You gotta roll with it

Megan’s got a new skill which, as you can see in the above video, she loves showing off: she can now do forward rolls.

Now, I don’t want to seem overproud, but I think this is quite the skill for someone who’s not long turned two – I’ve known 10 year olds who struggled to do this, although I appreciate that’s an exception rather than a rule.

But if she can do this now, what will she be able to do in a few years? Maybe we’ve got a future Olympic gymnast on our hands???

Of course there is the small matter of her “warm up” to take into account. No-one has any idea why she has to jump up and down on the spot, many many times, before she can do a roll. But do it she must – it’s like they’re both part of the same exercise.

I’m not sure they allow coffee tables to lean on in Olympic gymnastic halls, but we’ve got plenty of time to work on that. By my reckoning, Megan’s first Olympic appearance won’t be until 2028, and they’ve not even sorted out where it’s going to be held yet. Which, makes booking flights and hotels a bit problematic, but I’m sure we’ll manage.

I’m not getting ahead of myself, am I?

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

I’m a road runner baby

Road Runner - meep meep!This year has been all about the health and the fitness in our household, appropriate in an Olympic year, non? I’ve written before about The Diet, and I’m pleased to say that my journey there is almost complete – just a couple of pounds to go and I’ll be a happy man. (Note: I could maybe be tempted to go further, but people are starting to tell me I’m looking a bit thin, so I’m going to draw a line. For now, at least…)

As well as being more careful about what we eat, both me and Gem have got off the couch and started exercising on a regular basis, something neither of us have done for aaaaaages.

Back in January, we started out on Wii Fit, which was a fantastic starting point – nice, easy, gentle exercise to start using muscles that haven’t been used in a very long time. Focusing on the aerobic exercises, it wasn’t long before we could see a difference, on the scales, on the measuring tape, and, perhaps more importantly, in how out of breath and sweaty we were at the end of a workout.

One of the great things about Wii Fit is that the more you use it the more exercises and levels you unlock – something that keeps you coming back for more. To an extent, it also stops you trying to do too much too soon, something that’s liable to result in an injury and put you off entirely.

We both knew, though, that Wii Fit wasn’t going to be the be all and end all of our new lifestyle, and that sooner or later we’d more on to other things. We’ve now replaced Wii Fit with Zumba Fitness 2 two times a week, and are working our way through the various levels that offers. Again, it’s a really nice feeling when you start to find the routines less taxing than when you started, and can start to add in more challenging ones. Still plenty of mileage left there.

I’ve also started running, and am pleased to say that I’ve just signed up for my first ever 10k race, at this year’s Great Scottish Run. Half a lifetime ago, when I was young and took my fitness for granted, I ran the GSR half marathon, and maybe one day I’ll manage that again, but one step at a time, right? Let’s see how I get on with the 10k first.

Currently I’m running two or three times a week, and trying to add distance each week. At the moment, the furthest I’ve run is 6.4km, which is almost two thirds of the distance I’m aiming to cover in 4 weeks time. I’m slightly ahead of the training schedule I devised for myself though, so I’m confident I’ll be able to complete the race and get my first (well second, if you count the one from 18 years ago) medal.

After that, who knows? I’m getting a real buzz out of running at the moment, and I hope that doesn’t disappear once the challenge of completing the race has gone and I’ve got nothing to aim for. I don’t think it will, but if it does, there are plenty of other races out there to be entered, right?

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

History never repeats

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or, I guess, don’t live in the UK) you’ll know that the Olympic flame is currently touring the country.

Yesterday afternoon it was in our neck of the woods, but owing to circumstances (ie work and nursery) we missed it. We did talk about heading over to the other side of the city this morning, to see it leave for Inverness, but decided it was too early and too far to go for something that would be over in minutes. And anyway, aged 1 and 3, the girls won’t have a clue what’s going on and are unlikely to remember it.

I did stick on the Beeb’s torch cam this morning, to see exactly what we were missing. Megan couldn’t have cared less. Heather was interested, but only for about three minutes. Then she got bored, and asked to put some kid songs on YouTube. Which, I think, backs up our decision not to go flame watching.

And yet, part of me still thinks we should have made the effort. This is probably a once in a lifetime, never to be repeated event, and chances to be part of history don’t come round that often.

Saying that, the Commonwealth Games will be here in a couple of years, and I dare say there will be something similar. Maybe we should start planning now…

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!