Success

Aug. 3rd, 2012 01:03 pm
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
At the beginning of 2012 I set myself three goals for the year:
  • Secure funding for research
  • Get married
  • Travel from Hobbiton to Rivendell, 458 miles on foot or nominally travelled on cardio machines.

    I got funding in spring [locked entry]. Getting married was in some ways fairly low hanging fruit, since I'd already been engaged for a year by New Year. But it did require me to organize a fairly sizeable and complicated event, and it wasn't absolutely a given that I'd succeed.

    And yesterday I completed my 458 miles, five months ahead of schedule. This is partly because I've been doing a lot of my cardio on exercise bikes recently, which easily lets me do 5 miles twice a week. But I've also been doing more walking than I would without the challenge, including quite often walking the whole 3½ miles from uni to home (downhill, admittedly, but that's still an hour or so of moderately brisk walking).

    So now I need some new goals / challenges. Workwise I pretty much know what I have to achieve; we have a performance review / appraisal system which is actually useful and not full of managerial bullshit. In my general life I'm not sure. Probably getting some work done on the house before the end of the year would be a meaningful and productive goal.

    But what about exercise goals? I have to admit, I'm getting in a bit of a rut with exercise at the moment. I've kind of reached a plateau, I'm not making the kind of rapid, tangible progress I was when I went from being totally sedentary to starting regular exercise. I'm pretty much doing the same things over and over and not really getting better. (But if I miss even a couple of sessions I lose what I've gained really rapidly.) Without [personal profile] mathcathy to encourage me and hold me to my commitment, I'm managing more like 8-10 gym sessions a month than 10-12. Well, I'm somewhat pleased that I have kept up the gym habit at all on my own, but it could be better. And I seem to have lost the habit of doing weights at home, I keep trying to restart it but it never lasts more than a couple of days.

    Fitocracy is helping a bit with motivation. Yay getting points and achievements and levelling up, I'm so easily manipulated by a bit of rudimentary gamifying. But the problem with Fitocracy is that the site basically assumes that the only exercise worth doing is running and weightlifting; it gives minimal credit for the sort of strength-building thing I'm trying to where I do 10 - 20 reps of medium-sized weights, rather than try to lift the heaviest weight I possibly can. Also, the levels are staggered, which is really sensible, each level requires more and more points as you progress. I've reached the stage where it takes me a month or more to level up, which I'm pretty sure is supposed to be pushing me towards doing tougher exercises, but what it's actually doing is making my rewards so infrequent that it's not really working any more.

    Part of my problem is that I've had to move to the council gym. The facilities are fine, but it's a lot less well set up than the more expensive private gym I used to belong to for providing training and advice. At the old gym, I could book a time with a trainer who would refresh my routine pretty much whenever suited me. The council gym does offer this, but only on Saturday afternoons and you have to book about 6 weeks in advance. I haven't yet got round to doing that, and I probably should, because just getting a new set of exercises even if they're along the same general lines as what I do at the moment would probably help me to feel less stuck. And similarly, although they do offer classes, you have to book and most of what's available looks rather aerobics-ish which doesn't really appeal. So I don't get a chance to vary my routine with a couple of classes, and I don't learn new techniques that I can build into my routine between classes, I'm stuck doing the same old thing.

    What I want is something that rewards perseverance, where I actually get something tangible out of sticking to my routine of gym at least twice a week, walking home at least once a week, and weights and abs stuff at home 2-3 times per week. At the moment Fito doesn't really care how often I do my exercise, so I keep being tempted to skip a session knowing that I can pick up exactly the same amount of points if I do it tomorrow or next week instead. And obviously objectively I don't care about how many points some arbitrary computer program assigns me, but emotionally, I need all the motivation help I can get. The Eowyn challenge helped with that because making progress along the imaginary route was sufficiently rewarding in the way that getting 500 more points but rarely levelling up isn't. There are other challenges on the site representing other Fellowship journeys, but I think doing the same thing again wouldn't keep me going, if I'm going to make that my goal I need to find some way to make it more challenging.

    Also, I want something where I can keep trying to do X task until I can do it, and then do X + δ and if that's too hard fall back to X. I've always found that structure motivates me really well, and it's real progress, not arbitrary rewards. I'm doing it a bit with weights, I do 3 x 10 reps at some reasonable starting weight, and when I can do that I do 3 x 12, 3 x 15, 3 x 18 and work up to 3 x 20, and if I fail at any level I drop back to the previous level, and if I do 3 x 20 with perfect form on three consecutive occasions, I add one more weight, the smallest increment available, to the stack and start again.

    I'm quite happy to fiddle with spreadsheets and / or Chorewars to set something up for myself so that the rewards part happens, but at very least I need a scheme I can use to decide what I should get rewards for. Maybe the perseverance thing I can tackle by setting up some kind of "combo" bonus which would increase exponentially with how many consecutive sessions I manage and fall back to zero if I miss one?

    Ideally I want a structured programme of some kind that will give me a mixture of short-term goals and a long-term target to aim for. I'm considering the Couch to 5K type of approach, but modifying it so that I only move on to the next week when I've mastered the current week and fall back if I can't do it. That would give me some of the back and forth structure that helps me to feel I'm making real progress. The downside of that is that I'm really, really scared of running, both for my lungs and for my knees. I don't know if it's possible to program the treadmills at the gym to do the interval type thing that C25K suggests.

    Another thought is to use an Android app of some kind. Those might help to provide a structured programme for me, and some kind of reward or at least recording what I have done so that I can give myself rewards! Especially if I can get the phone to auto-record what I'm doing and effectively act as a pedometer. Does anyone know of any apps that are a) not focused on weight-loss and b) don't require you to carry your phone with you all the time in your jeans pocket, because I don't wear jeans?

    I'm really reluctant to just go poking around on the internet because there is just so much bad advice out there. And a lot of advice that is reasonable for what it is but assumes that you want to lose fat and build muscle definition, whereas I really don't care about the shape of my body, I want to improve my cardiovascular fitness pure and simple. If fitness programs are bundled together with weight loss and body sculpting advice, it's hard for me just to ignore the bits that don't apply to me, because the whole context makes me a lot more liable to hate my body, and if I start hating my body I will feel extremely demotivated from doing things that are good for it like regular exercise. Also I'm a bit nervous of doing new exercises if I haven't been shown how to do them by a real person, because I'm starting to get to the point where I'm actually doing stuff that's challenging enough I could injure myself if I do it wrong (eg I'm up to 25 kg on some of my weights things). So I'm really looking for personal recommendations, if possible!
  • (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-03 01:50 pm (UTC)
    jack: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] jack
    *hugs* You are totally made of awesome!

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-03 02:06 pm (UTC)
    jack: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] jack
    I don't know much about the gym, but a few random thoughts:

    * I think keeping up a regular habit is ever so useful, and even if you never did more than keep your current level by going to the gym 2-3 times a week, that would still be a massive acheivement over where you were.

    * I'm not sure, but I have the impression that everyone plateuas and it's to be expected, and the important thing is to keep going. And having a mild improvement goal combined with "keep this up and don't let it slip" would actually be quite good.

    * You're completely right to concentrate on cardio improvements, be neutral about strength improvements, and ignore body fat/muscle changes. It sounds like fitocracy may not be fulfilling your goal-setting requirements as much as it used to.

    * It seems like you're not in much danger of getting complacent with the level you're at, nor of getting obsessed with getting to a high level, so you don't so much need motivation to avoid those. But you ARE in danger of getting bored or feeling like you're not achieving anything and not wanting to go to the gym at all. So your motivation system should incentivise avoiding that. Is that accurate?

    * In fact, I'd suggest a system where the main focus is going on the gym twice a week and doing at least X, where X is minimal standard for your normal routine. And have a mild long term goal of increasing X to X+20% in the next year, assuming you can do the "decide what I want to do this session". Exactly like couch to 10k, but based on your current level of fitness, and happy to plateua for a bit if you're held back by asthma not fitness.

    * I don't know much about gym equipment, but I thought "walk, jog, RUN, jog, RUN, jog, jog, RUN, jog, jog, walk" was what treadmills DID, I thought that's just what they were supposed to do.

    * However, I'm puzzled why you mention the dislike of running in combination with couch to 5k -- that's designed for running, but if you usually want to bike or row instead can't you just multiply all the numbers by whatever makes it equivalent to about the same level of exercise time?

    * Having defined what scoring system you want to use, you need to work out what will let you keep track of it. You have some momentum now, so you may have enough to get you going with a new system if you switch away from fitocracy. But I don't know what's best: keep using fitocracy if you can find ways to push the harder achievements onto ones that support your goals, set up a chore wars, concentrate on more of the eowyn challenge, make a rule to post a cumulative score to LJ every week, or whatever.

    * You mention talking to a trainer, which seems like a good idea. But do you have a good idea what they'd say if you did talk to them? Presumably something like "keep going at the current level until you feel comfortable with it" or "tweak the rowing and cycling speeds up by 5% but leave the running speed alone and see if you can get used to that in two months" or something similar...?

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-03 03:43 pm (UTC)
    jack: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] jack
    Yay, that sounds good. Sorry if some of the advice is superfluous, a lot of it is "want to ask you about X" not really "tell you to do X". It sounds like you're getting a better idea of what to do.

    xx *hugs*

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-06 09:24 am (UTC)
    naath: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] naath
    Treadmills:
    It should be fairly simple to switch between different speeds and/or inclines on a treadmill, different ones have different buttons though so it's worth practising doing that at low speed before trying it whilst running hard. Mostly you have to jab the same button a lot... although sometimes if you are switching to "my previous speed" there's a quick way to do that.

    C25k:
    I didn't do it the C25k way (because I'm rubbish at doing what other people tell me to do) but it looks a fairly decent way of going about it; for me (starting from fairly-fit-but-can't-run) I got to the point of being actually able to run 5k without any walking in a few months and it is nice to see the improvement so fast. I think running is fun, but it is hard on the knees.

    Plateuing:
    Yeah, happens to everyone :-( It might be worth consulting with a personal trainer about how to push your maximum aerobic speed or your maximum weight lifted upwards. If that's a sort of thing you want to do. Unfortunately as you progress towards the best your body can possibly do you have to put in more effort for every bit of gain.

    Tracking what you do:
    I use http://fetcheveryone.com/ to track my workouts, it doesn't offer "points" or "levels" or any of that stuff; but it does let you keep a record. Usefully it lets you see your workouts on a calendar view; days on which you haven't worked out sit there looking empty at you.

    Boredom:
    I watch the news, which is interesting enough to keep me from wanting to quit out of boredom but not so interesting that I need enough brain cells to watch it that I slow down my running to maintain brain. Outdoors I listen to podcasts of women's hour. I find music completely fails to help pass the time; running "to the beat" might make one run more regularly I guess, but so does running *on a treadmill*.

    Regular habits:
    I have a rule that unless I'm Really Very Ill I will go to the gym, I will put on my gym kit, and I will stand on the treadmill. I'm allowed to say "urgh I'm too tired to do this" at that point but not before. Because I'm trying to really reinforce the habit of "going to the gym after work" into my brain.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-06 11:51 am (UTC)
    naath: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] naath
    Running outdoors is a lot more fun than running on a treadmill - trees! sun! people! But also rain :( snow :( ice :( cars :( Parkrun is fab in Cambridge, and you have one in Stoke (http://www.parkrun.org.uk/hanley/) it's a 5k race but not very race-y; lots of people take it slow and there's no pressure to go speedyfast.

    I'm sure a trainer can help with technique things, especially with weights. I'm way to scared of dropping things on my head to even try lifting free weights; perhaps I should get a trainer to show me how.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-13 08:13 pm (UTC)
    naath: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] naath
    Footwear: I went to a running shop and jogged a bit on their treadmill and they said "ah, you want shoes like THIS" and brought some out and I picked the ones I like. This service is usually free in running shoe shops if you buy shoes, which I'm afraid are not exactly cheap (I think my last pair were about 40 pounds).

    Injury: I find I'm pretty good at handling normal footpath level irregularities but I might just be unusually good at this I don't really have a calibration.

    Parkrun: parkrun people here are all nice and it is very non-competetative and welcoming. It does occure to me belatedly that Saturday 9am may not be the best time for you :(

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-13 10:19 pm (UTC)
    naath: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] naath
    Has to be a proper running shop though, not a fashion-goods store that does trainers. The service is called "gait analysis". I went to a "Sweatshop" (sweatshop.co.uk) but I don't know if they have a store near you.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-06 09:24 pm (UTC)
    mathcathy: number ball (Default)
    From: [personal profile] mathcathy
    Sounds like your gym habits are similar to mine : watch the news, get in the door even if I just swim or run/walk for a short while, get from not able to run to 5k (although I've been trying 8 months and 4k is my best so far)

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-03 03:38 pm (UTC)
    jack: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] jack
    Oh sorry! I completely forgot you'd asked about that. Yes, that's totally fine, I'm not using it, but can you remind me next time because I probably won't be able to go home before I set off today.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-03 05:57 pm (UTC)
    ceb: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] ceb
    I was going to suggest this - I find gym (classes, at least) much more fun when there's music I know, even if it's not something I particularly like. I keep meaning to make myself a tracklist of things I really really like and try out non-classes stuff.

    Can you find yourself a new gym partner? Even if it's only for some visits rather than all of them.

    Nthed about the change of routine.

    Do you have a heart rate monitor? That's another source of data (I at least am very data-motivated and can keep going for ages on "I wonder what reading I'll get today?"). You can get quite posh ones that will output data to your computer and make you nice graphs.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-06 08:25 pm (UTC)
    ceb: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] ceb
    I'm also wary of the trap of buying shiny toys as a substitute for actually changing my habits

    Can you borrow one for a bit? Also you can get cheapo HRMs from e.g. Aldi if you want to try out the principle without huge outlay.

    finding myself a form of exercise which is a bit more social; if I could join a folk dancing or martial arts group or something, I could make friends and get exercise at the same time.

    This sounds like an excellent idea, particularly if you can find something like dancing which would also make your cardio exercise more enjoyable.

    Music, yay music. If we both manage to get organized we should see if we can't share playlists.

    It's been ages since I've made anyone a mix tape :-)

    (I've been listening to your LastFM station for dissertation writing so I know I get on well with your taste in music!)

    Fantastic, glad to be of help! :-) I've been enjoying VNV Nation for which I think you take the blame.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-03 08:16 pm (UTC)
    From: [personal profile] sea_bright
    I joined a gym a few months ago, and something that's worked really well for me is listening to audiobooks while I'm there (http://librivox.org/ offer free audiobooks of public domain works read by volunteers - not that I object to paying for audiobooks, but that was a handy way of finding out whether listening to them in the gym was workable without a substantial investment). Also the Radio 4 comedy podcast, and some serials downloaded from iPlayer.

    As I only tend to use my iPod in the gym, this means that the slightly dull hassle-iness of going there is lightened by thinking 'Ooh, I get to listen to the next chapter!', and it certainly makes the whole experience a lot less boring.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-06 07:07 pm (UTC)
    From: [personal profile] sea_bright
    "I rejected that initially because I thought the gym would be too noisy an environment for spoken word."

    I had the same concern (part of the reason I was reluctant to spend lots of money on audiobooks before trying them out), but in practice it's mostly been fine - though obviously I don't know how the noise levels in your gym compare to mine! I do sometimes have to turn the volume up (especially if the gym is busy and there are lots of noisy machines whirring around me, or if I'm doing something noisy myself like rowing), but I've never yet found myself unable to follow the story - even when there's unpleasant pop music blaring from the speakers at the end of the gym. An occasional problem is one or both earpieces falling out, which I could probably fix by investing in something more sophisticated than the standard in-ear things that came with my iPod, but thus far it hasn't been enough of an irritation to make me do so.

    One slight hazard of listening to comedy podcasts in the gym is the risk of people thinking I'm strange when I start giggling for no obvious reason, but I can put up with that. :-)

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-13 08:37 pm (UTC)
    atreic: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] atreic
    I got very into Librevox when I was doing Cov to Cam by car a lot, so if you want my recommendations just ask! :-)

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-03 03:57 pm (UTC)
    mathcathy: number ball (Default)
    From: [personal profile] mathcathy
    I totally sympathise. I mean, my situation now is different (going to the gym four or five times a week and there isn't enough time in the week for the massive variety of things I want to do at the gym) but I've been where you are now.

    Also, it was only this week that I dared run on a treadmill again after losing so much fitness in just a month of stupid moving. It's so easy to go backwards!

    Anyway, what I'm meaning to say is that a new routine will make the world of difference. I know we looked before - but we were sort of looking for both of us ... are there any gyms which would suit you, like anything at Keele or between Newcastle and Keele with a bit more flexibility for training times? Or better class selection? I googled again and there's a place called "Spirit Fitness" a bit further away than Total Fitness was from you. Maybe?

    One thing I'm loving about my gym here is the selection of classes, I've tried lots of new things as well as getting back into running (albeit small distances at small pace - I got to 2.4km in 20 minutes the other day and I don't know if I'll make my 5k in 40 minutes comfortably target for the year or not, but I'm halfway there at least).

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-03 05:05 pm (UTC)
    mathcathy: number ball (Default)
    From: [personal profile] mathcathy
    That sounds like a good idea ... If you went to one class a week then the total cost wouldn't be much different to Total Fitness. Gym is the one big thing that's more expensive in London, but it's well worth it for how much better I feel when I'm exercising enough.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-03 10:18 pm (UTC)
    mathcathy: number ball (Default)
    From: [personal profile] mathcathy
    Also, while you work it out, the trainer here gave me a work-out for cardio which you might like ...

    It was to choose a brisk walk pace (which you've already got) and do intervals with the incline. So he suggested 1min 0%, 1min 6.5% for 20 minutes, but I started to play with it to challenge myself.

    I was doing 1 min 0%, 1 min 6.5% for 10 mins, then 1min 0%, 1 min 7.5% for 10 mins, then 1 min 0%, 1 min increasing by 0.5% for as long as I could. I got to 11.5% the other day and felt so proud. My legs killed the next day because of the strength you need to go uphill like that.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-06 09:18 pm (UTC)
    mathcathy: number ball (Default)
    From: [personal profile] mathcathy
    On the treadmills most have hill or random settings which change the gradient rather than the speed. You could try those too.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-03 10:46 pm (UTC)
    rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
    From: [personal profile] rmc28
    Responding to only one thing, I use RunKeeper on my iphone (but it has Android versions) to track how fast I am walking or cycling. It uses GPS to measure your route and how fast you cover it. You can give routes you do regularly a name, and it will group together data about all the times you have travelled that route so you can see how you are improving or not. (e.g. the last few months of work I got steadily slower on my regular commutes rather than faster).

    You need to have your phone on you for the routes you want to measure, but not all day long, and in a bag is just fine rather than a jeans pocket. Just remember to stop recording when you get to your destination, or the data collection isn't so useful (and will drain your battery).

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-13 03:06 pm (UTC)
    atreic: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] atreic
    I use run keeper and really like it.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-05 05:18 am (UTC)
    hairyears: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] hairyears
    Habit's one answer: enjoyment is another. It's likely that one or other forms of exercise are more motivating than the 'pure' fitocracy-approved running and weight-training.

    The question, of course, is: "What?" or "Which form of exercise?"

    It might be an idea to write down all the sports, fitness exercises and group activities you've tried; then look down the list of societies and clubs at Keele. Group activities - from kayaking to martial arts - bring peer pressure to bear; noncompetitive physical pursuits tend to bring a more benign pressure than 'sports' but much depends on the people themselves.

    I would never have expected to succeed in Ki-Aikido - a decade or so ago, I would've dismissed the idea that it would hold my interest - and I know from experience that weight-training and running did not.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-07 07:05 pm (UTC)
    hairyears: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] hairyears

    The main thing that's holding me back is that I'm a bit reluctant to commit to anything regular.

    Building up habits is probably the biggest single step to physical fitness: however I have no idea how you'd do that.

    Most martial arts will teach a warmup routine that you can do at home, every morning: not a 'workout' like an hour in a gym, but it's 10-15 minutes *every day*. You can go further: fifty forward rolls and breakfalls, or fifty step-and-punch exercises (if you practice a punching art like karate) make a pretty good aerobic workout - but exercising in a damaging, jarring way is worse than no exercise at all, and some martial arts instructors teach their art very badly.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-13 03:14 pm (UTC)
    atreic: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] atreic
    I found parkrun clipped into the competitive bit of my brain and was very good at keeping me focused for a couple of months, but yes, running doesn't float everyone's boat.

    Someone else had a similar question the other week, and I wrote:

    The three things that work for me are

    a) Something that I genuinely find fun. I like dancing and hashing, so I'm lucky

    b) Something where I trap myself in a social obligation to go (eg promising to cook James dinner and then both go hashing; working on a display dance that needs 8 people to turn up and practise it. Rowing is the best sport ever for this one. Climbing is also good for me, because M really enjoys it, so bullies me into going ;-))

    c) Commuting that I have to do anyway

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-08-13 08:45 pm (UTC)
    atreic: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] atreic
    Climbing is a bit of a double edged sword for me. I do enjoy it, but there's lots of standing around holding ropes for other people, and getting ready with ropes and knots and stuff. I think if you like climbing it's a good thing to do, but I don't believe in it as Exercise in the same way I believe in running and cycling.

    I got into running not because I like running, but because I like exploring. So I found a 20 minute run from my house that took me to three of my favourite places (a ford in a stream, a scary statue of a bird, a wood full of brambles and squirrels) and then I had a) the reward of going to my favourite places and watching them change with the seasons, and b) the focus (because I had run keeper) of seeing 'can I do this 10 seconds faster'. At the start I was pretty much walking and it was taking 40 minutes, and it's quite cheering to go from 40 to 35 to 30 to 20. I lost interest in parkrun when I stopped being able to improve by a minute each week and had to train for a month to get 15 seconds faster. In Inverness I am pretty much doing 'oh, that Cemetery / hill / lighthouse / butchers / island looks cool, it is 2 miles there and back, I will try running because then I can see it sooner and only need to take a 30 minute lunchbreak, not an hour.' NB, running to islands only works if there are bridges ;-)

    (no subject)

    Date: 2012-09-03 08:00 am (UTC)
    From: [personal profile] sea_bright
    A somewhat belated additional contribution to this discussion...

    As I said in an earlier comment, I started going to the gym a few months ago. My gym habit is new enough that I'm still making tangible progress in terms of distance/resistance level on the cardio machines, but I hadn't really felt that I'd improved my overall levels of general fitness in a way that was particularly noticeable in everyday life: I haven't been suddenly brimming with energy, or able to do the twenty minute walk into town in fifteen, or anything obvious like that.

    However, I've just got back from a two week holiday, during which we went on a day trip to a French town with a citadel at the top of a rather imposing hill. My immediate reaction as we drove towards it was 'I'm not climbing that!' But as it turned out, the options were pretty much climb or sit in the car waiting for everyone else, and... it was fine. We all felt the climb had given us a good workout, but I did it, and I was noticeably less tired and out of breath than some other members of the party - something I am pretty sure would not have been the case six months ago. Over the course of the holiday we also did two other walks involving substantial hills that I don't think I would have coped with (or which I would at least have found a lot more difficult) a few months back. This was a genuine (and very pleasant surprise): living in Oxford, I don't climb a lot of hills, so hadn't realized that my ability to do so had improved so much.

    So I think what I'm saying is that it's possible to be making progress without realizing it, and sometimes the thing that indicates this has happened can be something unexpected. I hope that's at least vaguely helpful - my holiday experience has certainly strengthened my resolve to carry on going to the gym!

    Soundbite

    Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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