What I learned this week


My phone is trying to tell me something. Or get me into trouble. Look at what happens if I try to tell my wife that I’m having a shitstorm at work:
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I’m not sure if this means my phone is making racist generalisations, or trying to provoke rage in my wife at apparent confessions of infidelity. I’m also tempted to try to write an entire post always accepting every auto-correct suggestion from my phone, but I’m not sure if anyone would notice.

Running with a stroller is hard. Last week we bought a third-hand jogging stroller for fifty dollars, back when it appeared the haze would probably last forever. With clear air this morning and La Serpiente awake at 7, I strapped her in and took her downstairs for a preliminary shakedown. Now, I’m not sure if it was the extra challenge of pushing the stroller, or the aftereffects of overdoing it yesterday, but I went through hell this morning. It took me about 7 minutes to do less than one kilometre, which is horrendous pace. The only mitigation I can see is that I was just as wrecked until about 3pm today, which indicates it may have been exhaustion that was the driving factor, but what if I was just exhausted from pushing the stroller all that way?

We’re mostly wimps these days. I read Al Murray’s Watching War Films With My Dad, and he makes the point that whereas in WW2, people would be decorated for the feats of valour they performed after already having their elbow broken, these days a broken bone is enough to consign us to bed rest for a week. Not going out and storming a machine gun nest. I remember retelling the story of my grandfather (injured while fighting in the British Expeditionary Force in France, then returning to the fray (and ending up in a POW camp for the rest of the war)) and this account being met with disbelief by my classmates – wasn’t this something out of Rambo? Were people just tougher then? Or should we just stop complaining when the hardest life gets is when a spreadsheet doesn’t work right?

I’m not getting enough sleep. I know I need about eight hours a night, and instead books and Township (and regrettably, mostly Township) is really getting in the way of this.

Of all the vomit, mozzarella-based vomit is amongst the worst. La Serpiente started being sick about nine this evening, including once throwing up all over my feet, and for dinner she’d had a couple of slices of a posh margarita pizza. So in between rinsing out a plastic bucket for her to be sick into, I’ve been trying to launder the two sheets, two towels and two sleep sacks she vomited over before we started getting prepared for the constant waves of chunder. That means trying to wash this foul-smelling creamy, sticky gunk off everything, along with chunks of tomato, part digested raspberries, and everything else she ate today. At least this provided a firm stop to my conference call tonight.

Hopefully unrelated to that, I learned about how to use a jogging stroller today. Or rather, this afternoon after her music class, I strapped La Serpiente back into the stroller and jogged up and down for a couple of kilometres. This was still hard hard work, but I now understand a few things, in particular keeping your elbows close to your torso, so you run upright rather than leaning into the stroller, and the importance of running holding the stroller with one hand where possible, to give yourself more natural running form, and accepting you’ll be slower than when unencumbered by child. Although I still remember being beaten at Parkrun by somebody with a stroller once. I’m now much more impressed by that feat.


3 responses to “What I learned this week”

  1. Isn’t there something about not being able to move your arms freely that slows you down? Once I stopped off at the supermarket to buy a baguette and sponge cake that were too large to fit in my backpack and that slowed me down considerably on the rest of my run to the station.

    • Yes, although Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? has a study that purports to demonstrate that pumping your arms when you run doesn’t make you go any quicker than just letting them flap loosely around. Regrettably, no studies have been made about baguettes and sponge cakes and running.

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