My renaissance in health and fitness

When I was in my 20 & 30’s, I was indestructable, full of energy, and had a can do attitude. I could eat anything and never put any weight on.

Climbing mountains, kayaking and aerobic’s classes every sunday morning were the order of the day.

By the time I had reached my 40’s, I had realised I had lost the edge in speed and didnt have the same anerobic energy anymore, so I concentrated on more sedate endurance sports, like day long tramps in the Waitakere ranges.

I would typically get a taxi out to the far edge of the map, and walk back towards home, which would take most of the day.

Did I mention the kids colored in my map with crayons one day?

When the kids came along, I needed to not only keep up with them, but also to inspire them.
This is how I ended up running 5 km at the local parkrun every week. I wasn’t fast mind you, but I was always ran every week, which meant I was always near the top of the points table, and got a medal or two for my trouble each year.

This came to a rather sudden stop, when shin splints became a major problem for me. The only cure is lots of rest, so I went back to weight training at the gym, and cycling instead.

Perhaps I was a bit too keen about the cycling though….

We lived in a small tourist town in those days, and I loved dragging off cars from the only set of traffic lights in town.
I worked out that it’s best to use as few gears as possible, which meant really putting the power down in a highish gear from a standing start.

My right knee did not like this, it did not like it at all!.

The injury meant that I couldn’t walk on it properly for days afterwards..

The local physiotherapist was no help at all, he was far more interested in impressing his very attractive female trainee assistant.

Resting it ‘cured’ the problem, but I couldn’t ride anywhere as fast as I could, which meant sedately riding around like an old person….

Looking back at it now, I had convinced myself that I was now an older frail person, and that those days were over…

RUBBISH!

I found a good physiotherapist and spent months doing remedial exercise’s to fix the problem.
I now take greater care of my knee’s, and I’m careful not to twist or jar them.

These days, I’m going to a gym again after all those years. It surprises me that the muscle strength is still there. There’s even an old poster of Arnold Schwarzenegger on the wall, just like the old days.

I’m not working out anywhere near as hard as I used to because these days I don’t feel I have anything to prove. I’m typically lifting about 2/3 of what I used to, but more importantly, I’m now pretty good at picking up any early warning signs of injury.

The moral of the story is, it’s easy to fool yourself into believing those nagging doubts. Don’t act your age, and don’t be sucked in by society norms/ expectations, etc.

I remember my Grandfather working on his farm until well into his eighties, perhaps that spirit still runs in my blood as well?

A fabulous day, how skateboarding made my snowboarding better

I’m always a little bit apprehensive about snowboarding, but my youngest daughter loves skiing, so I always have a go to support her. Like a lot of the kids talents and interests it’s a bit of a mystery where she got the passion from, such is life.

It’s been a long two years since the last time we went, because of all that covid stuff.

Still, it was refreshingly good to be back on the slopes at Snowplanet which is located just north of Auckland. (https://snowplanet.co.nz/)

The big surprise for me though, was how natural it felt for me on a snowboard after all this time. In fact, I went better than I ever have before!. It just came to me naturally and easily.

Even using the T-bar lift wasn’t the intimidating monster it normally is. I’m normally struggling to stay upright, but this time around, I was just totally relaxed about it and just cruised along.

Then it dawned on me

I’ve been riding a skateboard as often as I can every day since, well, ages.. This has helped my natural balance no end.

Another reason is that I’ve finally worked out how to fix a troublesome knee that iritates me every winter. A combination of stretches and weights seems to have fixed the issue once and for all. (I can’t get complacent on this though, I need to keep up the thrice weekly routine).

All of this created a day that was bliss.

My daughter always wins the ‘race’ to the bottom, but she’s on ski’s and simply goes straight down the course, whereas I go from side to side as a way of controlling the speed and getting more precious time on the snow.

Another year, another winter

Winter has finally arrived with a vengence here in New Zealand, and along with it has come almost constant rain and cold temperatures.

Winter has also brought back a reoccurring injury that I thought was gone for good. I have to be careful not to twist my right knee in the cold, otherwise it doesn’t bend well, which makes walking and climbing/descending stairs an unpleasent experience.

Fortunately, I still have the exercise notes from the physiotherapist I spent so much time (and money) with last year.

As long as I do the some physio everyday along with a smearing of ‘deep heat’, the problem stays away.

The skateboards gone away for winter, along with the pushbike, so I now workout at a Gym and go for walks everywhere instead.

The offroad motorcycling season’s also finished, and the skiing season should start in a few months time.  
I usually go snowboarding with my youngest daughter, who has a passion for skiing.

The kids have also recently taken up basketball, which has pulled me into having a go as well. (They are a lot more motivated if I join in).
It’s a mission keeping up with teenagers, but I try anyway!

An update for May

We took the girls off road motorcycling on a wet weekend to get them used to riding around in slippery conditions, I rode the trusty Honda, while they rode a pair of proper off road bikes. The Honda’s dual sport tyres weren’t up to it, which meant riding rather slowly to keep it going in the right direction and then paddling my way up the hills with my feet.

This set up the situation where the kids took great delight in passing me as often as they could. I didn’t mind this, as it inspired the kids to push themselves and ride faster, and out of their comfort zones.

It then became a competition of who had done the most laps, so I just kept going and going, in a turtle vs hare type of race.

In the end, my youngest managed 32 laps of a 1.2 km track, before she called it quits for the day.

Come Sunday night, Dad’s got a very dirty bike and boots, etc, to clean, and dry out

My regular skateboarding sessions have now gone on hold with the somewhat regular rain we are having, because skateboarding in water can ruin a good board (they can warp).

This leaves me with work, work, work, which is going well at the moment.

The kids are now back at their after school activities, but are still attending an online school as they are now quite settled there.

On the C front..

The mandates are mostly gone, but the battles continue..

Steve Oliver owns a gym that refused to discriminate against the unvaxxed and was taken to court by Worksafe over the covid laws. The court case is still going, even though the covid narrative has collapsed.

Steve is one of those Christian characters who contributes so much for the community as described in the video link below.

On another front…   The Government has abandoned it’s appeal to challenge the previous ruling that mandates were unlawful for the Police and military. This hasn’t been reported in the MSM as yet.

Skateboards and bum steers

I got into skateboards because it was a way of getting the kids out of the house during lockdowns.

With the aid of google and advice from a neighbour, we sort of managed to ride around a local cul de sac. As is often the way, the kids moved on to other interests and left me with 3 boards to play with.

I’ve taken to using the Longboard on the right because this one in theory would be the easist to ride, but actually it isn’t, so it became a challenge for me to ride it and ‘fix’ it’s handling problems.

On the advice of the neighbour, I started off by tightening the trucks to make it real stable and prevent any chance of wheel bite (the wheels can catch on the board, causing an ungraceful stop), This meant though, that it made it really hard to get it to go around corners.

It’s taken me a while to work out that tightening the trucks was a bit of a bum steer. The instability problems were caused by me standing too far towards the back of the board.

In the meantime, I went back to google and brought some new bushings, and I’ve experimenting with the tightness of these for some time.


I started off with a hard bush in the back and a medium one in the front, and I’ve methodically easing off the truck tension about a 1/4 of a turn everytime I go for a ride. I got to the point yesterday that the front was so loose that the bushes weren’t doing anything, which caused the board to be wobbly in a straight line. That meant putting softer bushes in the front.

After more experimentation, it all really started to come together when I got the truck tension loosened off to the point where the wheels don’t quite touch the board when I’ve got the board heeled over as much as I can.

The board now has a much better turning circle and now I really enjoy going around corners, rather than struggling with it as I was before.

It’s opened up a whole new way of skateboarding for me.