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). 


Fitness, Uncategorized

…followed a 1980’s Jane Fonda workout video

Day 4Day Four

So far this week I’ve been in touch with the spirits, of the ghostly kind, and helped the homeless – now time for a workout.

I have never worked out to an exercise video.  I worry someone will walk in whilst I’m doing it, making me look like a complete nobhead (must learn not to care what people think), but mainly I haven’t done it because I’m lazy.

Once again I turned to the internet for help as old-school VHS workout videos are hard to get hold of these days, in fact they are retro so I imagine they’re now more expensive than their original price.  My first line of investigation on the internet is Davina McCall, I’ve heard she loves a good workout. I look for her life-changing videos on YouTube and quickly discover why Davina is so rich.  There are no full workout videos just trailers advertising her full video – Savvy McCall.

I don’t want to go on about Davina McCall, British TV presenting royalty that she is, but I did once share a MOMENT with her.  I was working as Santa Claus in a Christmas grotto (a very desperate time) when Davina came in with her young daughter.  She sat next to me whilst the daughter told me what she wanted for Christmas. Now I can’t promise that in my head I didn’t pretend I was married to Davina and this was our child, bit weird I know, particularly as I don’t even fancy her but that was what was happening in my head at the time.

So, who could I turn to next to achieve my home alone afternoon workout (I really should be looking for a job).  I found Jordon/Katie Price’s workout video, and after watching the YouTube clip for about two minutes I nearly jumped out of the window with the window still closed.  I then messaged my fitness instructor friend who suggests the Holy Grail, the grandmother of exercise – Jane Fonda and her 80’s classic ‘Jane Fonda’s workout (for beginners)’.

The opening sequence to Jane Fonda’s video was possible the most euphoric 80’s experience of my life.  Music, which would not be out of place on any level of Sonic the Hedgehog, plays as the camera pans around a Fame style dance studio.  Attractive women dressed in brilliantly bright lyrica high-five each other as men in worryingly tight shorts jump up and down a bit…and then the camera settles on FONDA.  Instant love.

At the start of the video there’s some ‘wonderful’ computer graphics followed by a disclaimer, which I wasn’t expecting, from the production company stating they are not responsible for any damage or loss.  I feel I’ve taken this task on too lightly.  We start with a warm-up, of course.  The Sonic the Hedgehog music combined with excited whooping and cheering from the professional exercise types on the screen catches me by surprise – I feel really happy, or is it borderline pissing myself laughing.  This was not the only surprise, after the warm-up and when things started getting a bit serious a singer called Leslie Lilien (no idea) steps forward and starts singing.  Fonda encourages us to sing along at home whilst we work out.  These are the words from the chorus:

There’s so much more to you than meets the eye

There’s so much more in you you’re going to try (appropriate on my new things challenge)

There’s so much more living, living, living

Living, living for yoooooou

Do it, Do it, Do it, Do it

I singing along, half-heartedly, all the time thinking please don’t let my flatmates come home right now. Incidentally I’ve also closed the blinds as I don’t want people walking past and me being THAT GUY in the window (again, must work on not caring what strangers think)

At one point we are made to hold our hips and flick our legs from side to side just like PSY of Gangnam Style fame, in fact almost too similar to PSY of Gangnam Style fame.  I’m on to you cheeky Jane Fonda movement stealing South Korean.

Half-way through, and what sadly I thought was near the end, things got tough but Fonda knows this (she’s good, real good) and her voice is heard over the top of the workout, in an obi-wan Kenobi style, saying gently “keep going you can do it”.  So I keep going until finally we reach the end.  We all cheer together and I’m made to shout allowed “I did it”, I feel like a right idiot.  But I did do it and can now no longer say I’ve have never workout with Jane Fonda.

So just remember: There’s much more to you than meets the eye, so just do it do it do it.