Fantasy Amazing Race

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

About 8 months ago, a whole lot of builders started working noisily on a space in the courtyard/ground floor area of my work building. After a bit of asking around I discovered it was being renovated because a gym was about to move in! Awesome! I was hoping it would be a Zap type gym (cheap with lots of machines with high tech entertainment systems), so I could continue my usual gym routine of medium intensity, high distraction workouts.  Unfortunately the new gym turned out to be the opposite of that - a group fitness place with equipment like kettle bells & skipping ropes. Exactly the sort of place I would never go to.

Except that when a gym-going friend of ours noticed that I worked right above it, he insisted that I try it out on the 2 weeks trial offer they have. I insisted just as strongly that I’m happier training alone, but he insisted right back that I try it “but you work right above it!” he kept saying. Yes I do, and in actual fact it’s about 20 seconds from my desk to the door of the place, so in the end I gave in and gave it a go. My first session was one of the lunchtime session High Intensity workouts.

And I have to say, that once my muscles allowed me to walk again a few days later, it was very beneficial.  You are pushed way further than you would push yourself alone, and I found myself forced into doing all the exercises that I really try to avoid because they are uncomfortable and I am terrible at them. So yeah - I had to admit that it was a) really painful, but b) really good for me.  So I’ve kept going right to the end of my 2 week free trial, and now I’m almost at the end of a 4 week unlimited session pass I bought.

Let’s come back to that while I jump threads..

It hasn’t been on TV for a while now, but I love the Amazing Race - for anyone who has never watched it, you race around the world with a partner and you have to navigate yourself from place to place and from challenge to challenge. You have to use all sorts of different travel modes, and the challenges vary but are often locally inspired, for example in India you might have to wash saris the traditional way in the Ganges, or in Ireland you might have to dig up potatoes, in Holland the contestants had to pole vault across canals and there was even a challenge in Sweden where contestants had to put together some Ikea furniture.  It’s fun to watch, but even more fun to imagine myself competing. And I also like to imagine who I would like to have as a partner and how far we could get in the race (the last team to finish in each 24-48 hour leg gets eliminated).

From watching the American version I’ve noticed that if you want to win, it’s essential to have the following life skills:
  • The ability to drive a manual car (or ‘stick’ as the American’s say)
  • The ability to swim (a surprising number of Americans really can’t swim)
  • The ability to read a map

So in fact this list would actually not rule any out any of my friends  - I’m spoilt for choice as I could imagine myself pairing up with nearly everyone I hang out with and doing really well.

Of course the producers of the show want it to be interesting, so they  deliberately cast people who don’t have all these skills. But assuming we could survive the casting process (maybe based on our good looks and engaging personalities), the other skills my potential partner and I need as a team are the ones I lack personally, as sometimes only one team member has to complete the task while the other watches on.

I would firstly need a partner who could eat anything. Often one of you has to eat a local delicacy - i.e. fried spiders, a kilo of caviar,  Swedish rotten fish or something equally gross.  The left photo below is of a team having to eat a plate of sourcrout, and on the right is someone having to eat pig gelatin..Ugg..

I’m not sure how many of my friends would be up for that but I’d at least make sure not to choose a vegetarian as a partner as we’d be eliminated on even the mildest food challenge.  I actually don’t have too many vegetarian friends so that hasn’t cut down my list of potential partners by much.

I would also need someone to address my other achilles heel - the ability to perform any sort of choreography.  In every series the contestants have had to quickly learn a local dance and perform it to the satisfaction of the judges.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that if this task fell to me, we would be eliminated from the race faster than you can say Tango.  Cheerleaders have traditionally performed this task well on the show. Unfortunately I don't know any obscure food-loving cheerleaders.

Which brings me back to the gym.  One of the lunchtime classes that they offer is Box-fit.  You put on boxing gloves and your partner holds up punching pads.  You get tired and sweaty as you build up to performing a sequence of boxing moves- eg. Jab-cross-jab, cross-cross-jab, duck-cross-jab, hitting into the pads your partner is holding up for you. I’ve really enjoyed it, and since it’s ‘free’, I’ve been 4 times already.  Today I convinced Clare to come along too.

For my other sessions I’ve happened to partner up with someone who has been able to pick up the sequences we’re instructed to do quite quickly, so at least one of us (her) knows what is happening and can lead the other along (me). Today I was working with Clare - which makes us a dangerous combination of incompetent people.  It turns out that neither of us is great at choreography and it’s a miracle that both of us aren’t nursing broken noses from ducking instead of weaving, jabbing instead of jumping. In fact if Clare had managed to connect any of her knee kicks (her legs being about a million times more powerful than her arms), I’d be in hospital getting my kidneys reconstructed from a million tiny pieces right now.

We did survive the class though, and it was fun.

But I do have to rule Clare out of my fantasy Amazing Race team. Sorry Clare.


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Noosa - Day 5 Thursday, 15 December 2016
Noosa - Day 4 Tuesday, 13 December 2016
Noosa - Day 3 Monday, 12 December 2016
Noosa - Day 2 Sunday, 11 December 2016
Noosa - Day 1 Sunday, 11 December 2016
Being Bothered Pays Off. Sunday, 11 December 2016
Swimming tour of Brisbane part 2 Sunday, 11 December 2016
Paver Project Wednesday, 23 November 2016
Swimming tour of Brisbane Wednesday, 23 November 2016
The end of an era Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Snowvember Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Tramp-a-bag Monday, 31 October 2016
Mt Wellington Monday, 31 October 2016
Online Only Challenge Monday, 31 October 2016
3 Capes Monday, 10 October 2016
Packing Regrets Wednesday, 5 October 2016
Fantasy Amazing Race Tuesday, 4 October 2016
Before and After then After that #37 Monday, 3 October 2016
Before and After #36 Zali's Room Take 2 Monday, 3 October 2016
That's DR McComb to you.. Friday, 26 August 2016
'Mrs', 'Miss', or 'Dammed feminist'? Sunday, 14 August 2016
Who is really paying for the bake sale? Friday, 12 August 2016
Running Sunday, 31 July 2016
The Kettering Incident and Why I am the Smartest in the Room Friday, 29 July 2016
Before and After Sneak Peak Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Vacuum Cleaner Update Tuesday, 26 July 2016
How not to go to the movies Tuesday, 12 July 2016
How Not to Sell Vacuum Cleaners Monday, 11 July 2016
Melbourne Mini Break Monday, 27 June 2016
60 Walks Challenge - Walk #35 Thursday, 23 June 2016
Treasure Chest Cake Thursday, 23 June 2016
Shark House! Saturday, 11 June 2016
Before and After #35 - CD Tower to Mirror Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Maths - it could happen to you. Thursday, 19 May 2016
Power Tools Tuesday, 17 May 2016
60 Walks Challenge - Walk #35 Friday, 22 April 2016
Sheffield Rail Trail & Derby Thursday, 21 April 2016
60 Walks Challenge - Walk #34 Wednesday, 20 April 2016
60 Walks Challenge - Walk #31 & #32 & #33 Wednesday, 20 April 2016
60 Walks Challenge - Walk #29 & #30 Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Creatures of Habit Thursday, 7 April 2016
Let me count the ways.. Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Canberra 2016 Friday, 25 March 2016
Un armed.. Wednesday, 16 March 2016
Full day of activities Sunday, 13 March 2016
Dumped Saturday, 12 March 2016
Double Tromble Friday, 11 March 2016
Million Dollar Lane Wednesday, 9 March 2016
2nd International MFSC Tuesday, 8 March 2016
Tip Run Tuesday, 8 March 2016
Blackberry Season Thursday, 3 March 2016
Packed Lunches Wednesday, 2 March 2016
so yeah.. Sunday, 28 February 2016
Cradle Mountain Run Curse Tuesday, 9 February 2016
Last Pictures Tuesday, 9 February 2016
All the kids Tuesday, 9 February 2016
Overland Track - Day 7 Monday, 25 January 2016
Overland Track - Day 6 Monday, 25 January 2016
Overland Track - Day 5 Sunday, 24 January 2016
Overland Track - Day 4 Wednesday, 20 January 2016
Overland Track - Day 3 Tuesday, 19 January 2016
Overland Track - Day 2 Tuesday, 19 January 2016
Overland Track - Day 1 Monday, 18 January 2016
Overland Track - Day 0 Sunday, 17 January 2016
Slow Progress Thursday, 14 January 2016
Pakning på, opp og stå, ut og gå Monday, 11 January 2016