Nobby’s Beach (Newcastle, East Coast Australia)

beach pavilion
Nobby’s Beach, Newcastle, Australia

How good is this, a bike ride to the beach and some lap swimming in the ocean pool just as the sun pierced the eastern horizon…

And boy, do I need to get some exercise and fitness back into me, after all there are mountains to climb, eventually!

But for now, two weeks of cycling, swimming and kayaking, strewth, it’s a tough life, but us Aussies’ are used to this tough life 😉

Photo: Baz, The Landy
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Parkour for Agility and Fitness (If you’re game enough)

Exercise forms part of the daily routine of a large part of the population and it can take many forms. 

Keeping it interesting, fun, and relevant is the challenge for most of us…

In our household, TomO spends a lot of his waking hours on our Olympic Standard trampoline and I usually get a bounce in most days as it is great for core strength and stability.

TomO - Urban Tramp
TomO – Urban Tramp
TomO -  In full flight
TomO – Just Hanging 

And Janet is out walking the MilO every day in between pilates classes and is our chief gardener, pushing the lawn mower over the yard regularly. This makes for a solid workout, especially given how fast our lawn grows during the warmer months.

Yes, I know lawn mowing is typically a man’s domain, but strewth, if I was to ever touch that lawn mower I’d be in strife, that’s for sure.

And of course, most days I can be found up in The Shed in the pre-dawn hours, or in the mountains and on the lake in my kayak most weekends.

The Shed
The Shed

But we are always on the lookout for new ways to exercise and of course, it has to be enjoyable.

Recently, TomO decided he wanted to give Parkour a go.

Par what I hear you say…

Don’t worry, I said the same thing!

It roughly translates to “the art of displacement” and like many training disciplines it was borne out of a military background.

The idea is that you move, jump, run, and tumble between and over obstacles of various shapes and sizes, even scaling walls.

We did a search to see if anyone was teaching Parkour in Sydney and found a group of young people at Jump Squad HQ teaching it on Sydney’s northern beaches, not too far from Narrabeen Lake where I train on my kayak.

Baz - kayaking Narrabeen Lake, Sydney, Australia
Baz – kayaking Narrabeen Lake, Sydney, Australia

This weekend TomO commenced his basic training and all I can say it was awesome, well TomO said that as well.  I was watching from the sidelines, but wishing I was in amongst it.

This is a discipline that teaches balance, agility, core strength, and judgement.  All the things I need to focus on as I head to the world’s highest mountains…

Balancing on top of a mountain with a severe drop either side with crampons on is quite an art! Self-preservation helps mind you…

Baz, Southern Alps, New Zealand
Baz, Southern Alps, New Zealand – All a balancing act

What really took my interest was an old round trampoline frame that they had the kids walking around for balance and agility.  I have been racking my brains as to how I could improve this skill myself, and there it was.

And we have a large trampoline in our backyard.

Now I might just look a little conspicuous and out of place joining TomO’s class, but I’ve already spoken to them about private lessons, and I might even be able to rope my partner in all things outdoors and adventurous, brother-in-law, Ray, into a session.

He’d be up for it no doubting…

So if you are looking for something to liven up your training you could always give Parkour a go…

And remember, if all else fails, just remain out of control and enjoy yourself…

We're always out of control - and loving it!
We’re always out of control – and loving it!
photos: Janet, Baz, and TomO…
YouTube: Jump Squad HQ, Sydney

Going for a Spin (Up in The Shed)

The Shed
The Shed – Font of all knowledge

There is something invigorating about starting the day in the pre-dawn hours with an exercise routine. 

Your body awakens as the world rises to a new day, the golden hue of the sun rising over the eastern horizon, stars fading into an ever brightening sky…

 Just like Linus and his blanket, I find something comforting about this routine.

Most days start with a row on a Concept C2 rower, one of the best value for money pieces of exercise equipment you could invest in. The row might be 10-kilometres at a steady pace, aiming for 39-40 minutes, or it might be 10×500 metre sprints with 20 push-ups between each one, it certainly kick-starts the day into action.

Baz - Concept C2 Rower
Baz – Concept C2 Rower

And everyday, without fail, involves some form of resistance training, squatting, and deadlifts, all the big compound exercises. Without a doubt, weight-bearing exercises should be undertaken by all to assist muscle tone as our body’s age.

Baz - A daily dose of weight bearing exercise
Baz – A daily dose of weight bearing exercise

There is plenty of good research available on the topic!

Perhaps it is fair to say I push it to the limits, but that is my thing, always testing the boundaries, I never want to be wondering what I might have achieved, but you know, apart from anything else it is fun.

 The Shed, the font of all knowledge in this modern age, is my training arena and I’ve just added a new piece of training equipment, a reconditioned LeMond spin bike, supplied by Gray’s Fitness Equipment in Melbourne, Australia.

Le Mond Spin Bike
LeMond Spin Bike

Now I’m sure there are many who are very familiar with spin bikes, and anyone who has taken a spin-class will attest to its effectiveness when you push to your limits.

So as I prepare for my mountaineering expedition to Nepal later this year, and the Coast-to Coast Adventure Race in New Zealand not long after, the swoosh of the spin-bike, the clink of the chain on the rowing machine, and the sound of weights being lifted, will be heard heralding in a new day in the world’s greatest harbour city, Sydney, Australia…

Baz - Chancellor Dome in the background
Baz – Southern Alps, New Zealand

 Hey, if you’ve got a favourite spin-bike workout, shout it out to me…

Anyway, the sun is shining, there’s a light breeze, and we’re all heading down to the lake for a paddle…

 Strewth, you wouldn’t be dead for quids, hey!

Ps: Just in case you are wondering and as the picture of The Shed attests, you can never have enough paddling craft…
Baz - Kayaking Narrabeen Lake, Sydney, Australia
Baz – Kayaking Narrabeen Lake, Sydney, Australia