Witness the Fitness

Well I fought The Law again on Sunday and this time I won. We had blue skies and a gentle breeze so there was no excuse not keep huffing to the top. And then on to the higher but gentle Ben Cleuch, then down a couple more hills to complete the wee circuit.

As I said before, The Law isn't high but it's rather steep. I tried to make a video as we came back down but of course it doesn't look particularly daunting on film. ARRGH!

You just can faintly make out the path in the bracken, on top of the green, slug shaped hill. Then admire my cinematography skillz as I oh-so-steadily and expertly pan to the top. Please forgive the demented singing!


It was a very satisfying experience I must say. All the more so for the thermos of piping hot tea and the peanut butter and jam sandwich waiting for us at the top of Ben Cleuch. You Americans are onto a great thing with the PB & J. But I am fussy; it can't be too sweet. It needs to be grainy bread with this particular crunchy natural PB and this Bonne Maman Raspberry Jam. YEAH BABY.

Without that to look forward to, I'd have just stayed in the car. No! Really! I'd have done it anyway, for the stunning views right across Scotland, the enormous sense of well-being and the sore legs for days afterwards.

My only Issue with the hillwalking is trying to tame my competitive streak. Actually I don't know if it's competitive streak so much as an inferiority complex. As we laced up our walking boots in the carpark, I asked Gareth what was the fastest time he'd ever done the Ben Cleuch loop. He said he didn't really bother about the times; he just liked being outdoors and going for a wander. But I DEMANDED to know! So he said his quickest ever was about 2 1/4 hours. And his quickest time up The Law was 40 minutes. I stored these numbers then told him to start the stopwatch.

The thing is, Gareth is a far fitter person than me. He just cycled across England last week on a Coast 2 Coast trip. When he got back on Saturday, instead of being comatose or moaning about how knackered he was (as I'd be, if I'd done such a thing) he was itching to do something else. Freak.

So I really shouldn't compare fitness level to his. But I just can't stop this compulsion to have some sort of benchmark, you know? (Where does this come from? Is this an Australian thing?) Even though I know there was no way I could climb that hill anywhere near his time, I needed to know just how slow I was by comparison. For my own records. To the nearest nanosecond, if possible.

It took me nearly 75 minutes to get up The Law, so although I felt quite triumphant to have hauled my butt up that horrible steepness I couldn't help feeling a bit miffed. Overall it took us a snailish 3 hours 55 minutes (excluding tea break) but I guess that includes me stopping to whine/catch breath/admire view about 75 times. Anyway, if there is a next time, I will make sure it's quicker. Mwahaha.

23 thoughts on “Witness the Fitness

  1. S:

    I did a walking tour of the Cotswolds last summer and was surprised at the steepness of the hills. Which gives me all the more appreciation for the MOUNTAIN you are climbing! Thanks for the cool vid-phone shot, I loved seeing a more 3-D view of your trek.

    By the way, we have this thing called PB2 here — its a powdered form of peanut butter. You can just mix a teaspoon in with your Bonne Maman and you are definitely good to go. Its awesome on a thick slice of bread.


  2. You wanna watch that you know – constantly trying to ‘improve’ and ‘benchmark yourself’ can suck all the joy out of a fun activity. And you WALKED UP AND DOWN MOUNTAINS WITH YOUR SPUNKY HUSBAND FOR FOUR HOURS – just pop back to your earliest posts and tell tha DG not only that THAT was going to happen but that you’d be a bit miffed about some aspect of it?
    What a beautiful spot you live in πŸ™‚

  3. don’t worry mate, tis all very tongue in cheek competiveness! i gotta get my number fix somehow now that i’ve lost the scale obsession πŸ˜‰

    i really do it for the views. and the sandwiches πŸ™‚ it’s a very joyous way to spend a few hours!

    jonathan – how cool! i’d love to see the cotswolds someday….

  4. This is not a terribly UNIQUE comment, but I am awed by the beauty in the video. Holy smokes Batman.

  5. Oh Erin, it is gorgeous. That is what I love about Scotland, it’s such a wee country. We drive 15-20 minutes from our house and we’re at the bottom of some great hills.

    And when you get to the top you can almost see the whole way across the country. If you’re lucky enough to get it on a rare day without rain or fog (about a 1 in 20 chance πŸ˜‰

  6. My mum needs to see that video because she’s convinced there’s never a day without rain and/or bitingly cold fog in Scotland. (We spent nearly two weeks there and never had a day above 45F the entire time. In June.)

  7. Aargh! The competitive thing! I have it too…. but I’ve learned to be selective about how I compete with my husband. My kicks my arse at cycling with his massive, man-sized quads. As for lifting weights? Pfft. Forget it.

    But give me a fitball, a BOSU or anything balance-y (standing on one leg anyone?) and I’ve got him beat! YEAH!

  8. I’m totally with you on the competitiveness thing. I’m crazy competitive. I think it could be cos I need to keep reassuring myself that I can do these things, its not just some freak thing. Or maybe not… remembering back to those childhood Monopoly games – maybe I just have a killer streak πŸ˜€

  9. Shauna –
    That vid is amazing! I can’t get over how gorgeous it is! My sweetie has been telling me that I’d love Scotland and now I see he’s 100% correct. Green is my favorite color!

  10. Shauna, What an awsome view! The whole SCotland thing really appeals to me. I just got to go! JUST GOT TO GO!
    Maybe when we retire! In the mean time keep up the videos!

  11. It’s so beautiful and green, wanna go!! Cute singing too, every video needs a soundtrack πŸ™‚ Happy hill climbing mate!

  12. I used to climb a very similar hill up behind Wellington when I was about 15 and look out across Cook Strait to the South Island. I loved the fact that I was completely alone on top of a hill and my thoughts were all mine.

    I think I need a bit of nature time.

  13. Nice little video. I forget how green everything stays there. I think a little competitiveness is a good thing. I bet you’ll improve your time every time you conquer that hill!

    I lurve Scotland. We were there for our honeymoon 8 years ago. *sigh* We spent 2 weeks hillwalking in the highlands.

    We had pretty good weather (!) when we were there. I actually managed to get a sunburn one day. (being ginger-haired and of Scottish/Irish descent will do that, I suppose)

    Must go back and visit someday!

  14. Oh how beautiful. And that’s just the link to the peanut butter. And I never even knew there was such a thing as ALMOND BUTTER! But seriously folks, what a wonderful beautiful place. I live very close to some pretty fab scenery too here in Neath,(Old) South Wales. You have GOT to come and compare views! You are welcome to stay at my humble abode anytime!

  15. What an awesome walk hon! And kudos to you for doing it and even better to have a partner that is into doing stuff like this too. My man isn’t, and I wish he was. I’ll just live that fantasy through you two πŸ™‚ Love the video and the singing!

  16. Oh yeah, I need the numbers fix too! I’m not sure if Aussies are necessarily competitive, well not with others. Definitely ourselves I reckon LOL.

  17. It’s true, schools do encourage competitiveness in physical fitness much more than in any other subject. Can you imagine if they taught maths by having team captains choose maths teams for maths contests *every lesson*? For those of us who were on the chunky side in school, we’re left with a sense of always being in a competition we can’t ever hope to win.

  18. I love the video, thanks! I think you’re lucky to have an active partner like G, I guess it encourages onself to get out there as well πŸ™‚ So many hubbys rather spend their free time at the local pub exercising lift-the-pint :/

  19. Ever since I heard the “Grey Man of Ben MacDhui” legend, I’ve wanted to go hiking in Scotland. Now I can add another reason: great scenery. Looks like fun!

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