21. Somewhere a clock is ticking ……….. or ……….The Fitness programme goes on ………. and on!

Tick-tock, tick-tock……… somewhere a clock is ticking………………………………………………….. It’s now 253 days since my Clipper interview and, looking forward, about the same number of days until crew allocation. It’s already 148 days since I fell off CV2 at the finish of Level 1 training (yes, it REALLY was Friday 13th of April!), 32 days to go before I try it again on Level 2 training, 184 days to go until Level 3 and (very approximately) 390 days to go before I start My Race from somewhere in South America. Tick-tock indeed!

It’s 120 days since my first blog and, perhaps most significantly given the subject of this one, approaching 4 months since blog 3: “Its All Really A Question Of Balance” – my first comments about my Clipper Fitness programme published on 21st May. So, with that damn clock still tick-tocking ……….. how’s the fitness gig going??????

Well first the good news. The “many repetitions of small free weights” that I discussed last time has been achieved. The not-so-good news is that this followed advice from my physiotherapist to help cure golfers elbow (a sort of golfers equivalent of tennis elbow)and started with many repetitions exercising my left wrist holding a can of Heinz baked beans – other tins of beans are available! The weights gradually increased and I am now back on the golf course and back to bell ringing – the latter as of last night.

Lunchtimes have yet to include “more brisk walking” (although the arrival of my latest fitness programme aid (read on) is probably going to help) and I will skip quickly (metaphorically speaking – no skipping ropes involved) over my previous comments regarding running upstairs! On a brighter note core strength is improving as planking has always been relatively easy for me, my flamingo-like balance (particularly when dressed in pink – see blog 3) continues to improve, my stamina is good and I have, as promised, reintroduced swimming to my programme. I try and go swimming 2-3 times a week and get in at least 20 lengths a time. I say “at least 20” because the hardest thing about swimming for me turns out to be remembering how many lengths I have done. I try and err on the side of caution (and count down) when trying to remember “was that 18 or 16 I’ve just finished?!” Today was definitely 30 lengths. And before you shout, yes, I know…… 20 (or more like 60-80 a week) is nothing to write home about but its 60-80 more than I was doing in May and, despite my earlier best efforts, I’m planning on sailing across the South Atlantic, not swimming it.

Now to aid all this I have invested in some more fitness programme training aids,IMG_5202 namely a wobble board, FitKit Resistance Therapy Band, a membership of Market Drayton Swimming Centre and (yes your eyes do not deceive you) – a yoga mat. Stretching exercises – not mentioned in any great detail back in May – have appeared courtesy of FitKit (alternating bicep curls, chest press, chicken wing (don’t ask!), squats, leg presses, overhead tricep extensions, lunges and donkey kicks (definitely don’t ask!) and I start yoga – yes I know, all that downward dog, leotard stuff ……. tomorrow – honest!

Which all probably means that the only area I touched upon back in May that I haven’t mentioned today is the healthy eating stuff. Another good news, bad news story. The good news is that my diet has always been pretty healthy (20+ years as a diabetic will do that for you) and my blood sugar levels are probably under the best control they have been under in at least 6 years :-). The less-good news is that the down-side of prize winning baking (see the 4th Sep blog “Masterbaking ….. or …. Mother Watch preps etc etc”) is a propensity to “lick the spoon” – and the bowl for that matter – and perhaps now is the time to admit that the award winning treacle tart was a third attempt; carrot cake icing is too delicious to resist; loaf making results in the most enticing kitchen smells ever plus an excess of scrumptious bread in the house, and marmalade cake and fruit scones should be declared “weapons of waist expansion.” Only my pride prevents me from declaring my current weight but I know what it should be according to my height/age/BMI; I know what it should be in terms of what I regard as my “fighting weight” and I know what it should be according to my wardrobe – and that’s my clothing size NOT the width of the doors. Suffice to say I have some work to do regarding my weight and that damn clock is quite definitely tick-tocking now!

To my rescue, I hope, comes my final fitness programme training aid in the shape of Trevor –


(on a temporary 10-week loan from Emma, Matt and Evie due to extensive house improvements) and my new walking companion. Three brisk walks a day (don’t let the short legs fool you) that started over a couple of miles in the pouring rain first thing this morning. Interestingly, HE got a rub down with a towel and a treat when we finished and I did not! It’s a dogs life, tick-tock.


4 thoughts on “21. Somewhere a clock is ticking ……….. or ……….The Fitness programme goes on ………. and on!

  1. Sir, how long have you been bell ringing? You probably don’t know but I started at the age of 11. I’m lapsed at the moment but have found a tower in Canberra. Yours Aye David.


    1. Hi David, Great to hear from you. Only started when I retired from the Navy and bought the Old Vicarage straight across from the church here in Eccleshall ………… so best part of 6 years now.


  2. Good to hear Trevor is on the case. Perhaps his participation in the training will result in what might be the first dog ever sailing a leg of Clipper Around the World. On the other hand, rub downs with a towel and treats might tempt him to remain ashore.


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