Thrills, Spills, Snow And A Show.


Sunday 29 May

Having gently awoken She Who Must Be Obeyed from her sonorous slumber and having enjoyed a healthy breakfast (orange juice, muesli, coffee and a huge croissant laden with butter and preserve) we put best foot forward and in no time we had collected my Corvette from the valet. A gentle drive down Las Vegas Boulevard on a Sunday morning brought us to our destination, The Stratosphere! We took the lift (elevator for my American readers) which speedily rose the 1,149 feet to the observation deck where we enjoyed the views over Las Vegas. Not only did we gaze in wonder at the wondrous panorama but at the congenital idiots that paid good money to be sent spinning out into the atmosphere on reputedly the highest roller coaster in the world. We were also amazed at the foolhardy that had forked out $149.00 to be attached to wire and then flung off the top of the building hurtling down to the ground 1,149 feet below. If you look closely at one of the photographs below you will see a person in a blue overall plummeting towards the earth’s surface allegedly seeking entertainment. To see a larger image just click on the photo or click on the Flickr links on the right hand side of this blog to see images of the day and navigate to Day 12.

By now the temperature in Las Vegas had risen to 87F (30.5C for my British readers) and we decided to drive out to Mt. Charleston about 40 miles away. We were soon climbing steadily enjoying the scenery and breathing in the pine laden scent which was superior to the artificial aroma emitted by some popular lavatory cleaning agents. We stopped for lunch at a ski lodge opposite Mt. Charleston Baptist Church (have you noticed that where there is a church there’s always a hostelry of some description?) at an elevation of 6000 feet and the temperature was a pleasant 65F (18.33C) although She Who Must Be Obeyed was making noises about getting her fur lined cape out of the boot (trunk) of the car! Fortunately, for all concerned, on this beautiful sunny day there was a blazing log fire inside the lodge! Continuing our healthy eating regime we lunched upon a chicken salad wrap accompanied with deep goose fat fried potatoes and to stay healthy we had unsweetened iced tea to which She Who Must Be Obeyed added a small quantity of aspartame.

After enjoying the vista from the terrace and being duly fortified we continued the assault on Mt. Charleston summit and we reached as far as we could go at an elevation of 8000 feet at the foot of the aptly named Cathedral Rock. By now the temperature was a refreshing 57F (13.89C) and She Who Must Be Obeyed retired to the heated seats of our chariot. It was amazing that within such a short distance one could leave the frenetic activity and desert temperatures of Las Vegas and enjoy such tranquil scenery and naturally pine scented fresh air! Please feel free to view todays photographs by clicking on “More Photos” in the Flickr panel on the right hand side of this blog.

We returned to our sumptuous room at the Bellagio in good time to change for our group dinner which was at the Milos restaurant at the Cosmopolitan. Then we were treated to the spectacular Cirque Du Soleil show in the “O” theatre at the Bellagio. I cannot find an adjective to describe this wonderful, ephemeral event (OK just two then) and I had to keep reminding myself that this 1800 seater theatre with its swimming pool set in the stage, that holds over a half million gallons of water is inside a hotel! This show was breathtaking and from now on I will look upon synchronised  swimming in a different light. If you ever get the chance to see this spectacle then go and enjoy!

Until my next post, Toodleloo!

157.64/155


Many of my Facebook friends have been increasingly baffled by the posts that I have been making since the beginning of January 2012. The posts have taken the form of a xxx/155 where x is a number. The theories have all been amusing and some of them highly inventive. However, a few of my friends have guessed correctly the meaning of these digits and if you’re one of the few then well done you! So, now is the time to reveal this baffling conundrum. 155 is the goal and that is the number of miles that I have run since January 1 this year!

Why? I hear you ask. Why get out of bed a little earlier and get outside and pound the pavement? Well it didn’t happen overnight. I decided on December 12 2011 that I was overweight, unfit and had been living “The Good Life” a little too much. So, I started to consider my options, and listed my ideas and thoughts in my journal. Some of the initial ideas were a little extreme but from the original notes, my plans and goals started to become clear and at that time running was not part of the plan!

The initial plan, made on December 14 2011 was to eat a little healthier, cut down on the fats, red meat and alcohol. I decided that on January 2 2012 that I would give alcohol up altogether but between December 14 2011 and January 2 2012 I had Christmas and New Year to enjoy! Starting my regime on the December 14 with a brisk 30 minute walk I continued until January 4 2012 when I stepped up a gear.

I had been discussing my regime with my son Matthew and he stated in no uncertain terms that I should start running. I explained to Matt that this would be impossible as before he was born (rather a long time ago now) I had fallen badly on my right knee while playing tennis and when I ran this knee would hurt. Straight away Matt told me, in no uncertain terms, that my running technique was wrong and I was wearing the wrong type of shoe. Now, I had to listen because Matt in his spare time has been known to run the odd marathon or two and therefore runs more than anyone I know.

I now had the right gear and had some instruction and had even read an instructional book I started. My first run was for an enormous sixty seconds! It was part of the plan. I started using intervals. So, I would run for sixty seconds and walk for five minutes. This was the time that I nearly gave up. Those first sixty seconds were really tough. Why didn’t I give up? That would have been very difficult for me to do as I had already described my goal in my journal and I was aware that the pain of discipline weighs ounces but the pain of regret weighs tons and in this case could bring about an early fatality! I kept my time, distance, heart rate and route on a Nike sport watch. Keeping the statistics for me was very important as I could measure my progress and how hard I was working. Gradually I started to alter the intervals and as I became fitter I extended the time that I was exercising. I was advised (Matthew again) not to be in a hurry to alter my intervals and once I was up to it to try and be as consistent as possible. This brings me to the present day. My aim is to run 5 kilometers/day (about 3.11 miles/day) most days and I seem to do this about 5 days out of seven. Currently my interval times are that I run for 2 minutes and 45 seconds and walk for 3 minutes and 15 seconds. I’m currently comfortable with the distance and my aim now is to gradually increase the running time and decrease the walking time and end up running a full 5 kilometers and I’m now scoping out my next big health goal. So, what’s next after 155/155. Well, I’ve already started and the new figures are 157.64/620!

The benefits have been fantastic already. I have lost 38 pounds up to now but more importantly my blood pressure medication has been reduced three times and is now stable at 120/70. I am much healthier and my stamina levels and general well being have vastly improved.

It is my belief that the power of setting a well defined written goal in a journal and keeping track of your progress ultimately leads you to where you wish to be. There was just a handful of things that have made this journey a success and they are as follows:

1). A well defined clearly written well researched goal.
2). Consistent, persistent action.
3). Monitoring the progress.

I believe that these three simple things are the essence of achievement and can be applied to all the areas in your life. If you are already setting goals that’s great but if you’re not how will you get to where you wish to be? In closing I have a challenge for you. Set some goals (if you already have some, review them and set some new ones). What are your goals? Your wealth goals? Your health goals? Your relationship goals?

Care to share? Then just post a comment on this blog. I wish you well in your continued journey of success!