Daily work out.

After a particularly busy few days with lots of driving I was glad to get home and up the hill with the dog. This is one of the benefits of owning a young, tireless puppy, they need exercise. No matter what other jobs are on my list the dog needs daily runs. Lucky for us we have a large hill directly behind our house.

So up we went into the wind and rain. i never stick to the same route nor do I plan which route I take, I just roam. The dog running off and back as she pleases.

The landscape is so varied and rugged, you have to negotiate peaty, boggy flats, rocky outcrops and short steep heathery knolls. This is my Gym. The up is my cardio workout, it is also good strength work for my legs. The uneven ground also means my core gets a bit of a workout. On the steeper ground I let my upper body take some of the slack and climb up like a spider, although perhaps a bit less elegant! When I come across a boulder or outcrop, depending on it's form I stop and do some more specific exercises like tricep dips or planks. Now at this point I am sure some of you might be thinking "What a nutter!@*!^" I might have thought that of myself a few years back, but now it just makes sense. My legs get plenty exercise. I love running, cycling walking etc. But my upper body has been a bit neglected. I am trying to strengthen my upper body and core for a few reasons:

1. It will improve my running capacity if I am fitter all over.

2. Improving my upper body and core strength will improve my posture, which has never been good. I recently hurt my back, not badly fortunately, but it made me appreciate good back health.

3. I am training for a triathlon, so I need to be strong for swimming.

Now I could do all these exercises at home, but I would rather do them outside overlooking the sea or the lochs. Perhaps not in the midgies though.

On my way back down I came across an area which was new to me. A wee boulder field of these ancient weathered rocks, coloured by various lichens and mosses. In the mist and drizzle it felt like a very unforgiving landscape, rugged and strong but very beautiful and wise.

This winter I plan to continue battling it's bogs, bracken and tussocks, enduring it's weather beaten bends in the hope that perhaps by withstanding what it throws at me I might absorb some of it's strength.


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Photography by Annie MacDonald

https://www.flickr.com/photos/anniemacd