Monthly Archives: May 2016

Where are you now?

I did this yesterday and loved it. I enjoy exercise that makes me feel good. And that’s why I don’t enjoy the popular philosophy that getting uncomfortable and awkward with heavy weights is what makes the cut. I loved frog burpeees! I had never done a frog burpee until yesterday and now I feel like I have finally lived in a workout. Making your body do fun new things that feel good is brilliant. Exercise isn’t punishment – and a banging track list keeps me motivated. Spotify keeps me going!
I also did a 5K run on the treadmill last night – 31 mins 29 seconds… The goal is 30 mins… Goals are important.
I don’t know about anybody else but I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by gravity and super heavy this weekend – like I’m all lead boned and wading through quicksand. And I tried to nuke that feeling with exercise.

This morning I did this circuit set:-

Warm up – Repeat 3 times
25 squats
16 lunges
16 russian twists
10 burpees
25 mountain climbers

HIIT – Repeat 3 times
12 side planks w/leg raises (6 e/s)
16 windmills (4kg kettlebell) (8 e/s)
20 swings (10kg kettlebell)
20 sumo squats (5kg medicine ball)
10 burpees overhead lift (w/ 5kg medicine ball)
25 mountain climbers
30 jumping jacks
10 surfer push ups
16 ploy jump squats
25 plank jacks

Strength – Repeat twice
16 russian twists (6/8kg kettlebell)
12 side lunges (6/8kg kettlebell)
8 sumo squats (x2 6kg kettlebells)
12 halos (6/8kg kettlebell)
16 backward lunges (6/8kg kettlebell)
16 tabletop leg/arm raises (3kg dumbbell)

I did sweat much. And it was good. The strength class I have been going to doesn’t make me sweat heaps, I think my sweat gets shy in front of other people. It’s good to sweat it out, that’s important. Exercise is how I keep my serotonin levels high enough to prevent me from taking myself out, through self-harm, bulimia or self sabotaging my finances. Exercise also goes hand in hand with self-respect, for me. I need to keep my serotonin levels, self-esteem and self-respect buoyant or I find myself in a dark, bitter funk.

I’ve also been doing some outdoor bench circuits/running with a good friend, around Guernsey reservoir. We get gut-punchingly beautiful vistas whilst lunging, squatting, cursing, sweating, laughing and pushing through to the next bench… and the next bench. There are 8 benches on total and its a 3/4K run. I highly recommend it. The next step is to take it to the cliff paths, although there are less benches per K along those routes, there are endless sets of vicious steps!

“The monoamines in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, have an improved transmission rate when exercising occurs. This is beneficial for those depressed because such chemicals in the brain directly affect on mood.” – Hassan

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One Hundred Days of Happiness by Fausto Brizzi


This book landed on my kindle like a wish on a penny, tossed into a wishing well on whim. I donut really remember why I read this book. I was searching online for a structured ‘100 days of Happiness’ model, that I could follow. I wanted to see if I could find happiness in every day and record this. I failed at doing anything like that but I did read this book somewhere along that road.
I have read a lot of books about death and dying, in my pursuit of unravelling and understanding the death of my partner in 2008. I’ve done a lot of memoirs, in my time. One of the best was Joan Didion’s ‘The Magical Year of Thinking.’ Joan’s husband, John Gregory Dunne, died of a heart attack at the dinner table after they returned from visiting their daughter, who was in hospital. Joan tells the story about what happened next, after the fatal, tragic cardiac event that stole her beloved friend away from  life so unexpectedly, so suddenly and so ordinarily.
I donut think that I wanted to read a memoir about the black crab, cancer, when Signor Brizzi landed on my browser like a wasp on a white wine spritzer at a birthday picnic. Reviews of the novel were ambiguous, teasing. I thought that I would be running with scissors and exploring wallflower perks when I started to read this novel. I thought that Brizzi might be a little bit Wes Anderson, a little bit kooky, a little bit kitsch. When it had sunk in that I was reading a dying man’s memoir I did feel a little bit like I had been tricked, punked.

Like Dave Eggers, ‘A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius’ the painfully acute comedy of tragedy, breaks through the song and verse of the story like magic light beams. ‘One Hundred Days of Happiness’ is an epic portrayal of a man consumed by the ego of his own mortality. It’s also a book about one man’s devastating love affair with hot, luscious, lip-smacking sugary treats. The donut. That’s why I thought about Homer Simpson, Brizzi’s alma matter, the grandmaster patriarch of beer and donut loving living.

Brizzi’s wife’s silence throughout the ordeal of her husband’s failure at marriage and life, touches so many familiar feelings and experiences of the human condition. It’s a brilliant read, beautifully naive and profound in all of the right places. The selfishness of man, the vulnerabilities, the perfect flaws.
Just make sure that you have tissues and donuts to hand.

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