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A great view ruined.
With apologies to Mark Twain and his classic reference to golf (“A good walk ruined”), it was indeed a case of a wasted view this morning as The Moodie Blog’s high-octane training camp for the November 22 ‘Miles for Smiles’ fund-raising run in Dubai moved from Macao to Panama.
Waking up jet-lagged after a fitful five-hour sleep following my 24-hour door-to-door journey from London to Panama yesterday, I was immediately rejuvenated by the sound of the waves outside my room and the sight of a line of ships preparing to enter the Panama Canal. Glorious.
With a similar view promised at the hotel gym of the Intercontinental Playa Bonita Resort & Spa, it was on with the new Mizuno footwear and off to burn some calories and jetlag in equal measure.
It was indeed a room with a view – palm trees, crashing waves, a swimming pool and beautifully roofed leisure areas in the resort. The only thing that ruined it was these appalling torture machines, euphemistically known as treadmills. Dreadmills more like it in my case.
When you run like me – and look like me in ‘athletic’ garb (they used to call me ‘chicken legs’ in my rugby-playing days; now I’m just an ancient travel retail rooster) – you pray the gym will be empty. You certainly don’t want to find another member of the media corps, in this case DFNI’s Nicole Mezzasalma – equipped with all the right work-out gear and accessories – alongside you on the next treadmill. Especially when you can’t figure out how to start it. She’d covered about 4k, effortlessly, calmly, before I even managed to set it in motion. And then I nearly came off the back after the contraption, and I, lurched suddenly into motion.
All this flying around the world has not done wonders for the fitness. But The Moodie Blogster turned (very) mini-marathoner is made of stern stuff. A slow first kilometre (10 minutes and 4 seconds) was down solely to a technical inability to adjust the machine’s speed. The second and third kilometres raced by in well under 9 minute per kilometre speed. But that still means the Dubai run will take me over an hour and a half – and I have to triple my endurance ability in less than three months.
30 minutes later I staggered off the dreadmill, jelly-legged, soaked in perspiration, and reflecting for the umteempth time in the past few weeks what a fool I had been in accepting this challenge. Fortunately Nicole had retired gracefully (perhaps out of pity, but more likely contempt) to the other end of the gym to lift weights – now that I will never do… even if I could – and my pathetic contribution to global fitness could be suffered in isolation.
I took a sans-treadmill view out the window (below). Much nicer. Why does man ruin nature by putting garish objects – like dreadmills – in its way?
I’m here of course mainly to moderate the ASUTIL conference (below). I think I should prove the consummate professional and also moderate my running.
[*I aim to raise at least US$5,000 and hopefully much more for The Smile Train by completing the ‘Miles for Smiles’ run. Please consider sponsoring me at http://www.justgiving.com/martinmoodie]
NOTE: You can check out the progress of other runners in the ‘Running Miles for Smiles’ section at the top of the home page of The Moodie Blog. Runners – please send us your contributions. They encourage others, especially me, to endure this terrible, terrible humiliation.