Tag Archives: karate

Frustration (sometime in November)

When I joined the Gym several weeks ago I thought it would fit in nicely with the rest of the family’s plans. They could do what they do in an evening and I would be off messing around at the gym and then we would meet up back at home.

I did not want my desire to get fitter to interfere with family life. I did not want the Man feeling guilty or feeling that he should be doing the same…if he chooses to get out there then that is an entirely different matter.

Normally on a Tuesday the Man will take the Boy to Karate… this involves him leaving work by 5pm a short 10 minute journey back to collect the Boy from his grandparents house and then a slightly longer drive to the village hall where the Boy does his stuff.

Unfortunately they are upgrading the motorway junction which means the Man doesn’t always make it in time so sometimes I leave work early as a back up taxi.

So on this particular Tuesday I get a call from the Man as I enter the village, there is a traffic jam and would I mind doing the run over to our neighbouring village and if I drop the Boy off then the Man will collect an hour later.

So I collect my son. We rush the 7 miles over to Karate, I drop the Boy off and head home to get changed for Spin.  At 6.15pm I get a call from the Man. He hasn’t moved. He is still in his car in the same position he was in when he called me earlier.

I drive 7 miles, collect the Boy, drive back 7 miles.

By now it is 6.45pm. I have spin at  7.15pm…the Man is still not home and in fact is still in the same place he was at 6.15pm

I am in 2 minds whether to take the Boy back to his grandparents or to take him to the Leisure Centre and leave him to wait in the café outside the Cycling Studio until my lesson is over with my phone to keep him occupied and a warning about Stranger Danger

In the end I head towards the Leisure Centre as I need to put some fuel in my car at the local supermarket  as I am driving on fumes.  I decide “sod it” and took the opportunity to get some air in my car tyre (slow puncture) then the Boy and I pick up a few provisions and head home.

To be honest I took the whole series of events as fate telling me I wasn’t actually well enough to do Spin… after all I almost passed out at the “drop a Jeans size” session the day before.

After some discussion we decide that since the junction works are not due to be completed until March 2016 its probably best if I swap my days as making sure the Boy is able to participate in a form of physical exercise he enjoys is probably more important.

Along the way I seem to have ended up changing my single day to 2 sessions on Monday AND Wednesday which start an hour earlier than the Tuesday session so mean I actually get to spend more time with my family than less…!


Saturday: In which the man has his head turned… with expensive consequences

The Boy spends his Tuesday evenings at karate… he is becoming quite good and seems to enjoy it. His karate group is part of a bigger collection who have additional practice on Saturdays in Daventry. As his group doesn’t meet during the school holidays he has  been invited to join Saturday practice.

Karate grading also takes place in Daventry. At the start of the holidays we took the boy to be graded. Parents are not encouraged to hang around whilst grading takes place so the Man and I went window shopping for an hour or so. After wondering around Daventry town centre we wondered back through the retail park where we stumbled upon a bike shop.

This is not the sort of bike shop I usually frequent. It’s one of those staffed by skinny male assistants with well cultivated and tended facial hair who splatter their conversation liberally with the word “cadence”…the sort of place that a casual cyclist like me feels out of place and uncomfortable.

The man and I quietly amused ourselves seeing who could find the most expensive bike (£8k Cannondale in case you were wondering) and fondling the occasional shiny bit of metal.

I suddenly realise I was alone. The Man has stopped and didn’t seem to have moved for about 5 minutes…spooling back to the start of our hours freedom I  recalled  him similarly stopping outside Daventry Leisure centre to admire a stealth black Specialized…and that was what he was stood in front of…quite heavily discounted as it is last years stock. The Man is captivated.

Some weeks later we come back to Daventry for the Saturday training session. As we drop the Boy off the Man casually suggest  “lets have a look in the bike shop…I think there is a café there”

I think I probably knew this was coming. He has been distracted on occasion during the holiday eying up other bikes around the Netherlands and Denmark. A strange glint in his eye

Anyway we wonder in and the sexy stealth black model he had been eying up previously had gone and in its place there is a monstrous green and orange version…safe. But wait, one of the  hirsute young men sidles across casually mentioning into the Man’s willing ear that “yes, we do have  a black one in the stock room”…

After that it was pretty much a done deal. The Man was so  in love with this bike that all it took was an offer to put pedals on it and let him ride it round and round the car park  and shortly after he was wielding the plastic and agreeing a delivery date of 2 weeks in the future…


Tuesday is my day. My day for bike riding. On Tuesdays the Boy has karate after school,  but school is out for summer and so is karate. The Boy wanted to go with me but I turned him down. He’s only been cycling for a year and is not very fast. Worse though is that he has the road awareness of a house brick… but thinks he knows it all because he’s been on the Bikeability course.

Cycling is not new. I have been trying to be more active for some time now since Christmas but the cycling has only been going for about 1.5 months

The first time I went out I took my first ever selfie as I wanted to see how bad I looked. I managed to do what we call “the circuit” which is about 4.5 miles in 30 minutes. A couple of days later I had it down to 25 minutes but it’s been slow progress since then.


Every time it stops hurting I nudge it up a bit so I am now up to 7 miles… but pretty much every road out of the village involves a hill so I’m not too disappointed with progress… and I can now do most of the hills in 3rd.

But with karate over until September I am going to have to find something for the Boy to do as he needs to be active and kids these days don’t have the same opportunity for being naturally active… I know that it cannot be cycling because cycling together will just frustrate the both of us… and as for swimming… well I’ll leave that for another day…