Acts of kindness, Big issuse, Fitness, Games, Homeless, Poverty, Voluteering

…Homeless Shelter/Insanity Fitness/Vedic Maths

Week 8Week 8

It’s the New Year (Happy New Year etc).

New Year’s Day is often considered by many to be a symbolic time for personal change, but the reality is the entire country’s hung-over and can’t be arsed.

Recently I’ve started to really feel the enormity of my personal challenge.  I keep getting massively behind blogging about my daily adventures, mainly because I’m a lazy pig (not wishing to be rude about our swine friends, I feel they get a lot of abuse when it comes to deprecating metaphors).  I’ve even come close to quitting and I’ve still got forty-four weeks to go.  It’s a lot harder than I first thought, although to be fair I didn’t really put much thought into it in the first place, but it’s the New Year and I’m determined to carry on.

Instead of blogging daily I’m now going to write weekly summaries of my experiences, hopefully allowing me more time to focus on achieving new things, rather than having the usual ‘OhbloodyhellthedaysnearlyoverandIdontknowwhattodo’ panic.  In fact I’m already going on a bit and beginning to panic, so let’s get on with it, starting with the last three days of week eight:

Day Fifty-five

…Volunteered at a shelter for the homeless

I wasn’t expecting there to be many volunteers at the temporary homeless shelter, run during the Christmas period by the charity Crisis, but I was pleasantly surprised to find over a hundred people giving up their spare time to do a good deed.  I possibly made a bit of a rookie mistake when the organiser announced at the start “I need four volunteers.  If you were here yesterday you probably know what the task is”.  I foolishly put up my hand up and was lead straight to toilet cleaning duty. Two hours later I was relieved from the ‘shit’ job, then taken to the kitchen and told to clean dishes for three hours, however my final task was to simply supervise the makeshift cinema room (basically I got to watch some films with a load of homeless people).

The eight hour shift with no break was tiring, but I certainly felt I’d worked my way up the hierarchy of volunteering.  I’ll be helping again next year.

Day Fifty-six

…Attempted the Insanity Fitness Test

I remember seeing one of those disturbingly long digital TV adverts, in fact I think they’re called infomercials, for the Insanity Workout programme, which claims to be the toughest fitness programme ever put on DVD – I had to give it a go.

Unlike on day four, when I tried a Jane Fonda workout video, it was impossible to find a YouTube clip of the twenty minutes of fitness insanity.  The closest I got to a free copy of the workout was some home videos showing people following the DVD in their living rooms, which was bit weird, but I figured I’d just have to follow them following the official footage.

I worked out with a really fat American chap, who, for some reason, felt it was appropriate to exercise pretty much naked – which made me feel a bit sick.  I followed the video in my bedroom, but there wasn’t really enough space so I kept knocking things over and hurting myself, also my new chubby online fitness buddy kept pausing the video, however I persevered and got to the end – insanity!

Day Fifty-Seven

…Learnt Vedic Maths

I got an E grade at GCSE Maths, so I can confidently say I’m no Carol Voderman or whomever the male equivalent is.  When someone suggested I learnt a mental math calculation technique from India, my brain was already frazzled before I even knew what it was, however the system seemed to make everything a lot simpler than the standard way, I even found myself unexpectedly enjoying it.

Unfortunately an hour after learning the technique I’d already forgotten it, also I couldn’t help thinking why can’t I just use a calculator (A mindset of the hi-tech generation that I know definitely upsets my grandparents). 



…completed a Sudoku Puzzle

Day 54

Day Fifty-four

Apparently Sudoku has been around since 1895, when it first appeared in a Paris-based daily called La France, but it was not really an international hit until 2005 (This is not my knowledge, but from the completely accurate Wikipedia).  I remember when it first appeared on the back of newspapers and, like Crosswords, I simply thought sod that.

I’ve never been good at puzzles.  I don’t find them enjoyable and often ended up very angry, but I thought I’d give the number-placement challenge a go – reluctantly.

It took me an hour and a half to complete a 3×3 block grid, having never tackled a Sudoku before I had no idea how long it was meant to take, but I imagine that was far too long.  Each time I thought I was close to completing it, I got confused again.  When I finished I felt a slight tinge of satisfaction, but only because I knew I’d never have to do it again.

In Summary: Sudoku? No thank you!


…taken on the Air Log challenge

Day Forty-five

My friend Siân, who works at a children’s play centre, challenged me to survive the Air Log – a large inflated tube on which two ‘contenders’ sit at either end and try to roll the other person off.

Siân managed to roll me off the Air Log three times making her the ultimate winner.  However, I thought you had to keep your legs and hands in the air, it wasn’t until afterwards I realised you’re only meant to keep your feet off the ground and you are allowed to hold on.  I misunderstood the rules – typical!

I demand a rematch.


…played Twister

Day 42Day Forty-two

Rather surprisingly I’ve never actually played the 1966 patented party game Twister.

I’ve always thought that the game, which involves a group of friends using their bodies to touch different coloured spots on a ground sheet, was actually a precursor to some kind of middleclass British swingers evening – unfortunately when I played it wasn’t, I just fell over and hurt myself a bit.