My back ached on Sunday – to fail the push-up challenge for anything other than inadequate muscles would be cruel but, happily, it eased overnight and I started week 2 of the challenge on Monday. Session 1 required sets of 14, 14, 10, 10 and 15+, I did them all (20 for the final 15+) but my back was getting a little unhappy by the end.
I’ve found that fantasy football leagues can rather spoil the game. I put three of England’s attacking players into my team on Sunday and found myself hoping we would concede a goal (but still win) to deny clean sheet bonuses to competitors with England defenders. How pathetic is that for a low-key fantasy league with a £10 entry fee?
My three forwards managed two goals and two assists, before two were substituted off after about 64 minutes. Does the manager not care about my fantasy team?
I was going to the swim doctor session on Monday (honestly, I was) but it got cancelled. To celebrate I had an hour in the gym on Tuesday (largely to feel better about not wanting to run in the cold). It was tough as I put up the weights across the board with increases between 10% and 20%.
I think my painful back is due to bringing in over 30 potted geraniums, 2 lemon trees and two olive trees on Saturday as I could feel it again when moving a third, larger, olive tree to a more sheltered position on Tuesday. I bought a fleece jacket to protect the large olive tree – I’ll buy some more for next year so more plants can stay out.
On Wednesday we woke to the first proper frost of the year – and a couple of colder weeks to come. The push-up challenge is ramping up – it required sets of 14, 16, 12, 12, 17+ (press-ups find out if your back is not 100%!) but still OK – I did 25 for the 17+.
In the evening we went to the theatre in Oxford. Our last two visits were for the opera (Tosca) and Bob Dylan – I am ashamed to say this time it was Mamma Mia. Benny and Bjorn wrote many fine and catchy pop songs but cramming 22 of them into just over 2 hours was a bit much for me. Not exactly my thing but I’d promised my wife that I’d take her and a promise is a promise. It was a very good production and a very strong cast – and my wife loved it which was the main purpose of the exercise.
Thursday was even colder but we’d arranged for a walk with friends so we braved the freeze in what was otherwise a lovely crisp, bright day. A fine walk nicely followed by a very good pub lunch – 8.7km (5.4 miles).
Friday was week 2, day 3 of the 100 press-up challenge and required 16, 17, 14, 14, 20+. I worked hard to get to 30 for the final set, making it 238 for the week so far. I now have to do a test to see how many I can manage in one go – and that determines the programme for the next two weeks.
To the gym with my friend and training partner after the push-ups, neither of us was feeling the love for the weights but, in my book, that means the effort counts double.
I took the push-up test on Saturday morning and managed 38. I’d hoped for 40 but it was just a day after doing 91 of them and a gym session, so perhaps the small amount of muscle I have was not fully recovered. The programme has different plans for people managing between 16-20, 21-25 and over 25 in the test – so I guess it’s OK. Later, 30 minutes on the turbo @ 28.8kph – 17.9mph.
In the evening, England were knocked out of the World Cup at the quarter final stage. We had more possession than France, more shots than France, more shots on target than France, more corners than France … sadly, it appears that it’s the goals scored that really count. Ho, hum.
It was snowing when I woke on Sunday (but not as badly as the picture which is of the garden a few years ago). To commemorate the occasion I repeated the ‘push-ups to exhaustion’ test and managed an improved 45. That’s 321 in the week.
Our older son and his girlfriend have done the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, shared photos of their meal of guinea pig and chips and are now on the Amazon.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: Love is a despot who spares no one
2. Comedian John Bishop: Being an England supporter is like being the over-optimistic parents of the fat kid on sports day
3. BBC News website: No sex please, we’re Indonesian
Indonesia’s parliament is expected to pass a new criminal law this month that will punish sex outside marriage with imprisonment of up to a year. Cohabitation before marriage will also be banned and those convicted could face a six-month prison sentence.
The law, if passed, would apply to Indonesian citizens and foreigners alike and business groups have expressed concern about the damage the rules might do to Indonesia’s image as a holiday and investment destination.
4. BBC News website: When fast food isn’t fast enough
The Kraft Company markets microwaveable cups of Velveeta Shells and Cheese as “ready in 3.5 minutes” but a Florida woman is suing them on the basis that it takes longer.
The $5m (£4.2m) lawsuit claims the time advertised does not include preparation time – opening the lid and sauce pouch, before adding water and stirring.
What? $5m for a few seconds is one heck of an hourly rate
5. BBC News website: The madness continues
Twenty-five people have been arrested across Germany on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. The group of far-right and ex-military figures is said to have prepared for a “Day X” to storm the Reichstag parliament building and seize power.
The plotters are said to include members of the extremist Reichsbürger [Citizens of the Reich] movement and QAnon adherents who believe their country is in the hands of a mythical “deep state” involving secret powers pulling the political strings.
6. BBC News website: Are you looking at me …?
Sexual harassment on the street will be made a specific crime in England with jail sentences of up to two years. Wolf-whistling, catcalling and staring persistently will be criminalised under government plans.
Sexual harassment is already illegal but it is hoped creating a new offence for street harassment will encourage more people to report it to police.
Of course, any harassment is unacceptable but it’s a sad society that needs to legislate against persistent staring
Great work on the push-ups. I believe the Economist ran with ‘Biding a Reich’ which is nothing if not progressive 😊
I don’t normally approve of targeting cyclists but, on this occasion, thank goodness they were knocked off course.