Sunday, 4 April 2010

Lent's over; a summing up

All over for another year - or is it? At midnight Polish time (23:00 in Derbyshire), I celebrated the end of Lent with a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (why can no other wine-producing nation make a Sauvignon Blanc that comes anywhere close to New Zealand's). And then another glass, and then some. Excellent British cheeses. A slight hangover in the morning; 75 sit-ups and 20 press-ups (how long will that go on for?); and time for coffee.

I overdo it. Three heaped scoops into the cafetiere, two large mugs. An hour later, I'm overcome by anxiety, like waiting for a job interview or for an artillery barrage to begin. At lunch (first meat in over 46 days!) I decline a drink. I can see that for me, caffeine more profoundly affects my metabolism than alcohol. I have no adverse effects from giving up drink, while caffeine withdrawal is much harder, I have to wean myself off gradually, doing it suddenly gives me bad headaches. Indeed, as I write, more than six hours after those coffees, I can still feel their effect.

Overdoing the coffee aside, I feel excellent on completing my 19th consecutive Lent. I am stronger, fitter, healthier than when I started in winter. It is now spring, a natural time for continuing exercise. On return to Warsaw I shall get back to cycling to work. Interestingly, despite the daily sit-ups, I failed in my goal to reduce my girth around the middle from 99cm/39 inches to 91.5cm /36 inches. Despite the self-denial and twice-daily working out and all that happened was a reduction to 98cm / 38.5 inches.

At the end of Lent, I'm always full of good intentions - will I be able to keep them going longer than usual?
Easter 2010, for the record. 1 April -> 06:00 Fly Okęcie - Doncaster; train to Stockport. 3 April -> TransPeak bus from Stockport to Duffield. 5 April -> Driven from Duffield to Ealing. 6 April -> Driven from Ealing to Luton; fly to Okęcie.


student SGH said...

I ate three pieces of cheesecake and a few chocolate sweets. It didn't make me feel any special or sick. I'm going to cut down on the amount of sweets, but there's no need to give them up at all.

Physical exercise should always be carried on, regardless of season of the year and age, weather permitting I'll take up cycling to school next Monday.

And 80 kilometres behind wheel yesterday. Driving around Warsaw even when the traffic's not dense is stressful. Hundreds of drivers who cut in unexpectedly, don't use indicators, slow down without a reason or skim on the brakes when they see a police patrol or speed camera, don't pull out when light turns green or are put on the spot when they see a roundabout... I'm not an excellent driver (who would be after driving around 5,000 kilometres?), but some other drivers should go back to basics.

Michael Dembinski said...

Well done Bartek for making it to the end; it's a useful discipline!