Friday 13th July 2007

Throughout my quarter of century on this rock, I have gone through phases of wanting to get fit. In 2002, I joined Fitness First. (Don’t laugh, Chris!) It was rather a stupid thing really as I was still a student in Leicester and the gym was a 15 minute walk from my house. My master plan was as follows, I would start my placement in July. I would hopefully work within a short drive of a gym and work out regularly in the week. However, I never really got started, I went a good number of times up to Easter before the exam period then just gave up, hoping to start up again in July. However, the closest branch at the time was in Berkhamsted, which I went to once. As it would happen, FF opened a branch in Wycombe in 2005. Too late for me then. I had canceled my membership in mid 2002. It was not until I joined my current firm and met fitness freak Christopher Williams, that I decided that I should really get into shape before I send myself to an early grave. We started with badminton on Monday evenings at the local centre but it was quite expensive as we were not members. After about a month, Chris became busy and wanted to change the evening and we just sort of let the regular slot slip. Then, kind of out of the blue, Chris mentioned he was running his own fitness sessions for his Sunday League team. I think it was the 1st June 2007 (blogged the day after) when we went to watch Brazil at Wembley. At the time I was apprehensive, but still said I would come and have a go. As the date drew nearer, I thought about it for a while. This was my chance. I am 25 years old and a complete couch potato. I had to do something to be more active. I bought boots a few weeks ago, while in Chester. I think I still need to get some more sporty clothes, perhaps even shorts but for the time being I will settle with what I have.

Mid morning, Chris showed me a print out. It was a list of activities I would have to complete in the evening. It made me anxious, as I had not carried out any of these activities since I had left school, some (and I am referring to the bleep test) I have never ever attempted (or until recently even heard of). By the time 5.15pm came, I was ready for it. I made a stupid mistake by going home to get some food and change before driving over to Henley. With the festival on, I got stuck in traffic heading into the town but made it to the YMCA a good few minutes before 7pm and was the fourth person to arrive. Once I let Gary and Chris know I was here, I went to grab my boots and changed and got ready for the drills.

I did as badly as I expected. I am only competiting against myself as Chris and Gary reminded me throughout the evening. I was partnered with Gary for the timed activities and he was inspiring, to motivate me for that extra press up. After careful consideration, I am not going to publish my scores, but have decided against it for the time being. After the course is finished and I have my final run of tests, I will publish both and you can see if I made any improvement. From what our fitness coach has already said, he is certain I will.

On Sunday night, I watched Initial D. It was the official UK DVD release lent to me by Dave. I was going to wait until this Sunday to watch the movie, but had a few hours to spare so put it on. The movie came to my attention after I watch Tokyo Drift the third installment of the Fast & Furious collection, over Christmas. I mentioned it on the blog in my first entry from 2007. I then had a discussion about it with Daniel from Malaysia. He rated the movie highly and also gave me a brief idea of what to expect. He explained that it was originally animated, Japanese manga and the movie is actually based on this. Having now watched the movie, I come back with a mixed review. It was entertaining to watch, the story line was great and it had comical moments of slapstick as well. However, I expected more. Why? Well I thought as it was based on Japanese animated series. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the love story, (if you can even call it that). I know that we cannot always have our rosy Hollywood endings, when the guy gets the girl. However, I wanted some closure on the whole episode. Okay, ignoring that flaw (which is minor considering this is a car racing movie for the boys). The race scenes themselves were excellent and amazing, considering no special effects are used. However, the main character, Takumi Fujiwara at times drives his AE86 Trueno with the casual look of a Sunday afternoon delivery driver. I am sure there are moments when he is yawning, just before drifting around a corner. It was as if there was no effort at all on his part, particularly in the final few races. These criticisms aside, I enjoyed the movie, it was great fun and in terms of race content and plot, much better than the American attempt. Although of course Tokyo had the better eye candy!

It was that time of year, my A3 was due a service and MOT. I had booked the car in with Amersham Audi, back in late May. I arrived early and parked up in the car park, with a good twenty five minutes before the 8am. I was so early, that the gates to the rear area were only opened a few minutes after my arrival. My courtesy vehicle for the day was an A4 S Line 2 litre TDI pushing out 170 bhp. The retail value of the vehicle was £26k and it had about 4700 miles on the clock. The leather interior and quality Bose CD stereo were nice touches and the car drove extremely well. I was surprised at how low it was, I expected a saloon to be slightly taller. However, with such a big car the engine was not quite up to the job in my opinion. Needed something with a little bit more punch. The color, a dark blue was very nice, (a close second to black in my opinion) just a shame about the big dealership signs on the doors and rear but never mind. However, at 6pm, when I pulled back up to pick up my car, I was glad to get behind the wheel of my own car. Sure the A4 has the luxury options, but I like the thrust of my A3.

Plans for the weekend? Well not much on the cards I am afraid. Haircut and then pop over to Wokingham. Helping Charlie with a few computer issues, then back home and spend some time sorting out, reorganising my room. Not the most exciting weekend ever, but nevertheless it will be good to get these things done.

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