Here’s a short term goal list. I always find it useful to have something to aim for, otherwise I tend to drift nowhere. Having the recent Coast to Coast in a Day has been helpful in motivating me and as a way of making sure I keep clocking up the miles but now that’s over, I need to replace it. Here goes:
Having enjoyed the challenge of cycling up Hardknott Pass, I have been reminded of the climb I have done so many times before but not in recent years. This is the climb from Hay on Wye up to Hay Bluff (or Capel y Fin) in the Black Mountains.
The first time I did that was as a teenager while I was still at school, I guess I was about 15. My school friend Mark Neathway and myself had cycled around Wales, staying at YHAs, and we were on our way back home when we tackled this climb. In those days I was badly prepared (bike and clothing) but had youth and wanderlust on my side to make sure I enjoyed it. Just as well really as I recall sleet and horrible conditions – and it was in May! This climb up from Hay on Wye to the Youth Hostel at Capel-y-Finn, near Hay Bluff involves some serious huffing and buffing as I recall but we never walked. As it was quite a climb in challenging conditions, we absolutely loved it!
I have done this climb on a number of occasions since as an adult on various bikes as I lived in Hereford for a while and it was easy to do a tour around the Black Mountains in a day. The best and most used bike was my Dawes Galaxy. I also remember doing it while I briefly owned a “racer” or a road bike as we’d call it nowadays. The lowest gear would have been 42 x 26t and I still managed to struggle my way up, somehow.
So I’m thinking of a day’s cycling around there before the end of the summer. Sorting out the logistics is the real challenge! Can’t wait though, it will be quite a trip down “memory lane” and I wonder whether the reality matches the picture in my mind’s eye.
I reckon I have a reasonable diet as a vegetarian but I don’t want to leave this entirely to chance. You see I’m still getting the hand of this “middle age” lark as I’m well into my fifties and always think of the best is yet to come. I want to be in good shape for another 50 odd years (although I doubt if I’ll be cycling for all of that) and I see diet as an important component of that.
So with this in mind I have made an appointment with a local nutritionist and I will probably blog about it afterwards.
My goal is to remain as healthy as I can for as long as possible. I want to avoid going to the Doctor and accepting whatever the NHS doles out by doing what I can to avoid any illness for as long as I can. We are fortunate in having the NHS in the UK but I still want to take care of myself as much as possible but I need to understand and know more in order to do this. Getting our diets right can make a considerable difference and I don’t simply want to take the approach of piling it all in and hoping for the best.
As a step towards the appointment I have needed to complete a questionnaire. Some of the questions were surprising for me, such as the one about craving food. Initially I thought that was something pregnant women did, not men. And then I thought some more, specifically about those peanut butter sandwiches for supper…. I also would miss a nice cup of coffee, or a nice flapjack….
We all hear of people who allegedly abuse their bodies and continue living until they are over 100. People will tell you about their Aunt Ethel who lived until she was 100 and smoked for 90 of those years and had a daily pint of Guinness. Do these people really exist? Do they really enjoy good health? I doubt it. Nevertheless there’s much that we can do as individuals, surely? Learning more about my diet, the foods I need and need to eat will be fascinating and I’m looking forward to it.
I have started running again and love it. I’m planning to enter the Ridgeway Run which is in October each year. A great 9.7 mile race, small scale with just a couple of hundred runners.
Other short term goals?
Yes I do and perhaps for another blog posts soon.
What about you? Does any of this ring true – especially improving your diet? I’d be really interested to hear from anyone who has already been to a nutritionist to improve their long term health prospects – how did you get on? Either leave a comment or use the Contact Page.