Monday’s 100 push-up challenge required sets of 21, 25, 21, 21 and 32+ (I did 40). After this extensive research, I can confirm that push-ups are just as tough when done at my brother-in-law’s in Surrey as they are at home in Oxfordshire.
We drove home later in the morning, via our older son’s place in Kingston, to check on it and collect a sofa we are having re-covered for them.
In the evening I actually went to the swim doctor session, my first since early October. The water is usually about 27℃ (80℉) but for some unknown reason it was 33℃ (91℉) I have never known a pool in this country to be too hot before. About 900 metres with various drills. I sneezed for the rest of the evening.
I took my own advice on Tuesday and gave the gym a miss in the hope that my arms would be better recovered for the next set of push-ups. The programme requires sets of 25, 29, 25, 25 and 36+ …. 140 of the blighters.
Overcoming the disappointment of (yet again) not being named among the UK Sports Personality of the Year contenders, I did the push-ups on Wednesday. I managed to do them all plus an extra 4 for the final set making 144 …. this challenge is getting really tough, it was a gross experience.
After that I went to the gym. Another 5km on the treadmill – 27m 45s – and then 30 minutes of weights, performing a bit like a kitten on the arm machines.
I ached on Thursday, I hope nothing more than might be expected after the push-ups, run and gym on Wednesday. I drove down to Bournemouth to check on the house down there – all was well.
If I thought doing 140 push-ups was bad on Wednesday (and, believe me, I did), 160 on Friday (with an extra 4 on each set) was a good deal worse – but I managed to do it all plus an extra 5 for the final set. At least that’s week 4 done … almost … as it finishes with another test where I have to do as many as possible, to exhaustion.
I still felt sore on Friday – mainly knees and back (it can’t be running on the treadmill instead of the road, can it?) so I did domestic things and finished my Christmas shopping – a day earlier than usual. Our younger son got back from skiing and made it to his flat in London before the next round of rail strikes. I drove the 3 hour round trip to collect him in the evening, getting back a bit before 11pm.
I should have saved the push-up test until Sunday – a treat for Christmas Day itself and an extra day’s recovery time, but I decided to have that day off so I brought the test forward to Christmas Eve. Ho, Ho, Ho, what a festive delight it was. By definition, doing push-ups until you can do no more is going to hurt and I collapsed after 60.
One son safely home and one in Peru, we are ready for Christmas. It’s been a tough year for many and more difficulties still to come in 2023 but I wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and successful 2023.
Stay safe in the storms, American friends.
Football World Cup
With Argentina beating France to win the World Cup (and with Croatia beating Morocco for 3rd place), Qatar bows out.
Of course, the most important result of the entire competition was that I recaptured second place in the Fantasy Football league. I had slipped to third after the semi-finals by making the terrible rookie error of confusing the two French Hernandez brothers and transferring into my team the brother who was injured and not the one who scored and got a clean sheet bonus.
Older son’s travels
Our older son and his girlfriend decided that Peru was not perfectly safe (!) with the man who was president now in detention after what the constitutional court said was an attempted coup; his former prime minister gone underground and his former running mate now in power.
There is a nationwide state of emergency to quell protests in which hundreds have been injured and apparently tourists have been stranded in Machu Picchu as the rail link was suspended. Good call on their part. They decided to go to La Paz earlier than planned – it took three flights to get there but they arrived safely – albeit without all their luggage. After a few days on the salt flats and other Bolivian delights they got back for their luggage and are now in Lima.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: No matter how beautiful and well crafted a coffin might look, it will not make anyone wish for death
2. BBC News website: The 97 year old who went on the ‘run’
A former secretary who worked for the commander of a Nazi concentration camp has been convicted of complicity in the murders of more than 10,505 people. She was taken on as a teenage typist at the camp and worked there from 1943 to 1945. Although she was a civilian worker, the judge held that she was fully aware of what was going on at the camp – she was given a two-year suspended jail term.
When the trial began in September 2021, the 97 year old went on the run from her retirement home and was eventually found by police on a street in Hamburg.
If conviction merited only a 2 year suspended sentence, did it merit a trial? I guess it’s the symbolism that’s more important here
3. BBC News website: Enough fentanyl seized in 2022 to kill every American.
The Drug Enforcement Administration says they intercepted 379m potentially deadly fentanyl doses, more than double what they seized in 2021.
The highly addictive substance, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin, is said to be the deadliest drug threat facing the US. The drug is so powerful that a lethal dose is is just two milligrams, small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil.
4. BBC News website: Controls are too weak for a Fortnite?
The maker of popular video game Fortnite has agreed to pay $520m (£427m) to resolve claims from US regulators that it violated child privacy laws and tricked users into making purchases. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said the firm duped players with “deceptive interfaces” that could trigger purchases while the game loaded. It also accused it of using “privacy-invasive” default settings.
Fortnite has more than 400 million players around the world. The game is generally free to download, but makes money from in-game purchases of items such as costumes and dance moves.
5. BBC News website: A no de Armas
Film studio Universal can be sued for false advertising after two fans complained a movie trailer was misleading, a US judge has ruled. The fans of the actress Ana de Armas rented the 2019 film ‘Yesterday’. The actress is seen in the trailer but the pair were disappointed to find she had been cut from the final film.
The plaintiffs each paid $3.99 (£3.31) to rent Yesterday on Amazon Prime and are seeking at least $5 million (£4.1m) from Universal in the case, which has been filed as a class action on behalf of other disappointed fans.
How disappointed do you have to be for it to be worth $5 million?
6. BBC News website: Cockfighting not just dangerous to the cocks
Six people have been charged over the kidnapping of a group thought to have been abducted on their way to a cockfight in January.
Meanwhile, three former police officers have also been charged with allegedly abducting a cockfighting enthusiast from his house in August 2021, according to the AFP news agency and at least 27 people connected to the lucrative industry remain missing.
While taxes from live-streamed cockfights helped the government replenish its finances after the Covid pandemic, online fights were eventually banned, while traditional cockfighting was allowed to resume.
“I wouldn’t even want to call them missing cockfighters, but probably dead cockfighters,” Justice Secretary Jesus Remulla said this week.
The Justice Secretary eschewing politician-speak – but, sadly, probably telling it like it is