Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Battling My Everest!

Listening to loud rock while walking/jogging can cause you to get a little carried away, in my case, totally carried away. Bear in mind that I haven’t done any sort of heavy exercising for more than a decade, barring the occasional appearance at a gym (which quite frankly is nothing compared to hockey or karate work outs). So yesterday, (last night to be precise) I decided it was about time I got some strenuous activity going on in my life. Sitting at my desk for 12 hours a day, 5 days a week and lazing the weekends away is doing terrible things to what was once, according to popular opinion, a rather svelte figure. While the overpriced building complex that I live in hasn’t yet put up the promised gymnasium, it does have a garden with a jogging track. I decided I would use that. After all I have done my fair share of running (in school) and my fair share of work outs (also in school).

So as soon as I got home I changed into sweats and sneakers, got my music out and introduced myself to said jogging track. Barring a bunch of rambunctious 5 year olds doing their thing in the play area there was no one there. I walked one round and then came Nickleback… needless to say I got carried away and broke into a run. 2 rounds of that and I swear I though I was going to die! My lungs couldn’t stretch far enough, breathing was suddenly a Herculean task and everything helping me stay upright was a-quiver… not a happy situation… I’m ashamed to say it but I felt old! When the heck did that happen? When did it get so difficult to run a couple of rounds? I walked out the quivers for about 6 or 7 rounds (with a couple of forced stops when I fell over a toddler’s stupid tricycle – why the heck can’t they take the damn things with them I will never know) and then decided to try running again, deluding myself that now since I was all warmed up I would be able to do it. HAH! So much for that…. I didn’t even survive one round before my lungs gave out and my heart started doing high jumps. My school sports days were suddenly a very, very long time ago….

Today although I am determined to attack that jogging track again, it’s a case of my spirit is willing but my body creaks in despair. If you really want to feel your age, do something stupid like that. A colleague and I were discussing starting a work out routine after work. We decided we’d go for a run on Oval maidan and get back to the office. At that time I quipped that if he collapsed (he’s a goodish bit older than I am) I wouldn’t be able to carry him back, to which he replied “You’ll just have to roll me into a taxi”. Ooooohhhh how that’s come back to bite me in the butt…

Well wish me luck… that jogging track is my Everest. I plan another attempt today. This time I think I will walk first and run later. And I’m gonna be toning down the rock… hopefully my husband will be able to scrape me off the track if I collapse – rolling down the steps will leave a mark I think. Must check for wheel chair ramp!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

International Politics in the 22nd century

Impressions are so important in International politics… Russia is the Bear, India is the Elephant and America the Bald Eagle…. Everyone selects their representative fauna for strength, power, agility etc… no one seems to go for endurance or just plain old survival. If that was the case the cockroach ought to be representing some country…. After all, they’ve been around almost 300 million years and are the ones most likely to survive a nuclear holocaust, not so the elephant, bear or eagle. All those will curl up and start to putrefy just like the dinosaurs.
In fact, given the current ‘Global Crisis’ and economic whachumaycallit I have a few suggestions regarding animal characteristics that countries could use.
  • Agility – Earthworm – chop of its head and it can still crawl up your pants.
  • Adaptability and speed – Mosquito – centuries of innovation and invention and we still can’t get rid of the damn thing.
  • Survival – Fly – need I say more? They can eat anything and thrive in the worst of conditions. Given the food price inflation that we’re struggling under, I think this one is worth considering.
  • High elevation adaptability – Mountain Goat - they are perfectly happy prancing around 15,000 feet high and don’t feel in the least bit ill.
  • Survival in extreme cold – Polar bears or Emperor Penguin– Just in case the next ice age is right around the corner… you’d best be prepared
  • Desert Survival – Camel – hey, fresh water is running out… fast… the camel might just teach us a few useful lessons. These guys can go a whole week without drinking water… don’t even want to think about the bad breath!
  • Survival – Rat – not quite like the cockroach but definitely as difficult to get rid off…. These guys are immune to practically anything and breed like… well like rats! Devastate the population and its back to normal in a couple of months.
  • Survival in any conditions – the Giant Tube worm - They can survive thousands of feet below water, in toxic waste, in freezing water and even in boiling water. Given the global warming and changing climate conditions…. This is useful stuff.
  • Radiation survival – Water Bear – these microscopic guys can survive 1000 times more radiation than any other animals including humans. They can survive temperatures as low as -272°C and as high as 151°C. They can survive over decade without water. They can even survive in vacuum of space for as long as 10 days. (I’d like to meet the scientists who were sooo vela in life that they actually conducted these tests to come up with this data.)