HKD 4 - Fitness

Doing a google to figure out recommended fitness programmes is quite pointless. It throws up numerous sites, all of which tell you that right from the time you took your first baby step, you should have leapt onto the treadmill and started preparing. I checked with Z who told me that she took long walks every day. It was too hot to do that in Chennai. SM told me he had started by quitting smoking. I think that is the only time in my life I regretted not being a smoker. It seemed so much simpler to quit smoking than to hit the gym. So I wrote to my fittest trekking friend, AW to get his opinion on it. He wrote back with a philosophical reply instead of the practical to-do list I was expecting. ‘You need to be fit’ he wrote ‘but more importantly you need to feel fit. It is all about your mental attitude’.

I persisted and wrote back pestering for more measurable goals. AW finally gave in and suggested I should target 5 kms a day with a two-day rest period. ‘This would be a piece of cake,’ I told myself.

The first day at the gym I walked 1.5 km, cycled 2 kms and did another 2 kms on EFX. With more than 5 kms done, I proceeded to the office smugly where I almost passed out when the exhaustion hit me. Luckily things improved with practice. Not to mention, I also signed up for swimming classes and given the thrashing about I was doing in the water; I was not at all unpleased. I may not have been learning swimming, but was clearly improving my stamina. In the end, 20 days before I set off, I could manage 15 minutes of cross-country walking on the treadmill, 15 minutes of hill cycling and 15 minutes of EFX.

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