Olympic Blog: number one – 50 sleeps

Jane is going to the Olympics and will be reporting for NZ Horse & Pony throughout the Games, attending all three equestrian disciplines. She's suddenly realised that there are less than 50 sleeps before she departs, so she's leapt into action

2016_Summer_Olympics_logo.svgI’ve known I have had media accreditation for the O’s (that’s what the cool people call the Olympics) for some time but it is really getting real now. In less than seven weeks I’ll be getting on that plane headed to Rio. Fifty more sleeps. Yikes!

The first thing I needed to do was start my fitness programme. Cue theme song to Chariots of Fire. Everyone who goes to the Olympics is at peak fitness, right? Even media types? Well maybe, and if not, why not? I doubt I will get mistaken for an athlete, but I also want to fit into the summer clothes I’ll be wearing.

One of the hazards of this occupation is the amount of time spent in front of a keyboard. My fingers are fit, no question there; I could be a medal contender. But there is room for improvement in other parts. Attending events usually involves lots of walking but I haven’t been to that many events lately with it being out of season and all. And it is winter, and I work from home, and the fridge isn’t far away, and it’s cold outside, and…. yep, the fitness has gone down and the girth has gone out.

Showing its tricky temperament, my Fitbit likes to count only every second step

So, action stations. Being a bit of a gadget girl, I am the proud owner of a Fitbit which measures how many steps I take each day (plus a few other things which I mainly ignore). My regular goal is 10,000 per day but it doesn’t always happen, especially when I forget to charge the battery, or forget to put the watch on. And also I’m convinced that my one doesn’t count ALL the steps; I’m sure it is temperamental and sometimes only counts every second one. However, all those issues aside, I’m determined that for the next 49 days I am going to achieve at least 10,000 steps per day. I’ve just worked out that is about 400kms! I’ve also got extra motivation, as with the app that comes with the Fitbit, you can compare yourself to your other gadget-collecting friends. I’ve got a journalist mate (unfortunately he’s not going to the Olympics) who has been outdoing me each week. That is about to change! Look out, my golf-playing friend. Anyone else who wants to join the challenge, bring it on! I might need you to encourage me when I hit the wall (or whatever happens when it all gets a bit hard).

Living out in the country as I do, there’s no gym or personal trainer available to help me, and I can’t ditch the car as we are miles out of town. See, I’m making more excuses already! So my plan is to do lots of different types of exercise. At the Olympics, besides typing furiously, I’ll be walking between the sporting action, the media centres and the media accommodation at Deodoro. I need to be walk-fit. So, walking is my priority and I am vowing it will be longer distances than from my computer to the fridge.

Now this is what I call a work-out

After the Olympics I’m going trekking in Argentina, so I need to be riding-fit. So yay, riding goes on the fitness programme. My hairy semi-retired farm hack is still recovering from being ridden twice already in one week.

I’ve also got the bike out of the back of the shed, blown the spiders and cobwebs out of the helmet and tottered off down the driveway thinking this would be good for cardio fitness. Only half way up the slight incline I realised that the gears were broken and stuck in low, and why the bike had been abandoned at the back of the shed. My heart certainly was working overtime by the time I reached the mailbox. Three stock trucks roared up the road as I paused, trying to catch my breath. I decided it was prudent to turn back for home at that point and I really needed to start preparing the evening meal (yet more excuses). While cycling could well become a feature, I may have to borrow the other half’s flash mountain bike from time to time, except I can’t reach the ground when I’m astride. I may be safer on the hairy horse. And a saddle is far more comfortable than those bike seats and I don’t have cycle shorts (yet). Libby can do lycra but I feel it is something I should avoid.

Brushing this off would have been a good work-out, but I don’t need to be grooming fit…

Today I originally planned to ride the other farm hack, until I saw him. His chestnut mate wasn’t much better. So, as my time was limited (excuse number five), I instead enjoyed a lovely walk over farmland, heading up a big hill, determined to get to the top without a stop. The dogs chased a rabbit which disappeared down a hole half way up the hill so unfortunately, (actually luckily) I had to stop to sort that out and discourage them digging any further.

The rabbit lived to see another day
The rabbit lived to see another day

Tomorrow is another day, and I’m going to put my Fitbit on the charger tonight for sure. Join me in my challenge and keep following this website for more Olympic build-up of the equestrian variety. Team announcements are not far away!