Getting exercise is always a bit of a problem out here. Firstly, the people around us do not need exercise as they work quite hard day to day, and secondly if we do run, jog or walk fast without aim (seemingly) we look really weird – who wants to intentionally lose weight?? So, we invented a little path around our house, mainly through the woods where very few people can actually see us doing our lunatic running!
So here follows an account of our Bush Gym:
The first morning after our furlough of two months, the 5 of us, courageously started to jog again. Membership cards for this type of gym is a panga (machete) with which you literary swipe to get through! This is an excellent way of training the upper arms and shoulders, also good for the reflexes, as you need to duck every now and again quite suddenly as the person in front of you wielding the panga, chops the way open!
For weights we use quite a natural element – found in abundance during the rainy season. (We will have to look into this when it all dries out again, but for now we are happy to go on using this surprising element.) Thick Red Mud sticks to your shoes (or bare feet, depending on who you are) and literary weighs you down! The harder you struggle against it, the harder it fights to keep you on planet earth. So, very good for getting those legs pumping! As you go along the track the amount of mud also increases, therefore giving you even a better value for your money as you struggle uphill to the finish line!
Another astonishing little help is the common house fly. These love to ride on your back as you jog along – they are extremely lazy characters but occasionally they fly off and try and land in your ears, or your eyes or even in your nose – so while you jog, with your heavy mud caked feet, you wave your arms about, circulation your blood and getting those muscles moving!
I hear that they have fresh orange juice in a real gym. Well, out here we have fresh dew or rain, depending on the weather, of course. It sticks to your legs, falls on your head and generally soaks you slowly through to the skin. The clothes thus become another type of weight training – the more laps you run, the wetter you are, the heavier the clothes, etc! (not to mention the mud on the feet!)
Spider webs helps with quick bends of the waist to keep that part trim. Also good for balance, is running through the eroded footpath (which was a river just yesterday) and eye-hand co-ordination when you slip on the muddy hill and try to keep yourself upright by flinging out your arms wildly!
For motivation we have the villagers themselves. They do not hesitate to tell you how nice and fat you have become while visiting your own country! To them this is a huge compliment! But to me, to me - this keeps me running!! (I want to say like Obelix – Fat?, who me??)
Now, this is the rainy season, so I do not have too high hopes for all this running, so I guess I will have to go on my bike on a stand on the veranda – but can you imagine what they will say when they see this contraption? Total craziness to go on a bike that goes nowhere!! But that is a whole different story!
Bella, keeping the village healthy with laughter.