Alex Farnham’s: Soapbox

It’s lunchtime in the office and I’ve just enjoyed a homemade salad. Does it count as a salad if you’ve just chucked everything into a Tupperware container and shaken it up a bit? If it doesn’t, it should.

I’ve been on a bit of a ‘health-kick’ recently, and I’m eaten less but more frequently, but somehow I’m still hungry most of the time… I guess that’ll change as I get used to it. By the way, why do they call it a ‘health-kick’? Since when has a ‘kick’ ever been good? Kick-start I guess is where it comes from, but if you think about it there’s ‘a kick in the teeth’, ‘a kick up the backside’… you can get ‘kicked out’ of places. I don’t know why, but for some reason, when it comes to health, kick means good… I don’t make the rules.

My health-punt doesn’t just include eating though; I’m actually being more active of late… which is super lucky, because that’s the theme of this month’s issue. I wonder when the ‘lazy’ issue is coming out? I’ll be all over that.

From grunting my way through sessions in the gym to spluttering up amd down the swimming pool, I just feel like I need to make some sort of effort to take care of myself, both mentally and physically. I’m not interested in huge muscles and staring at myself in the mirror, but I think there’s a lot to say for the way increased physical activity makes you feel better.

I’ve also been climbing for the last three months, and I’m really enjoying it. I like to pretend I’m Spiderman… an over-weight, boring, sweaty Spiderman. There’s a climbing wall near where I live and I like to go a few times a week. It honestly is a right old laugh, and I do find that in order to force myself to be active, it usually has to be doing something that’s fun as well.

It got me thinking about Jersey, and how I really didn’t take advantage of the amazing playground of an island we have. I remember climbing trees and building dens, but there’s so much outdoors to explore, and especially with summer coming up, plenty of opportunities to be active.

Now I don’t think Jersey has a climbing wall (pay attention business tycoons!), and I don’t think you need another Farnham telling you how good an Olympic sized swimming pool will be – but I know there’s a lot that locals can do to explore the island and discover things they haven’t done before. Remember that big rope swing in St Catherine’s Woods? Is that still there? That was pretty dangerous.

I know there’s an emphasis in the UK on ‘Staycations’, and I guess that would be quite a fun thing to do in Jersey – camping, for example. Camping’s active, right? I know it’s essentially just wrapping yourself in fabric and lying down outside, but there are so many great spots for it in Jersey – I know I’d be looking into it if I still lived here. I remember my friends and I used to sleep outside on the trampoline in the summer, what a bunch of maniacs!

I guess it’s pretty difficult to find a definitive reason why it’s important to keep active and healthy, and I’d hardly call myself a model example of a healthy human being, but if I had to say one thing it’s that I didn’t realise how much what you do physically affects the mind. Since cutting massively down on, let’s face it, crap food, I’m more awake and productive and just generally more positive. I’m still grumpy from time to time, but that’s just me… if I was happy all the time I don’t think I’d have the ammo to write these monthly features.

Oh, also, keeping the mind active is pretty important. In February I started a podcast with my friend Steve. We mainly just chat nonsense and shout swear words at each other whilst talking about movies and video games, but I find it a good creative output. Can I suggest ‘exercising the mind’ without sounding like a complete tool? Probably not, but I guess it’s too late for that…