This Sporting Life

You know how it's too hot to do anything? Too hot. Image: Flickr/Apollo1981

Well, it still is. I wish there was some sort of career where all you had to do was sweat*. I'd be awesome at it. I don't mean a career where sweat is a by-product, such as being a weightlifter or Usain Bolt, I mean a career that is solely about the sweat. I can't think of any (and, you know what, I'm not going to try too hard, because ew.)

That said, I may have given up completely on hair and makeup for the rest of summer, but I'm still definitely doing some things, a couple of which are more than slightly surprising to me. The first one is working, even though this weather is making me feel like I should be on holiday 24/7 (and surely what I feel, my clients feel too?)** I am working a lot, both the type that earns me air-con money and the type of personal projects that hopefully might pay an electricity bill or two, one day, but even if they don't they're worth it.

The other is exercise.

Isn't that weird?! In what sort of world am I the sort of person who chooses to expend the little energy they have exercising, rather than blow-drying? What's happening, man***?

I've shared my feelings about exercise before, and I'm happy to report that this latest bout has not been caused by a middle-fingers-raised, 'I'll show you, illness' reaction. I haven't been sick in yonks (touch SO much wood).

No, this is merely because...I'm enjoying it. Pretty much every morning, I'm heading down to the river to go power walking**** or rollerblading*****. A couple of nights a week, you'll find me running around a tennis court, waving my racquet around like Federer******. H1 and I go on the occasional bike ride, and we have done much talking about taking advantage of the free weekend kayaking on the Hudson, which I figure is the same thing as doing it. I've been sporadically going to yoga, as well, but I need to find a new studio which has the right balance of hippy-dippiness (virtually none, please - I will accept the occasional namaste) and wallet-friendliness (I went to one studio that I loved, which was like a big giant fancy spa in a posh hotel, but sadly, it cost about what a big fancy spa in a posh hotel would. I can't afford it. I have air-con bills to pay). I am AWESOME.

Okay, let's be honest. I am AVERAGE. But I'm having a lot of fun.

I can only imagine how good it must feel to not only enjoy a sport, but to be really, unequivocally good at it. I doubt it's a feeling I'll ever have (and I'm okay with that) but I get to experience it, just a little bit, watching my husband cycle, and listening to him talking about it. I know he's amazing, of course, but it's always nice to have it confirmed, as it was this weekend, when he placed eighth in the time trial on the first day, took the maillot jaune (that means he WON!) and King of the Mountains on the second day, and wound it up by winning the overall race, and taking third place in the King of the Mountains competition, on the last. For three days we were in the beautiful Catskills, H1 cycling like a loon, me sitting around reading/jumping up and down at the finish line, clapping and cheering like a loon. It was amazing to see, but by far the best part of the weekend was the comment casually uttered to me by the lovely second place winner.

"Your husband's a great guy. Such a gentleman. I've never seen such a graceful winner."

"Thank you!" I responded. "It's the Kiwi in him."

A flippant response, uttered thoughtlessly, but oh, so true. Training for a big race means not a lot of partying gets done (this is, of course, devastating, because I'm such a partier, but we make it work) so H1 and I have been watching a fair bit of the Olympics. I love the Olympics (I scream energetically at the TV every time, even when I know the results), and I'm loving how well New Zealand is doing, but most of all, I love what amazing sportsmen and women our country has produced. I'm biased, sure, but I'm pretty convinced that what makes H1 such a "graceful winner" and me such a "graceful, erm, not winner" is to do with what we're seeing happening in London right now. The ethos of New Zealand sport that we were lucky enough to grow up with - you play hard and you try hard and you love it - is awesome. It surely is why I now make the time for exercise. It makes me super-proud, and it is reason about #102 why I so much love this sporting life.

*Or glow, rather, because that is what I do, of course. Glowing buckets, in fact.

**Actually not that surprising. The air-con bills have to be paid somehow.

***I never say man, except sometimes ironically, but it's kind of necessary in that sentence.

****So embarrassing! Power walking is so lame! But I've been told by multiple doctors not to run anymore, and I was never all that good at it, so walking it is. I have to say power walking to differentiate from my usual 'toddling' or 'ambling'. When I power walk I do it with purpose, y'see.

*****Also pretty lame. How long's it been since rollerblading's been cool? I think I'm bringing it back.

******Pretty sure there's a trained seal called Federer somewhere.