Ooh look, another title that appears to bear no relevance to the subject matter… hang in there.
Who remembers what I’m doing at the moment to feed the family? If you don’t, go here to refresh your memory. It has been incredibly busy at work. Strange how parcel delivery gets intense in the week before Christmas isn’t it?
Last week it took 6 days to rack up 546 parcels in my area. This week after 4 days I have already shifted 644. With multiple drops that works out at about 500 stops.
Let’s have a look at the exercise involved so far this week.
500 times I have pulled on the hand-brake (park-brake if you live on the other side of the equator and drive on the other side of the road) with my left hand. The muscle group that runs from the tip of the shoulder to the side of the neck aches.
500 times I have climbed out of the car (yes, I’m delivering in a sedan). My right glute and hamstring haven’t cramped but are constantly giving me that tightening, ready to cramp feeling. I think I have saved myself from cramps with good fluid management (more later).
500 times I have twisted and picked up one or more parcels from the box on the front passengers seat. My left hand aches when I wake up in the morning.
Not everyone is home. Policy states that unless an authority is signed, we must leave a card and deliver the parcel to the nearest Post Office for future collection. That is about one in five addresses. 100 times I have written a collection card. My right hand aches and has a callous on the inside of the first knuckle of the ring finger (writers cramp).
500 times I have walked briskly or run from the car to the door and back. Anything from 5 meters to 30 metres. All in steel-capped boots. My feet and calves ache.
500 times I have started and stopped the car. I’m sure the brakes, battery and starter motor are aching.
But I only post funny things – or positive things – or both.
Aching joints mean old age is creeping up on me, so we won’t dwell on that too much.
Aching muscles means muscles are working and growing and burning calories. Yay, finally some positiveness.
On Monday night I had a think back on that particular day and how it resembled most of the work days since mid-November. Since I’m 45kg (100 lb) over my ideal weight I was thinking mostly of the calorie use versus intake. I found a website that calculates base calorie requirements. At my current height and weight with a sedentary activity level my daily caloric requirement is just a touch over 3100. That would allow me to sit at a desk all day and maintain my current weight. I did a quick mental tally of my calories for the day in question and it was comfortably over 5000. Right there is the answer to why I haven’t lost any permanent weight since I started this job.
Let’s talk about the weather and non-permanent weight loss.
It’s high summer south of the equator. Summer solstice and all that jazz. Over the last month where I live we have had temperatures ranging from between 16°C (61°F) to 24°C (75°F) minimum and 26°C (79°F) to 35°C (95°F) maximum. This new job has me in a nice shaded shed from 7am to 9 or 10am. Then I hit the road. There is no point having air-conditioning in the vehicle because I’m in and out of it so much. So from 10am to finishing time at between 2 and 5pm I am running and climbing stairs and carrying parcels in fairly high temperatures.
Here is what today looked like. I got on the scales after breakfast but before dressing for work. No good news there, but no surprises either. During the day I drank six and a half litres of fluids (4.5 of water, 2 of diet soft drink). 6.5 litres weights 6.5 kilograms (14 pounds). I also ate 4 sandwiches and 2 apples. I didn’t go to the toilet all day. When I got home I took off my heavy boots and jumped on the scales. I had lost 1.4 kilograms (3 pounds). That means I sweated 7.9 kilograms (17.4 pounds) of fluid.
More about the weather and the view.
My work is in a residential area of a seaside suburb. I have gone to the beach near here for almost 30 years. I couldn’t remember when I last stopped and looked at the beauty of it all. Sadly, familiarity does breed contempt. But on Monday I was feeling a little fatigued, and stopped next to my car to take a couple of deep breaths. As I did that I saw something that had been there everyday since before this country was born. The ocean. I was standing in the middle of a quiet street with some of the best ocean views I have ever seen. I was so inspired that the next day I took the camera.
So I will sign off today by sharing a couple of photos with you.