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So, 2018…

Whilst the name of this blog is not based on the fact that I am a fat man (it came from the fact that I played the Tuba), it cannot be denied that I am carrying more than my share of spare timber.  

Every year I try and set fitness goals. I sign up for events, partly because I enjoy them, but also because they encourage me to train and avoid humiliation. Over the years, I’ve been “almost last” in enough events that the humiliation has become less of a training incentive. But I still have that desire to improve on my fitness, and this year, after the birth of our beautiful daughter in 2017 I am incentivized to properly slim down the Tubbyman to a healthier weight and hopefully give her a few more years of being embarrassed by her old man.  

I’ve been told that making goals public gives them more chance of  being achieved. I’m not sure if a blog with such a limited readership as this really counts, but it’s better than a secret list on an excel spreadsheet, so here goes my goals for 2018: 

  1.  Lose 50lb, to achieve this I am going to try James Haskell’s new “Perfect Fit” .  I’ve respected James’s work ethic in the England Rugby team for several years, follow him on Facebook  and given he is a bigger guy, I’m hoping that this will be more relevant to me than other fads I’ve seen and dismissed over the years.  I’m also going to do the following…
  2. Given time constraints with wanting (/needing) to spend time with Emma, rather than committing to an epic event, I am going to focus the first half of my year on improving my 5k time.  As part of that goal I have started a handicap (time trial) 5k race series at work, running fortnightly the same route, and plan to start getting my time down.  This should then assist…
  3. Getting personal bests in the Cayman Stroke and Stride Series (if holiday plans don’t interfere) and then in the Cayman Triathlon.
  4. As part of this, I am to log 1,000 km running this year.
  5. Personal best in the Flowers Sea Swim, which should also assist me in the Stroke and Stride and Triathlon.
  6. Organise a team to travel to and participate in a Tough Mudder – I have wanted to do one of these for a while, they’re fun and physically challenging, which should be further motivation and reward for increasing my fitness. Then…
  7. At the end of the year, try to get either a personal best in the Cayman Islands Half-Marathon, or a personal best 10k time (I organise a team for work, and only the first leg can run the half, so that is not under my control – if I have to run a later leg, I will target a different half marathon). Then…
  8. If all has gone to plan, target the Cayman Islands Mercury Man in February 2019. I guess that means a lot is riding on Haskell giving me a good start to fitness this year… if it doesn’t go to plan, I’ll drop the run off the Mercury Man and complete the Aquabike.

What are your fitness goals and resolutions for the New Year, and recommendations for keeping them…?  Give me some inspirational stories below and check in for the results as the year goes on.

Too Tubby Tubbyman.

 

Caribbean Lobster – Grand Cayman

The Cayman Islands have a lobster season, December 1 to February 28.  Now, I’m a devout eater of meat, but I also love wildlife.  It’s not really an impossible dichotomy, meat is tasty, but I will only eat something that is sustainable.  For me, that means farmed (although dislike mistreatment in the farming process) or culled for environmental reasons (see The Lionfish Menace).  I tried eating fish more for my health, but I have heard that farmed fish have less health benefits and dislike the unsustainable plunder of fish that are better enjoyed as a natural spectacle. Read more…

Based on a true story…

…those words normally turn me off the idea of watching a film, but in the last week or so I have somehow managed to watch two films “based on a true story” that related to different aspects of my own life.  Read more…

First dive in ages

With the build up to and then absolute joy from the arrival of our beautiful little girl, diving has had to take a back seat.  However, one of the annual joys of diving in Cayman (as opposed to the regular joys of just jumping in the water) is the arrival of Silversides at Eden Rock, inch long fish that gather in the network of caves for protection from predators during the day.  So, with the encouragement of a friend whose wife has gone back to the UK for four weeks, and the fact that my wife and baby were having a “girls’ afternoon”, I dusted of the dive gear and headed off to track them down. Read more…

Flowers Sea Swim – Grand Cayman

Flowers Sea SwimEvery year I make the same vow, this will be the year I get fit, signing up to events so that I get the fear.  An event I love in Cayman is the Flowers Sea Swim (see Flowers Sea Swim – Grand Cayman), which I try and do if I am on Island.  This year is its 25th year and we’re having an enforced period on Island because of the happy birth of our beautiful daughter (I don’t intend to blog about her, because that’s private, but she is perfect and has taken control of our lives in a wonderful way) so I signed up again, adamant that I would get in a few training swims to start the season… Read more…

Jet Ski Safari – Cayman

We have done this trip several times with different guests, it is simply the best way to see Stingray City if the weather is right (calm). If there is a bit of wind the jetskis can still be great fun but it is a bit more of a battering experience! Read more…

Losing track!

Hot on the heels of my reporting that I hadn’t had chance to write much and that Scuba Diver Life were catching up with my submissions by publishing the Wreck of the Tibbetts (see A short break – which was a bit weird to spot on my Facebook feed as a suggested read!), I then discovered that two more of my pieces had been published on diving in Cayman:

  1. Lionfish culling in the Cayman Islands
  2. The wreck of the Oro Verde

Please check them out, let me know if you have any suggestions or comments on my writing style.  If you would like to read more about diving in the Cayman Islands, check out some more of my posts here. It’s a phenomenal place to dive, with great year round visibility, but sadly life gets in the way of regular diving!

I’d love to hear any feedback.

Jez

A short break

I’ve not been having much time to write in the last couple of months, we’ve been moving house and preparing for the arrival of a little baby come Easter weekend, but that has Scuba Diver Life have been catching up on some of the articles that I drafted for them, catch my piece on the wreck of the Tibbetts, an awesome Cayman dive site, here….

It’s still not quite sunk in that we will become a family of three, but it’s an exciting time preparing for everything to come! There’s not been time for diving or much other than preparation and moving, and I don’t feel experienced enough to write about either of those!

Still, the diving continues around us, Lionfish culling, and I will get back soon, with someone new to share the joy with in the long term!

We did have an interesting experience, having to move our boat from a dock space to what turned out to be an unmarked canal, tentatively feeling our way through less than two feet of water, feeling like an explorer of old. Maybe I’ll tell that story soon…

Another diving article

I mentioned before that I am always keen to encourage people get into diving and excited about the diving here in the Cayman Islands.  In my first blog article for Scuba Diver Life, I wrote about one of my favourite dive sites (and curry houses) in Grand Cayman (my post on Scuba Diver Life about Sunset House).

My second article has just been published, about one of my favourite night dives in Cayman, check it out here.

I have several other pieces for them underway, and I’ve never had an editor looking through my work before so it’s an interesting experience (perhaps a little frustrating for her given a confusion in my most recent article between Sunset Divers and Sun Divers…), but I’m hoping it improves my general writing.

Hope you enjoy the read, enjoyed 2016 (despite the various lows) and enjoy a great start to 2017!

Thanks!

Tubbyman

 

Polar Bears – Barter Island

This polar bear and its cub were having a little frolic in Barter Island, waiting for the annual Whale bones to be piled up.

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Barter Island, Kaktovik, is located in the far North of Alaska, a small island about four by two miles in the Arctic Circle off the Arctic coast of Alaska.  It is home to descendants of the Inupiat Inuit tribe and became a significant trading post (hence the name).  The Inupiat are still allowed to engage in whaling activities, to respect their heritage, although their catch is limited.  I find it hard to stomach whenever anyone engages in such a barbaric and unnecessary practice in this day and age, but they’re allowed to go out an hunt several whales each year, to feed themselves in their traditional way.  It’s strange, but their desire for tradition ends with the method for hunting, using explosive tipped harpoons instead of battling with traditional spears. Read more…