In Search of A/The Point of Life

Posts Tagged ‘health’

Mathematically-speaking, we SHOULD take 4 hours to run 42.1km. Non-mathematically-speaking, we may take 40 hours.

Reproduced from SAFRA Bay run 2009 results

How long will we take to complete 42.2km at the Nondon Marathon on 17 April 2011? We will finish, by hook or by crook or by crawling. But the million-pound (or £1500) question is, in what time? To be sure, every run is different, and every race – a particular competitive run session with a specific start and finish across a set route; a heightened run session – comes with its own sets of quirks. The variables are infinite (climate, route, scenery, traffic, fellow runners, clothes we wear, if the race is well-sign-posted, audience/spectator-support, number of yummmmmyyyyy jelly-babies [and Snicker bars] we manage to pop into our mouth en route at feeding stations, et al), but we can begin by examining our running and race history: (Go ahead and mock, spit, laugh at us, but you would have realised by now that we are painfully slow coaches, such slow runners we are that we are probably better off walking, but at least we have lasting power for the endurance race of our lifetimes…)

1) 2010 March: 10km race by the Friends of Medicin Sans Frontieres Nondon:  This was an easy race of 10km which we completed in 52 minutes, which works out to be a speed of 11.54km per hour (or 7.17 miles per hour), or a pace of  5 minutes 12seconds for every 1km (0.822 minutes per mile)  It began as a crisp early Spring morning but turned 8 degree celsius, so we were dressed in short-sleeved and long tights, although we were carrying the burden of stomach cramps (!!! TMI !!!). In this race, we raised money for the Medecins Sans Frontieres. We had been kidnapped before the run, was released on time by The Good Pirate.

2) 2010 September: 42.2km: Farnham Pilgrims’ Marathon, Surrey. This was our first ever full marathon, which we ‘accomplished’ (sic) in a disgraceful 5 hours 29 minutes! We have plenty of excuses, however: 1) it was off-road in a hilly terrain  – we stopped to WALK at a steep hill climb at a point (it was said that most runners had to add 30 minutes to any of their times for this race) 2) We had spent the entire summer running all over Nondon, in a bid to train for our first ever marathon. However, in the final 2 months, we were brought down by injury (tendonitis and shin splint), which came with us to Farnham. Yet we do not fret, and were delighted to have completed the race. All in all, it was a most wonderful experience, against the gorgeous and meaningful mise-en-scene that the pilgrims had once walked, the fellow runners a tremendous joy to be with, and beautifully organised. We also raised a weeeee bit of money for the Farnham hospices.

3) In a previous life: 2009 August, Singapore, 21km (13.1 miles) SAFRA Bay Run Half-Marathon: This was our first ever race since casually picking up running in January 2009 in a previous life, at the same time of still being chlorine addicts.  We took 2 hours 21 minutes – which is the amount of time taken by the world’s elite runners to complete FULL marathons!! However, we were not displeased, with the high humidity, and at 30 degree-celsius of the (paradisal) tropics. We are proud however of the fact that in our final 4km sprint, we managed to bypass 655 men and women (and yes, allowed 20 to bypass us). Running alongside more than 20,000 people of all size, shape, age and colour was also tremendously enjoyable. By default, happiness and pleasure are inevitably short-lived- but our entire 2 hours 21 minutes was a skyrocketing morphine-high. It was an extraordinary trip.

So. How on (google)earth would we fare on 17 April 2011?

1) For the first / last 450 days of our lives, we have been working hard at our running. Outside of a race, our comfortable pace is approximately 10kmh – 10.5kmh. At this pace, there is neither exertion nor discomfort. (Under artificial conditions, inside the gym, our average is around 10.5kmh – 12kmh, though this figure we should ignore, since it is climate-controlled, and we are running on machines that move nowhere, hence using different muscles of our body. The psychology of such locomotion differs from that outdoors as well)

2) Since February, we have been training longer distances (20km and above), but our fourth toe on our right feet has been harvesting a blister (!!! TMI !!!) This has never happened previously so we are slightly worried, wondering if we should go ahead and buy a new pair of shoes of a slightly larger size. Yet, already armed with three pairs of trainers, we do not want to buy another pair right now. Then there is also a new bone-like thing sticking out of our left feet recently, that prevents us from wearing any shoe without feeling pain. (!!! TMI !!!) Again this is new, and did not happen in our Summer training.

3) The past year of running means that our technique would have improved, but at the same time, we are aging as we speak.  We are juvenile at 430-days-old, but because we have only 1000 days in our lifespan, we are nearly middle-aged. While we come with the charms and beauties of a mature wine and even more mature blue cheese (as well as iron-will power, truckloads of stubbornness, and plenty of drive), we might not win a spring chicken in a photo-finish. We will come back to this issue of running and mortality in a separate post.

4) As anybody knows, there’s such a silly law called the law of diminishing returns. Whichever sillier eejit came up with it, we have no idea, but when it comes to a slowburning, longhaul endeavour as a long-distance run, no one is sparred from this law. We can get increasingly worn out and deriving less and less satisfaction from the run over hours and distances. And from experience, we know that we are excellent practitioners of the law. This can translate what should take 4 hours into to a pathetic epic 5 hours (first 10km takes 1 hour, because we are warming up and do not want to over-exert; for the next 10 km we dip a little, as we are still conserving our energy at 1 hour 10 minutes; then the 30th km takes 1 hour 20 minutes, and for the final 12km, we have the sudden epiphany that we have to get our arses moving, and hasten a little but alas it is too late as our glycogen-levels would have deteriorated so we complete it in 1 hour 30 minutes).

So there we have it. On 17 February Sunday, we may take anything from 4 hours, or, 40 hours.

But let us think of positive thoughts. Next year, in our final year of existence, we would like to sign up for the midnight sun run in Norway. How beautiful and hyperreal an experience it would be. And, with all that sunlight one cannot possibly sleep anyways, so why not go for a run. For a few hours, the duration of a sleep. We currently devote about 8 hours of exercise each week (at least an hour a day); training for a marathon means a minimum of 10 hours or exercise each week. We must not neglect our run in other dimensions, so this running about in Life 1.0 may be taking up just too much time. We decide that the half is the best distance for us, also since we can sustain happiness for a maximum of 2 hours at any one go. Anything beyond that, at 4-5 hours for instance, the law of diminishing return sets in and the dreaded dip, the hitting-of-wall happens. 10km races are too fast/short. Hence, we intend to take part in the 2012 Bath Half Marathon. With a companion.

WE ARE STILL TRYING TO RAISE MONEY FOR OUR RUN FOR SHELTER FOR THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON! DO LEND US A HAND! OR TOE! OR DOLE! OR DOUGH!

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COME TO THE SYMPOSIUM + PRIVATE VIEW OF OUR GROUP SHOW at WC1H 0AB 3rd MARCH! We’ll be there to sell signed prints to raise funds for our run for Shelter, and premiere a new work.

Surplus to Requirements?

Exhibition and Symposium 2nd – 4th March 2011. The recent student demonstrations were reported in the mainstream media as demonstrations about the coalition government’s proposed rise in tuition fees.  There was scant debate about the huge cuts and fundamental changes to arts and humanities funding that are also part of the proposed changes. Is this because as a nation we don’t care about these subjects?  ‘Surplus to Requirements?’ is a three day event organised by the Slade PhD students that will comprise an exhibition, installations, performances and presentations given by students and invited artists, theorists and curators, around the theme of the ‘value’ and significance of art and research in the current political and economic climate.  It will ask what criteria are being used to ‘measure’ art’s value and contribution to society?  It will explore ideas around expenditure and consumption, the role of the art object as a commodity. Is art superfluous or an essential part of society? How do we measure excess in these terms?  In counterpoint to the commodification of art, the importance of bodily and material aspects will be explored, using theorists such as Adorno, Grosz, Deleuze and Guattari, Bataille, Marcuse and Marx.

Guest speakers for the symposium on Thursday 3rd March are:

Dave Beech – Artist in the Collective Freee and Chelsea College of Art & Design; Sue Golding – University of Greenwich; Mel Gooding – Art critic, writer, and curator; Jen Harvie – Queen Mary University of London; Robert Hewison – City University London and Associate of think tank Demos; Sarat Maharaj – Lund University and Malmö Art Academy, Sweden; Peter Osborne – Kingston University London and editor of Radical Philosophy

Attendance at the one-day symposium is free but please e-mail surplus@london.com to reserve a place.
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INTERMISSION: RUNNING AWAY FROM NONDON FOR A DAY OR TWO. WHERE TO?

Hair 6 June 2010, split till Kaidie's end (uncut 12.12.2009 - 09.09.2012, after Tehching Hsieh)

In Life 1.0, Kaidie lives in Nondon. Yet, as we know, any peripetetic runner must deny herself allegiances, and must attach herself to the ethos of non-attachment. Instead, she traverses multiple terrains at the same time, double-triple-crossing, happily crisscrossing her eyes, splitending her hair and curling her toes while dipping curly fries in pig’s cheeks at the same time. So, while Kaidie always insists that she loves Nondon (and that Nondon loves her?), every so often, she must run away from her, to an other place in Life 1.0 that is non-Nondon, non-non-London. We love the city, but the task of the trans-dimensional runner is to resist liking any one place or thing too much. Also, it is Summer just now. Kaidie and her all-consuming love affair with Nondon could do with a little break.

Hence, our Dear Reader, where can Kaidie run away to, for just a day trip, this Summer? Somewhere nearby, but somewhere that looks/sounds/smells/feels different enough from our lovely Nondon. A different terrain to run, with a different scenary, that would give Kaidie a different gait and different rhythm of breathing, and to urge – ever so gently – that stubborn flu of 3 weeks to please leave her system, if not for good, for a little while.

Kaidie recalls a particularly invigorating Summer in a previous life, during which she spent a month in Suomenlinna, in Helsinki, Finland. The weather was extremely crisp, dry and sunny, the flat splendidly spacious and bright (Kaidie was retrospectively told that that was an especially brilliant Nordic Summer). Upon arrival, she was filled with a dread, assuming at once that as a lifelong urban denizen across many lifespans, the fortress island would be unbearable and boring. What arrogance. For, within a couple of days, Kaidie began a month-long routine of walking along the coasts for hours at length, as well as exploring the many tunnels. Although a tiny island, the place opened up the more Kaidie walked it, as if an endless Escher print full of surprising rabbit holes. She would return to the studio to type some notes with no particular intention. In the heady mixture of liqourice ice-cream, squeaky cheese, canons facing generations of enemies, picnics at sloping hills, dipping into the sea, rocking in ferries, blond hair, blue eyes, green eyes, blue-green eyes, and midnight suns, the seeds of Kaidie’s current life, and life story, and task, were planted.

This, of course, was before Kaidie became ‘Kaidie’.

Foam with (foamy) memory. What does it recall? What does it forget? What does it selectively memorise?

Travelling to Stockholm from Helsinki on the trashy Viking Line that Summer, Kaidie recalled Ingmar Bergman’s Summer With Monika (1953). (Kaidie’s favourite work of the great auteur, however, is the shattering Wild Strawberries). This summer, one of Kaidie’s virtual running buddies, James Odling-Smee, tells Kaidie about another Summer with Monika, by Roger McGough (Liverpool, 1967). That summer, Kaidie’s hair was slightly longer than it is now. After she left Suomenlinna, to return home, or ‘home’, she had much of it cut.

In the spirit of summer, with Monika, Monikas, in Stockholm, Suomenlinna, Liverpool, London, Non-London, Nondon, Non-Nondon, Non-non-London, 1953, 1967, 2006, 2010, we reprint McGough’s poem here.

Summer With Monika

They say the sun shone now and again
but it was probably cloudy with far too much rain.
They say the greatest train robbery in history took place,
probably students,
who else wants to steal a train.
They say cabinet ministers and osteopaths
were particularly vulgar about this time,
they say babies were born,
married couples made love,
often with each other
and people died, sometimes violently.
They say it was an average, ordinary, moderate,
run-of-the-mill, common-or-garden summer,
but it wasn’t.
For I locked a yellow door
and I threw away the key
and I spent summer with Monica
and Monica spent summer with me.
Unlike everybody else we made friends with the weather,
most days the sun called and sprawled all over the place,
or the wind blew in as breezily as ever
and ran its fingers through our hair.
But usually it was the moon that kept us company.
Some days we thought about the sea-side
and built sandcastles on the blankets
and paddled in the pillows
or swam in the sink,
and played with the shoals of dishes.
Other days we went for long walks around the table
And picnicked on the banks of the settee.
Or just sun-bathed lazily in front of the fire
Until the shilling set on the horizon.
We danced a lot that summer
bosa nova-ed by the bookcase,
or Madisoned instead,
Hulli-gullied by the oven,
or did the twist in bed.
At first we kept birds in a transistor box to sing for us,
but sadly they died,
we being too embraced in each other to feed them.
But it didn’t really matter
because we made love songs with our bodies.
I became the words and she put me to music.
They say it was just like any other summer,
but it wasn’t.
For we had love and each other and the moon for company,
when I spent summer with Monica
and Monica spent summer with me.

Ten milk bottles standing in the hall,
ten milk bottles up against the wall,
next door neighbour thinks we’re dead,
hasn’t heard a sound he said,
doesn’t know we’ve been in bed,
the ten whole days since we were wed.
No one knows and no one sees
we lovers doing as we please
but people stop and point at these
ten milk bottles a-turning into cheese.
Ten milk bottles standing day and night,
ten different thicknesses and different shades of white.
Persistent carol singers without a note to utter
silent carol singers,
a-turning into butter.
Now she’s run out of passion
and there’s not much left in me
so maybe we’ll get up and make a cup of tea.
then people can stop wondering what they’re waiting for
those ten milk bottles a queuing at our door.

I have lately learned to swim
and feel more at home in the ebb and flow
of your slim rhythmic tide
than in the fully dressed,
couldn’t care less
restless world outside.
You squeeze my hand and cry a little
You cannot comprehend the raggle taggle of living
and think it unfair that death
should be the only one
who knows what he’s doing.
You are afraid of the big bad dark
which loiters in our room
the night it prowls about the yard
the wind howls in distress
The Tom-moon peeps through the window
waiting for the table to undress.
It will soon be tomorrow
there’s nothing to fear
You whisper,
‘ever leave me?’
and put your tongue in my ear.
Sssshhhhh…….
don’t open it,
it can only be
the enemy.
____________

Said I trusted you, spoke too soon
heard of your affair with the man in the moon,
You say that it’s all over, then if you’re right
why does he call at the house every night.

Once I paid the piper and called the tune,
but one afternoon returning home early from the office
I found you in bed with the piper.
You call the last waltz
and now I dance sadly out of your life.

Monica who’s been eating my porridge
while I’ve been away?
My Quaker oats are nearly gone, what have you got to say?
Someone’s been at the whisky,
taken the jaguar keys
and Monica another thing
who’s trousers are these.
I love and trust you darling
can’t really believe you’d flirt
but there’s a strange man under the table
wearing only a shirt.
There’s someone in the bathroom,
someone behind the door,
the house is full of sexy men,
Monica,
Don’t you love me anymore?

You are a woman of many faces
and the one that suits you best I fear
is the one you wear when I’m not here,
for when you wear your marriage face
boredom lounges round the place

Your finger sadly has a familiar ring about it.

Last night was your night out
and just before you went
you put your scowls in a tumbler
half filled with Sterodent
so they’d keep nice and fresh for me.

Monica,
the tea things are taking over,
the cups are as big as bubble cars
they throttle round the room,
the tin-openers skate on the greasy plates
by the light of the silvery moon.
The biscuits are having a party
they’re necking in our bread bin,
that’s jazz you hear in the salt cellars
but they don’t let non-members in.
The egg spoons had our eggs for breakfast,
the sauce bottle’s asleep in our bed,
I overheard the knives and forks
it won’t be long, they said
it won’t be long, they said,
and it wasn’t.

It all started yesterday evening
as I was helping the potatoes off with their jackets
I heard you making a date with the kettle,
I distinctly heard you making a date with the kettle,
my kettle.
Then at midnight,
In the half light,
When I was polishing the blue speckles in a famous soap powder,
I saw you fondling the frying-pan,
I distinctly saw you fondling the frying-pan,
My frying-pan.
Finally at mid-dawn,
In the half light
While waiting in the cool shadows beneath the sink,
I saw you making love with the gas cooker,
I distinctly saw you making love with the gas cooker,
My gas cooker.
My mistake was to leap upon you crying,
Monica, spare the saucers.
For now I’m alone,
you having left me for someone with a bigger kitchen.

In, October, when winter the lodger the sod,
came a-knocking at our door,
I set in a store of biscuits and whisky
you filled the hot-water bottle with tears
and we went to bed until spring.
In April we arose,
warm and smelling of morning,
we kissed the sleep from each others eyes,
and went out into the world,
and now summers here again regular as the rent man,
but our lives are now more ordered, more arranged.
The kissing, wily, carefree times are changed.
We no longer stroll along the beaches of the bed,
or snuggle in the long grass of the carpets,
the room no longer a world for make believing in
but a ceiling and four walls that are for living in.
We no longer eat our dinner holding hands
or neck in the back stalls of the television
the room no longer a place for hide and seeking in
but a container that we use for eat and sleeping in.
Our love has become as comfortable
as the jeans you lounge about in
as my old green coat
as necessary as the change you get from the milkman
for a ten bob note.
Our love has become as nice as a cup of tea in bed,
as simple as something the baby said.
Monica, the sky is blue, the leaves are green,
The birds are singing, the bells are ringing,
For me and my gal.
The suns as big as an ice cream factory,
the corns as high as an elephants eye
could go on for hours about the lovely weather
we are having,
but Monica,
they don’t make summers like they used to.
– Roger McGough

** Do continue to watch and vote for CLAUDIA TOMAZ‘s film, Kaidie and The Meaning of Life 3.0, Episode 1. Episode 2 coming up. **

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ON TRIAL: PARTICIPANT 12(F) WITH ELECTRODES, SNAKES, 1k TONE, KY JELLY, 2 X (PLACEBO) PILLS.

Kadie undertook her first experiment as a lab rat last week. Now, Kadie is no longer Kaidie, but 12(F).

It would have been impossible to not be affected in any degree, with 4 hours of pills, existential ennui, electric shocks of varying degrees on the left hand, liberal applications of a nice lubrication, and staring at stills of snakes alternating with frames of blacks and crimson, oscillating between silence, very loud dead tones and its feedback, just like a copycat Paul Sharits or Peter Kubelka flicker film (I implore you my Dear Readers to kindly hook up your laptop to speakers, turn volume to the max, and WATCH FULLSCREEN, or, better still, projected large in a darkened space. Yes, we do know that a Web 2.0 representation does no justice whatsoever to these mindblowing films, but since the alternative is not watching them at all, sometimes a poor simulation is a lesser evil).

Hello World. My name is not Kaidie. My name is 12F. Like Smith in the final act after his elaborate reeducation process, my transformation is complete. I feel real, for once. I smile incessantly now. Life is no longer dark and hypocritical , and I am living a lie no more. I am converted. Everything is all right. The struggle was finished. 2 gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of my nose. I feel jolly wonderful. I have a perpetual smile on my face and black bars across my eyes (and so does the researcher, who must have undergone the experiment himself as well). The experiment succeeded.

I will now see Nondon with a new set of eyes. A few shades darker, if at all, if I could peek through that black bar.

Psycho_Test

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AN EXPERIMENT-WITHIN-AN-EXPERIMENT-WITHIN-AN-EXPERIMENT: TEST RAT / GUINEA PIG / FAT CAT / BROWN COW

Values in life

Values in Life

* WHAT: I am opening myself to science – I am willing to be a test rat for new medicines and any other related experiments in the field/name of science.

* HOW: Scans, psychology tests, new medicines, etc. As I have no thing to lose, and, for all we know, Kaidie might even find the, The, THE Meaning Of Life 3.0! In which case, Kaidie’s endeavour (and this travel blog) can be shut down way before 09.09.2012 as planned!! Hence I am up for any thing. Try me.

* WHY:

1. As an experiment myself, I am keen to undertake other people’s experiments as well. And if we wish to be grand about this (for Kaidie’s coming into being is as grand as it is pathetic), life – yes yours too, darling – is an experiment. I like experimenting with being an experiment-within-experiment-within-an-experiment (just as I enjoy trips-within-a-trip-within-a-trip).

2. Having already been a cockroach, hamster, a sponge, a human being and a cheap Swiss chocolate bar in my short life, it would be meaningful now to be a guinea pig, fat cat or brown cow.

3. Perhaps, if I am lucky, I may undergo yet other transformations with some of these tests! Is a pseudo-Orlan Feminist deformity sexy?  Or a quasi-Stelarc cyborgian appendage oh-so-macho? Naah, neither, no thanks. That is not quite the territory that Kaidie the Turdlifer likes to tread. Instead, she much prefers to become a brilliant Wim Delvoye product – a lovely warm piece of turd at the end of an elaborate scheme.

4. Being a make-believe being that straddles between the real and the imaginary, I would be keen to see how yet other artificial means can push my mind and body. So ‘high risk’ tests are welcome!

5. By offering myself to Science, I would be able to save other animals from being subjected to cruel scientific experiments for our selfish benefit. Save the cuddly rats! Save the cute panda bears! Save the whales! Save the tickworms! Save the cockroaches!

6. My kind contribution to man kind (sic) (if mankind deserves to receive contributions [sic]) and its quest for longevity /immortality (if these are perceived as positive goals?).

7. That said, what if this were a drug invented by pharmaceutical companies to convince us to feel inadequate and buy our way to make up for our inferiority complex? I would not be proud either if I play a part in contributing to the process to create drugs that prolong life unnecessarily (what is ‘necessary’ is precisely the interesting point of contention). While Kaidie will make a conscious effort to read the small print before she agrees to take the tests, Life 3.0 is full of such dilemma which may or may not be reconciled. We will keep an eye on this and report as we go along.

8. Kaidie expects to be financially compensated for her efforts – especially so if you are some fat cat pharmaceutical company (don’t you expect Kaidie to ‘volunteer’ her life / lives. In Life 3.0, as it is in Second Life and First Life, money plays an important role.

9. Why? Well, why the hell not?
DO YOU KNOW OF ANY MEANINGFUL EXPERIMENTS THAT KAIDIE COULD UNDERTAKE?

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I WILL RUN 155.0KM, AS A PATHETIC GESTURE FOR MY NONDON-ZURICH-NONDON FLIGHT. (Better a pathetic gesture, than nothing at all.) (No, NOTHING is better than nothing at all.) (Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation.)

As you, my Very Dear Readers (yes, you are now not only my ‘dear readers’ or ‘Dear Readers’, but ‘Very Dear Readers’ – what have you done to earn that, I wonder? Maybe you could next be My Very Dear Reader?) know, I am travelling to Zurich soon.

The question is, how should I get there? Like the Romantic and heroic Richard Long, and one of my favouritest, favouritest filmmakers Werner Herzog, I would have loved to get there by foot. Nonetheless, simple calculation reveals that that will take quite a while – all the snow in the Alps would have melted (not that it isn’t already speedily doing that much thanks to the combined efforts of you and I, no doubt! Well done us.). I do think that the legendary Heidi should moved on with ‘the times’ – but a Coppertoned bikini-clad one would be a bit of a stretch wouldn’t it.

So I am flying. No, not with my plastic stapled wings, but metallic ones, economy. (That said, ‘economy’, in this case, sounds like a euphemism..)

I am one who believes in earning my pleasure. In spite of my superpower (of having superpowers) in Life 3.0, I do not abuse it. (I am one of those 21st century existentially-troubled heroes burdened with super/posthuman gifts – the difference being that they exist on TV and they often screw up. I do not.) A life too easy simply does not attract me. I am a sucker for challenges, and I like it that I have to fight for things I want; if they are easy, I would probably not find them desirable.

Hence I wish to undertake a gesture to pay back for my contribution (along with you) in turning the Alps tropical and  slowly suiciding our race (no, it is not mercy killing, but rather like a carbon monoxidal poisoning, so slow as to be even graceful, haha.). Of course, this gesture/token is necessarily pathetic; no thing can, in the remotest way, by all stretches of imagination, match up.  Non-delusional as one is, one nonetheless tasks oneself with a small deed.

The total distance for my return trip (Nondon – Zurich – Nondon) is 1550km. I would have liked to task myself with running the same distance in a given period of time. However, it does not seem realistic. As I imagine that I will be flying frequently within my life time, including long haul, I need to find a do-able enough formulation of a task that I can undertake each time. See, even in the hyperrealistic Life 3.0, there is some sense of realism.

Zurich

Let us calculate the amount of distance I run in a week. I recorded the week of 21 December 2009 as such:

•    21 December  / DAY 10: 15km (0- 2 degrees Celsius) Regents Fark.
•    DAY 11: 20km (2 degrees)
•    DAY 12: 11.5km: gym: (5km treadmill, 5km cycle, 0.5km only on the tedious ski machine, 1km on rower; then leg extension, chest press, shoulder press (yuks), pulldown, weights, 20 situps. The gym equipment, by the way, is branded ‘TECHNOGYM’. High tech!)
•    DAY 13: Same as DAY 12, but 4km of which were of a 2.5 gradient.
•    DAY 14: 15km run (3 degrees), with a sprain for the first 4km, Regents Fark.
•    DAY 15: 13 km: (9 degrees) with a sprain for the first 6km
•    DAY 16: 15 km (7 degrees) pain free (due to the installation of my Mind over Matter M&M plugin)

TOTAL FOR THE WEEK: 101km.

This looks pretty nice- but this was an exceptionally good week. With the patchy weather now, I am not certain if I can afford many outdoor runs. Indoors, I can hardly run now. Not being a hamster anymore running on the treadmill bloody bores me to tears. I used to be able to do a 5km sprint; lately, I cannot even bear 1km, and even then, I do it in much anger (To help curb the dread and claustrophobia, my Winter indoor/gym routine consists of 5 minutes on each machine and 4 sets of 5 on the boring, boring weights. Enough to work up some sweat, but not enough to create endorphins and any degree of satisfaction- hence more anger). I have found out that there will be a pool near where I will live in Winterthur; I can typically swim 1-1.5km each time.

(Last weekend, however, I finally managed to break my dreadful spell by running at Regents Fark. Previously, icy road conditions, as well as having been an enormous sponge for the Winter break, have prevented me from doing this. What a lovely feeling it is, to be re-connected with nature and one’s body. At an incredibly warm and sunny 7 degree Celsius, I needed only 1 T-shirt. I started, and stayed, very slow, but I was happy. To sweat, to be out of breath, outdoors, running on, not tired, not speeding, simply moving on. I felt a calm I haven’t been able to in a while.)

Coming back to the question of how I could compensate for my carbon footprints, I worked out that a  gesture (realistic enough, though still requiring enough effort) would be as such:

For my 1550km flight, I will run/swim/walk/work out 155.0KM, in the space of 1 month (late January – late February).

So I moved 1 decimal point. Go on, mock me, but  I could have moved 2, or 3.  Or 4.

So how does this sound? What do you think, my Very Dear Reader? Unless you have any other suggestions? Better be good!

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4 LAPS AROUND REGENTS FARK: MIND OVER MATTER (IF IT MATTERS AT ALL)

Feeling particularly energetic on the first day of my life, I run 4 laps around Regents Fark. Including the distance to and from my starting point, I run a total of approximately 24km today. This is good for today, and although it is a long way towards even attempting to pay back for the damage I have done and will do, as well as to pay back for my stubborn continual existence in spite of  all this, it is a start, and a continual effort. As we know well, much of what Confucius says is rather dodgy, but the one thing he says about any change starting from oneself makes some sense.

I began running in the final year of my previous life. Prior to that I had been swimming 1.5km daily. I took part in my first half marathon and came in at 2 hours and a bit. As my wish to run my 1st marathon could not be fulfilled in my previous life, I will have to do it this life, by Summer 2010. If it takes me 5 hours, so be it. 8 hours, 10 hours, until the volunteers have all packed up to leave, until the cleaners have cleaned up the last crushed paper cup and runner’s poo on the streets the next morning, that is fine. I will run / walk / crawl / jump / fly / swim. Physical pain I can battle – the only thing I have to fight now is boredom. Being so young, my attention span is awfully short. I struggle to stay focused in any single activity for a stretch of several minutes, much less several hours (or years, or lifetimes). I think of 5 other things as I do one thing; linear events exhaust and bore me, as I already imagine travelling to 6 other places in 7 other directions. (That was how I got tired of my previous life, as it was going on for a while). (How I look forward to Life 3.0, then, since I am not bound by the trivial constraints of time and space! I will be able to do what I want, when I want, however I want it! More on this later…) Monotony is a weakness, though endurance is my strength. (Afterall, I have managed to endure myself all those years and life cycles). The only things that keep me going when running or swimming long distances is my imagination and willpower. Hopefully, by Summer, I will be older (more than 6 months old) and will have cultivated enough patience to not feel bored too quickly.

DO YOU KNOW OF ANY UPCOMING RACES? DO LET KAIDIE KNOW! WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU ARE RUNNING?

Running today at Regents Fark, 2 runners smile at me – huge smiles. I get suspicious and wonder if it is my unbecoming running gait that so amuses them – afterall I am a newborn and my movement remains awkward – but one of the cops carrying a large toy gun at Binfield House and another passerby both shout hello. On my way home, another says ‘Go! Go! Go!’ and sticks out his hand to make me slap it as I passed by. Although I have run in several cities in my previous life, this friendliness is rather refreshing (a couple of the few fellow runners I encountered in Tokyo, Fukuoka and Beppu in Papan did nod at me; people in Spore primarily stare disapprovingly at my folly of running under the hot sun as they sit fat in their air-conditioned cars in their air-conditioned carnation; in Oxford in Yengland some dogs looked like they were smiling, or perhaps those were their default teeth-&-tongue-revealing faces which do not necessarily translate as the human equivalent of smiling?).

WHY ON EARTH ARE OTHER RUNNERS AND PEOPLE AND ANIMALS SMILING AT KAIDIE? DO YOU THINK KAIDIE SHOULD SMILE BACK ? WHAT KIND OF SMILE SHOULD SHE ATTEMPT? SHOULD KAIDIE INITIATE SMILES? HOW MANY TIMES IN, SAY, A 10km RUN SHOULD KAIDIE ATTEMPT TO SMILE? LIKE AN AVERAGE OF 1 SMILE PER 100m? PER 1000m? WHAT ABOUT WHEN SHE IS RUNNING ON THE TREADMILL IN THE GYM?

Camus concludes that Sisyphus must be happy  – good for him, and him, but let me tell you, my dear reader, that the 1st 3km of any long run is always the most dreaded. As I run I protest/resist/fight/struggle and say, NO, I do not want to do this, this bloody hurts / this is no fun / I’d rather spend £4.50 to swim at the Union pool / I’d rather spend 45p to pay another version of myself doing this / I’d rather sit on my buttocks and do nothing and get furious for sitting on my buttocks and for doing nothing and sitting on my buttocks and for doing nothing but getting angry while sitting on my buttocks / I’d rather get greasy and let the calories choke my bloodstream and expire before the 1000-day duration / I rather slurp my own poo (with syrup) several litres over until I am flooded and I drown in, than to put one feet in front of the other, why do I have to do this of all people of this and other worlds / realities, why do I have to do this now of all my lifetimes. I have about 34,000 excuses that I come up with, looped, each and every time. Then after 3 km, I give up protesting as it gets boringly predictable as a broken record or a dislocated kaidie for that matter. Can’t go on, must go on, since there is no other options. So I go on. In the numbing repetitive motion, something else happens physically/psychologically. I begin to enjoy the groove and rhythm (never mind my beastly gait). I am there, much aware of my surroundings, and at the same time I am travelling elsewhere, as lucid as I am slightly intoxicated, somewhere that no one else is, where no one can touch me, where I am very much alone, feeling strong/alert/erect as much as I am unclenched/dreamy/soft where I am not fighting anymore, and am calm, at peace. So I push on. And on. My mind thinks of no thing, and it is aware that it is thinking of no thing. I remember getting there sometimes with my 1.5km swims in my previous life. It’s rather nice – and what’s nicer is the knowledge that it’s all MINE! Kaidie as a 3rd Lifer is a fabulous person and all that but she is also selfish when it comes to pleasure. Sorry!

Today is particularly interesting. At the 24th km, I not only feel calm, but happy. It is nice to feel happy. Then, I feel a large pair of plastic wings stapled onto my shoulders.

Original composition by PHILIP TAN

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