot face’ is something that stopped happening (I don’t remember exactly when) but from memory this wasn’t something directly related to weight – but increased fitness.

I guess in answer to the reader’s query I should say ‘if you need to take spare clothes and shower and/or change at work then do it. If you’re worried about looking hot and sweaty then just remember the embarrassment is in your mind – not other people’s.

I know only too well that random passers by can be spontaneously and surprisingly cruel (link) (more links) but when it comes to the people that know you all they’ll see is someone trying to better themselves and they’ll be supportive and encouraging.

If not then you work with assholes and it’s time to find a new job.

It’s as simple as that.

Your goal (as difficult as this can be) is to have a better life and to be healthy and happy. To reach that point you don’t need to look good or impress people with how effortless it is because it’s not.

It’s flipping hard and I take my hat off to anyone trying to convert sedentary fat into muscular fitness because it’s not an easy path to take.

It is however the right one  and over time it gets easier – so keep going.

If you do then everything opens up – and in my case the flower that blossoms is literal as well as metaphorical. While you’re out and about you get to see not only yourself but the world around you growing.

Yesterday evening I was finally able once again to do a full circuit  (around 3.5 miles) of the golf course at Leek Wootton with my friend.

Regular readers may remember my companion as a lady with a poorly paw. Not so long ago this regular partner in crime of mine took a tumble whilst we were twalking in the Hickey Hills back in March (link).

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For a few weeks now (since she got the OK from her doctor) we’ve been taking baby steps on flat surfaces in order to try and build up her capabilities again. Now I’m glad to report that she’s getting to the point where uneven surfaces and some gentler gradients are once again possible.

There’s been a lot of frustration on her part associated with the length of time that the injury has taken to heal – but honestly I’m amazed that it’s done as well as it has, given that ‘a ligament tear’ actually turned out to be ‘a ligament that pulled a chunk of bone away with it too when it tore’.

Ouch.

But now we’re out and about again – and what a time it is to be doing it!

Yesterday everywhere seemed to be heavily populated with butterflies and moths. No matter where you walked the hedgerows were thick with the Red Admiral and Cabbage White varieties.

Even before I’d started the twalk, sitting on my recycling bin when I returned home was this little guy.

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I’m seeing a few varieties this year that I’ve never noticed before – and the milder weather may well be the cause – because while I was looking this up (it’s a Scarlet Tiger – link) I realised it’s predominantly found in the southern parts of the UK.

It’s almost as pretty as the Cinnabar (link) I found near work a few weeks ago – but not quite…

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Hopefully I’ll find more as the weeks go on – because I’m just loving blundering into these little guys!

Who knew moths could be so vibrant and colourful? I’ve only ever noticed the irritating little brown ones fixated on lightbulbs before and these couldn’t be further apart if they tried!

Anyway – I better get on internet. I have another busy day ahead of me.

Whatever you’re trying to do to improve yourself – keep doing it – and to anyone reading that feels like they’re approaching the deep end – just keep swimming!

Davey

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5 comments

  1. That’s a walk I’ve never done… is it pretty well marked?

    I’m thinking park up on the left hand side as you drive in then head off up the slope?

    Glad your friend is up and about..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not that well marked really – there are several routes you can take around the golf course and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Just explore a bit and keep the golf course on your left after reaching it from the church car park.

      Like

      1. Cheers Davey

        9.5k steps later and I made it back to the car park.. found myself on the fairways a few times ..luckily not many golfers about.. ended up finding the millennium way and tracking back under the power lines..

        Lovely walk and the golf course was very scenic and peaceful this time in the evening..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah yes that would be me, the reader with all the questions. Lol. Not out of a desire to *exactly* replicate your particular path, but out of curiosity and trying to work out in my head if I would be able to fit in “morning” walking or cycling before work. At the moment the answer is no (for me personally) but that may change in another 4 or 6 months time.

    There are extra factors to consider as a woman as well Davey ….. I have hair (lots of it) and it would get hot and heavy round the back of my neck ….. of course I can tie it up but would then have to spend time restyling it at the office.

    And there’s the make-up issue (I personally like to wear a little — I know some ladies prefer a more natural look but there we go — for me the make-up bag comes with me).

    And then the “bags” issue. I usually have one large handbag with me and a separate rucksack (the rucksack usually contains the make-up, deo spray, comb, toothbrush and paste, online banking gadget, my daily lunch and fruit, magazines, water bottle and other detritus / post / shopping I collect during the day).

    So for me just walking *after* work with all that paraphernalia and my hair tied up works for now …… and it doesn’t matter a hoot to me myself (on my own) how sweaty and beetroot I get before arriving at my front door (having taken one of my “long way” home routes).

    Also for me the reason I started walking was due to finance. Back in June I had originally planned on joining my local leisure centre and had booked a free “Taster” day. However within a few days of my end of May / 1st June payday I had overspent and realised I would be living on meagre rations for the rest of the month and spending £50 on gym membership (35 pcm plus 15 join fee) was going to be a luxury I did not need to imcur.

    I then realised well the weather is so darn good at the moment I may as well *just* do more walking as #walkingisfree 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Admittedly the weather has become *sooooo* warm recently that I have started to get wistful a few times about the leisure centre ….. as sometimes it would be so nice to just go and cool off with a swim.

    However for now evening walking is working for me and I will reconsider gym membership or adding in morning exercise in another few months.

    Liked by 1 person

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