I bought a heart rate monitor yesterday. I hemmed and hawed for a few days trying to decide which model to buy. There are some many different models each with a ton of features and it seems that no one HR monitor, apart from the super expensive ones, has all the right features I desired. At first I though the F6 was the model. It seemed to have everything I wanted. In reality, all I should have really needed was one that measured my heart rate. Wasn’t that the point? Anyway, I then saw the F11 which was a few bob more, but contained a few more features I felt might be useful. Ah, but then I saw the S625 which has a GPS unit in it and can therefore tell me how far and what rate I run. Now that would be a handy feature because quite often, I go out for a run and only have an estimated distance in my head, plus I spend a lot of time working away from home base and so planning a route in a foreign place is not always feasible beforehand. The trouble with the S625 is that it costs £208!!! I just couldn’t justify spending that kind of money on a watch that measures your heart rate.

In the end, I decided to buy the F11. Now I had to decide where to buy the thing. JJB sports wanted £99, a shop on the internet wanted, £83.95. As always, I wanted the HR monitor right then and didn’t want to wait a week of more for it to come through the post, after all I have training to do. So I had resigned myself to forking out the extra cash and buying it from JJB. But low and behold, as I was driving by the Southam Leisure Centre, I had a sudden urge to go inside and see if by some chance they sold them. I did a quick u-turn, ran inside, and sure enough they did sell them, and for cheaper than any of the other places. They wanted only £75 for it. Bargain. In the transaction, I did get to see that the unit cost is £59. So JJB Sports is making a mint on theirs.

Anyway I have myself a heart rate monitor and I’m happy with the purchase so far. I measured my fitness level and it turns out I’m only moderately fit with an OwnIndex of 43. The OwnIndex is apparently equivalent to VO2max which is a measure of aerobic fitness.

Later today I’ll get to train with the F11 and see whether I’ve been training to hard or if I’ve been dogging it.

You scored as Summer. You are SUMMER. Life is to be -lived-.. dance, sing, and make merry. Adversity is simply something to overcome. You embrace life with both arms, not only because you love it, but to squeeze out of it all that you can.









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Talk about meeting interesting people…last night I went out with the team I’m working with for a meal and a few drinks. After they all called it an evening, I started wandering back to the little hole in the wall of a hotel I was staying in, which apparently is in one the worst areas of Derby. I couldn’t face hanging out in the room waiting to fall asleep, so I rang one of the other consultants who is working on the project and I knew to be a bit of a gambler. Sure enough, he was in the casino. He told me to come on over and have him paged and he’d sign me in. So that’s what I did.

As we were sitting at the bar, An older guy, white hair, black suit, comes over. Pat (my consultant friend) starts chatting with this guy, you know, the usually stuff, “how this one, how’s that one.” I assumed it was a mate of Pat’s who lived in Derby and that they were catching up on things. Pat then introduces me to him. His name is Dez. We start talking. “Where are from in the States?” New Jersey. “I know New Jersey. I’ve spent a lot of time there.” Atlantic City. “Yeah, and other places.” We banter on like that for a while. We discovered that we’d both been to Boston and I tell him about the time me and some friends broke into someone’s house (someone we knew and knew they were away) to watch football and drink beer from the keg we’d “acquired”. We were kids, all under aged drinkers, and needed some place to drink this thing and not get caught.

Anyway, he tells me about his dad and the time they were in Boston how they drove where they weren’t suppose to be driving and had all these people pissed off at them. We chuckle at bit. Then Dez calls his dad over and introduces me to him. We exchange a few words and then his dad grabs a pint and heads to the end of the bar. a few feet away. Dez and I continue to talk. I tell him I like dog racing. He says he’ll arrange a night out for me at the Nottingham track, dinner and all. I tell him I’m into adventure racing and mountain biking. He disappears for a moment and comes back with, and introduces me to, an elite class downhill mountain biker. Dez says, “you have to have contacts, you never know what’ll happen.” I chat to the downhill mountain biker. He’s raced all over Europe and some in the States. It turns out we’ve both been to Morzine in France and we exchange stories about the mountains there. We chat for a little while longer and then mountain bike man nips off to go back to gambling.

Dez and I start talking again. I tell him I’m looking for a female team-mate to race with us in April. He disappears again and returns with a fit looking female. It turns out she’s a fitness freak and likes the idea of adventure racing and wouldn’t mind giving it a go. I tell Dez about Ascent. He says, “Call Richard Branson. He’s into those things.” It’s about this time that I start to think that Dez is my genie in a bottle. I ask. He conjures it up. Dez sees that I’m married. “How far are you from Wolverhampton?” 45 minutes. “Good. I own a fantastic Greek restaurant there. You bring your wife, have a meal, all on the house.”

The hours pass and Dez finally disappears back into the casino. Pat leans over and tells me who Dez is.

The last scene in my dream I remember is looking in a closet. The closet floor was covered with clothes, jackets, boxes, and a lot of other miscellaneous items. A green raincoat caught my eye because I thought it was my Gortex jacket. I pulled this green raincoat from underneath the pile of junk only to discover that it wasn’t my Gortex jacket. In fact when I looked up I saw my Gortex hanging up on a hanger. I found in the corner of the closet an old bad of crisp that had been left there opened and with crisp still inside. The crisps were molded so I decided to through the bag in the trash. Well on my way to the trash bin, the bag starts to move. Low and behold, there’s a mouse in the bag. He pokes his little head out to see what’s going on. Well I didn’t want him in the house for fear that more mice would come. I opened the back door and attempted to throw him out. Only he just fell out of the bag onto the porch, so I tried to kill him by throwing heavy items at him. I missed. The mouse, in a frantic attempt to escape my flying objects, fell into the little pond we had beside the porch and started to swim away. But he didn’t get far as one of the frogs in the pond saw him as meal and went straight for him. The mouse started climbing up the side wall out of the pond, but the frog was quick to zap him with his sticky tongue and yank the mouse back down onto a ledge. The frog jumped out of the water and onto the ledge to finish the job. He managed to swallow the mouse.

I must be undergoing phase change as I’m feeling a bit emotionally detached, unable to hold on to a concrete feeling. My rational mind, of course, has moved in to fill the void. Being more in tune with my emotions/intuition/spirit than my intellect, this is causing me some difficulty because my rational mind likes to analyze things and look for opportunities to say why this or that is not working. Whereas my feeling mind looks at the same situation and says no problem, there’s nothing that a little energy and enthusiasm can’t solve; let’s get to it.

I had an odd thought while washing the spaghetti stained dishes at midnight. I was thinking about the various ways folks in the business I’m in go about marketing themselves and I thought in a lot of cases, well in most cases, they/we parade ourselves around like cheap tarts on a red light street. We mangle the truth.

On the other hand, artists, poets and writers (creative) are committed to the truth and are willing to starve to death in order to maintain the truth and their commitment to telling the truth through their art. I’m reminded of one of Bono’s lyrics, “All I have is a red guitar, three cords, and the truth.”

I sold out a long time ago. I abandoned my search for the truth in order to consume the intoxications of adventure, treasure, and the fairer sex.

I’ve been away from my fictional world for a few days. I started redesigning my website and got caught up in the excitement of making some forward progress or should I say some visible forward progress. The fruits of my labor were immediately perceived. Whereas, my fiction seems to be a lot of agonizing over even the smallest of words and the smallest of choices and hours go by and all I have to show for it is a dubious 700 words which I probably won’t use. I suppose that’s the reality of writing fiction, especially long fiction where the end can seem an eternity away. Still I’m not disheartened by it. I can ride the wave of the emotional high I’m feeling from accomplishing some of my other tasks.

Slaying Dragons…I’ll have to work that into the title of one of my books. I like the metaphor of slaying dragons, where the dragon represents some obstacle or problem one has to face. I’ve been wearing my ST Michael’s pendant. It’s a special pendant, one forged specifically for airborne soldiers as ST Michael is the patron saint of paratroopers. On this particular pendant, he’s jumping from the sky, along with other paratroopers, to slay the dragon.

I’m touching places in the depths of my soul that i haven’t touched in a long long time…and it feels good, good to be alive, awake from an enchanted lumbering lifeless dream…