Tuesday, 6 January 2015


Happy New Year!  It's 2015, and at this time of year we are bombarded with new years resolutions which can feel a bit wearing after a while. Normally I tend to avoid this sort of stuff like the plague, and if I do subscribe to a notion of self improvement, its privately and with a dose of personal guilt and psychological lashings, plus generally I never make it past the end of the first month. This year, I'm doing things slightly differently, and I'm first of all going to apologise for adding to the seasonal burden of enthusiastic "New year, new you" blogging. A friend has persuaded me to sign up to the Jantastic challenge, a three month extravaganza of enforced exercise and personal goal setting.  It is mildly competative, and more so if like me, you join a team. My initial reaction was admittedly fairly negative, but I agreed to take part as I am constantly impressed by my friend's willpower, and as a mate, I'd like to support her considerable efforts to improve her personal fitness. Besides, when I think about it, although I'm relatively active and fitter than many people, I'm still a long way off my ideal fitness target and there is plenty I'd like to achieve this year that won't be possible without some additional physical effort.

I've set my goals for the first month pretty low, at two workouts a week- its hard to find the energy to exercise when you already spend several days a week on the hill (please Jantastic, next year will you include "walking" as an accepted form of exercise?). I gave up running a few years ago after my poor knees begged me to stop, so my chosen workout is on the bike.  It's already paying off. Yesterday I dragged myself out in dodgy weather and with the tail end of a cold for a quick 10km around my local woods.  I'd never have left the sofa if Jantastic hadn't made me. Today was a good day, so a longer 30km mountain bike ride, and I'm feeling very satisfied. I exercise a lot, but if Jantastic makes me move my body even more, I'm only going to benefit. Plus I have some long term goals, such as putting in bigger distances on my bike, (I find long rides very hard work), and perhaps a cheeky little tour or two.

I actually love riding my bike on Arran. The hills may be brutal, but you get views like this:

Jantastic isn't for everyone, the run/bike/swim options are restrictive, and it would be great if it could be extended to walking, kayaking and other outdoor sports. But if you enjoy these activities it could be for you. Our team is made up of a cross section of people that includes some talented athletes, and folk who are looking to lose weight and turn their health around. I guess I'm somewhere in the middle of all that, but we have all set our own goals and every time we move, we win. If you want a bit of inspiration, check out this wee vid from a hero of mine, Will Gadd. (I've noticed the vid doesn't work on some android devices- if you have problems accessing it, try this link to the Youtube site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCpowcXopKE)


Helen Gauperaa said...

Your mate is a true inspiration - she never gives up :)
It's nice to read about your motivation, and you too give me something to aspire to. I agree it would be excellent if Jantastic would give us a walking option (and more) - I wonder how we could persuade them?
Good luck through these months - we know you can do it!

Lucy Wallace said...

I hear from Jantastic via Twitter that they have plans to broaded their exercise criteria next year, and that it will include walking. :)