“I’d always wondered what type of person goes to the gym on a Friday night” said a pretty girl, gliding past me in a dress befitting Melbourne’s gorgeous late summer. “Well”, I replied with a smile whilst opening the door and stepping inside, “Friday nights are what separates the winners from the . . .” the door gently closed. Yup. I turned on the gym lights and made myself comfortable with my role outside the winner’s circle. Legs. On a Friday. Ooooof!
I enjoy having the gym to myself. It’s therapeutic. In my current mindset, it seems criminal not to treat your body well and make use of its strength. I say that now, obviously, completely acknowledging Future 2022 Reed that’ll be fostering elastic waistbands and wondering if ‘diet trifle’ is a thing. I did though manage a significant achievement. There is position known as ‘the plank’. For those not familiar, adopt a press-up position but with your elbows on the floor. Now, stay there. The aim is, boringly, to retain your body in this position for as long as possible. The best I’d managed this sporadic test was 6 minutes back in March. After considerable cajoling, with muscles wavering and fluttering, with days seemingly passing, I was elated to achieve eight minutes. My friends quickly chimed-in to support - ‘the world record is eight hours.’ Thanks. For. That.
I’ve been ingesting books again, probably the last of my US Navy Seals series (they’re a bit repetitive), this one The Dichotomy of Leadership emphasising the multiple hats – the need to lead from the front but inspire others, never backing down but knowing an unwinnable situation - all narrated by gruff men being positively ebullient about ‘getting some!’ i.e. being shot at. You have to be at both times the carrot and the stick, which is why leadership is bloody difficult. Over the pandemic we’ve seen both the best and worst types of leadership, with shattering consequences (see below). Consuming books hewn from the military, with the passing of ANZAC Day too, offers wonderful perspective: there are times in life when I’ve looked at other jobs and thought, ‘yeah, I could do that!’ Ermm . . . no. I remain in awe and indebted to those wonderful people within the forces, past, present and future. But if they need someone for an eight-minute plank, swing on by!
For those like me that have been watching the awful events unfold in India, a nation gripped with 400,000 cases a day, and wondering what you can do to help, this comes from USA Today:
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