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Blog: The Walking Circle

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I'm not sure if I mentioned it or not, but I was POORLY last week - I know, I know, I am ENORMOUSLY BRAVE and usually hate to mention such things AT ALL, but I bring it up because this time around it's given me PAUSE FOR THOUGHT re: EXERCISE.

This is because EXERCISE seems to be part of the Background Details which brings on my recurring - but, as I say, LITTLE REPORTED - bouts of poorliness. It almost always happens when I am KNACKERED/lacking KIP and then go to the gym. Sometimes it happens without GYM, but that's rare and it led my household to wonder whether there's an Actual Link.

At this point people usually look astonished and say "YOU go to a GYM?!?" I can only assume they thought my sylph like ADONIS-esque PHYSIQUE was the result of me running secret marathons or something.

Anyway, I've decided to try NOT going to the gym for a bit, but doing ALTERNATE EXERCISE. The THEORY here is that it's GERMS in the gym from other people's sweaty body getting into MY sweaty body via cuts and/or dry skin that cause the cellulitis to come on (MEDICAL DETAIL). And the exercise I have chosen is my FAVOURITE type: URBAN EXPLORATION!

I was doing a bit more of this just before Christmas - I worked out a walking route from my work in Central London to Liverpool Street Station, which takes about 50 minutes. I've wanted to do this for YEARS, just in case the tube EXPLODES or something and I have to get a TRANE in, and have since STOMPED this route on several occasions. It's a GRATE walk as it wanders through inns of court, squares, alleyways, markets and all sorts of interesting places and it's EXCITING to see all these BRILLIANT bits of That London and work out how they fit together.

THUS I thought I'd have a go at doing something similar in my lunch hour, and so have devised The London Walking Circle. I've printed out a MAP and drawn a CIRCLE on it, centered on my work, showing everywhere within roughly 20 minutes walking distance. It's RAMMED with cool places, and the plan is to each day wander off and have a LOOK at bits of London - yesterday I went to Trafalgar Square (which always makes me think "COR! I live in THAT LONDON!") and on the way back nipped down some side streets off Charring Cross to see some amazing Second Hand Book Shops and a whole ROW of galleries each staffed by a single very bored individual reading a book.

Today I headed for the Telecom Tower, and every time I saw a MEWS i went down it for a NOSEY. I do love a good MEWS - I felt a bit GUILTY going down ones that were cul-de-sacs and effected the air of a Lost Millionaire, Trying To Find The Bijou Pad Of A Pal, but eventually realised that nobody was looking at me so had a good PEER into some windows. It was GRATE! The ones that WEREN'T cul-de-sacs appeared to be meeting places for Pairs Of Van Drivers, Smoking. They were EVERYWHERE.

I'm also COLOURING IN my map so I can see which streets I've looked at, and I'm hoping to have seen EVERY street within the 20 minutes by the time I've finished, like a pedestrian version of The Knowledge. There's a LOT of streets to look down so I reckon it'll take me ages, but so far I'm enjoying it IMMENSELY and I would HEARTILY recommend it to anyone else. The Walking Circle, for ALL your Foot-Based Fitness Needs!

posted 26/1/2010 by MJ Hibbett

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Ah this reminds me of being a kid and our "gang" working out a route that went down EVERY street and footpath (or jitty if you will) in Allestree. By the end of the holidays we had done them all..rah! I agree though gyms are generally manky and I used to frequently get ill after going there. In fact come to think of it - i have had a lot less colds since I stopped going to the gym. Remember when you used to say i was ALWAYS ill? I was also ALWAYS going to the gym! Too much communal heavy respiration I reckon.
posted 27/1/2010 by Francis

I would sincerely like to recommend yoga as an alternative exercise, but then I remembered I'm logged in as The Gresham Flyers, and thus would be hounded out of the group for making such a recommendation on their behalfs.
posted 27/1/2010 by The Gresham Flyers

I'd love to do Yoga, but am AFEARED: last time I tried it I heard a "pop" and realised a bit of my insides were suddenly on the outside. A hernia! I popped it back in again and said no more about it, and obviously it was due to me doing it RONG, but still, it frit me right up!
posted 27/1/2010 by MJ Hibbett

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