Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Feffing Gym!

So, there I was, all geared up for an hour's sesh in the gym - and what do I discover? It's shutting half an hour after we get there. Think I was miffed? You should have seen Fisher's face. I seriously thought she was going to lamp the girl at the till.

Anyway, we trotted in, already amending our schedules to fit with 30 minutes, when what do we discover? The ruddy place is packed to the rafters with the elderly! Now, seeing as I'm a member of a tennis club where the average age is about 50 and I'm routinely thrashed up and down the court, I don't like to prejudice against people for their age. I'm very willing to acknowledge there are many, many older folks who would laugh in my face when it comes to fitness.

Alas, these weren't some of them.

If you think Fisher was cross before, you should have seen her when she set eyes on the treadmills and saw them all taken up by yammering, gossipping walkers! There was one woman in particular who was barely strolling, chatting non-stop with her neighbour, and certainly wasn't actually exercising in any way. Both Fisher and I kept staring at her, wondering if there was some injury she was rehabilitating - but if there was, it was completely invisible. Nor did she look like she was recovering from surgery or anything. And she was on the treadmill the whole time, squawking like a cockatoo and never getting above a slow plod. I could have throttled her, and I could see Fisher eyeing the scales, thinking how satisfying it would be to thwack her repeatedly about the head with them.

So, unable to use the treadmill, I concentrated on weights instead. I have Phid to thank for giving me a kick up the backside by sheer example. She said she does 32.5kg on the pull down weight - and there am I, feeling dead chuffed if I manage 25kg. Considering she's about half the size of me, I'm pretty sure this reveals a laziness in me that deserves expunging. So this is what I did today:

3 x 12 reps on stomach crunching machine, 100kg
3 x 12 reps on bicep curl, 30kg
3 x 12 reps on pull-down, 35kg (I did it the Phid way, pulling down in front of my chest rather than onto the back of my shoulders - don't think it was much easier, if at all). Fuck ME it hurt!
3 x 12 on lat machine, 35kg
3 x 12 reps on horizontal leg lift, 100kg - which was hard this time. I don't know why.

I finished off with 1o minutes on the bike, hill setting, which took me 2.7 miles - which makes an overall speed of 16.2 mph (right?). To be honest, I can't really tell much difference between the bike on level 18 and on level 20. Either the machine doesn't work properly or, by that stage I'm in so much pain I can barely register any external stimuli at all. (I actually think it's the latter).

I then came home and got lost in Civilisation III, where I was busy wiping the Japanese off the face of the planet, and forgot to cook dinner. A plaintive yowling came from next door just as I was heading off for my long overdue bath, and Fisher came into the bathroom looking all big-eyed and sorrowful, clutching her tummy. Naturally, faced with such a pathetic sight I cut short the old bath and rustled something up with venison.

My Rustled Up Venison
I fried some sliced, new potatoes in about 2 tbsps olive oil, with some fresh thyme, salt and pepper. They kept sticking to the pan, so I had to be vigilant. 10 minutes before it was all ready, I added some green beans to the potatoes and fried them up as well.

Meanwhile, in a second pan I put shallots, crushed garlic, mushrooms, a good slosh of port, and what was supposed to be a light sprinkling of rosemary but turned out to be a great cascade of the bloody stuff thanks to my dodgy wrist. I'll leave out the rosemary in future - unless I use fresh stuff. I reduced the port until it all became an accompanying sauce, then fried up the venison medallions - 3 minutes total.

I actually thought it was going to be a total disaster. Everything started burning at once, then there was the rosemary incident, the potatoes were sticking like bastards ... but it all worked out in the end, and is a very tasty, quick, easy dish to make. It was probably about 20 minutes, start to finish.

Just in case you're interested ...