Thursday, 20 September 2012

'Use it or lose it'

I am enjoying my time in Ireland; wonderful people – wonderful country (wonderful weather?!).

Meanwhile my 77 year old swimming partner back in Australia is painting his house (first of all when he said he was painting ‘the house’ I thought he meant my house as he is house sitting for me at the moment – but alas, no!).

My local pool, Byron Bay.

He observed to me that he does not think he could have taken on this task before we started swimming a couple kilometers each morning about eight years ago now. For him it is about achieving something against the odds and enjoying every minute of it; for me it is about mobility – being a chronic back pain sufferer – and simply how ‘good’ it makes me feel.

Now we do our morning ritual on opposite sides of the world.

All manner of people turn up at the Dublin City Council Pool at 7 each morning. Apart from the Dublin Fire Brigade crew (‘Fireies’ we call them in Oz) most are not at all good swimmers and choose the ‘slow’ lane. But they try and they stick at it and leave in much better humour than when they arrived.

Now the last thing I want to do is preach. I have checked the ‘10 signs that you might be an annoying fitness freak’ and so far I am OK. I am not inflexible (I can miss a day or two and I work my exercise around other things rather than the reverse), not one-dimensional or intimidating. But I must confess to being just a little self righteous and judgmental from time to time (read on and you will notice this!).

However, on one point I am a zealot; that is the quest to eradicate those who prey on people who have already been indoctrinated by the (perfect) image makers. ‘If you do not measure up to this image we have created (which in real life does not exist) no one will admire you, in fact you might be ignored, or worse, you might be despised’. These are the peddlers of products and services that promise miraculous changes in beauty and even personality, with no particular effort or change in lifestyle, but simply by using a particular product or service.

From time to time regulators ban those that make false claims or sell stuff that is obviously ineffective, but marketing and the vulnerability of consumers being what it is the regulators can’t keep pace.
Make lifestyle choices and, if necessary, changes that are not onerous, that are sustainable, that are informed, which can endure and, most of all, which are fun. No shortcuts.

Use it or lose it.

Now, Snowy, there is a colour, a blue, called ‘inspiration’, I would like for the outside, and inside perhaps ‘renoir’, which is an off white pinky colour….

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