As most of you know, I am very much an exercise fiend and always try to stay abreast of new advances in protocol, equipment and technique. Since moving to the desert I have changed my regimen slightly and or obvious reasons have had to preclude any water training and have to delete any mudrun/obstacle run events from the calendar for the following year. Therefore at this stage my training is predominately made up of running, body weight movements and kettle bells.

Aspirations for this year consist solely at this point of competing in a half-marathon around Uluru in July (if not, 11 kms is definitely on the cards) which will probably require me to run three times a week at varying speeds and distances. Something interesting to note is that most of us in this community who run (4-5 of us at this point) use the horizontally shaped,  red sandy path which surrounds the community's (Fregon) air strip as our track. Slightly corrugated, strewn with donkey excrement the size of ping pong balls and the occasional lizards that dart across the track in front of us, it makes for a decent, straight forward, relatively benign-to-ankles surface. The scenery is usually calm, still and picturesque with the setting sun helping to paint a gorgeous canvas of reds, browns and greens.

I am also quite committed here in helping the local football team (Fregon Bulldogs) as strength/conditioning coach (don't ask me how I was appointed this position as I'm still wondering why), which consists mainly of the school's senior boys, to win the premiership grand final and move some of them closer in being recruited into the highly sought after, exclusive and glamorous Australian Football League. Thus twice a week I have them push themselves like they never have before. A healthy dose of painful infliction is always in store with interval training, mixed running/body conditioning exercises, sprints, agility, wrestling, animal movements and some flexibility thrown in there, as well. Sessions are always filled with humour, are light hearted and rewarding. It is always a pleasure to attempt to out sprint these boys or more so, keep up with them. Naturally fast, agile and embedded with outstanding ball skills, these boys are a great inspiration to watch and work with.

Without them probably realising it, they naturally manifest an energy that motivates me to push myself and help myself become faster and stronger. Often times they struggle to keep up with the amount of burpees, push ups and squats that I set for them but I am starting to see improvement. It's not particularly easy to be beaten by someone considered 'old' in their community, so I like to play the 'old man 35' card as often as I can to fire them up. 
Numbers always vary, as is the very nature of the place, but I often have 10-12 people show up (still 6-8 short of a full team) willing to push and work it.

I may have demanded commitment slightly too early, I feel. I had scheduled a run last Thursday from the oval to the airstrip, around it and back which would have measured around 6-7 kms. The announcement was given a week in advance with reminders each day at school and around the community. Everyone looked positive, or so I thought. I made my way to the footy oval arriving at the appointed time to the tune of nothing but buzzing flies. I waited for half an hour and not a soul. As I am able to see the footy oval from my house, I decided to head back and whittle my time with a book, intermittently checking to see if any one showed up. Nada. Niente. Nien. Too hard, too much, or too early perhaps? Speaking to the vice-captain of the team the following day we decided on a wiser course of action. Laps around the oval first, progressively graduating to longer, more cross-country run.

A new experience within a new experience and the learning never stops!


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