Friday, February 7, 2014

It's Raining Again

The monsoon trough lies from a low over the Northern Territory to another low over the southeast Gulf of Carpentaria, then across Cape York Peninsula and into the northern Coral Sea. Heavy rainfall associated with the monsoon trough has occurred between Cooktown and Townsville... further heavy falls are expected across the warning area in the next 24 hours, with local falls of 100 to 200mm possible.  

 The Coast Track during dryer weather

Today is the seventh day of consecutive rain. The outside clothesline is stacked with different pairs of shorts and shirts that have got wet on various bike rides and walks. I hate using an electric dryer as much as I hate using a car. Taken together, these explain the plethora of wet clothes hanging about the place. I haven't been bouldering since last Saturday when I had an afternoon session down at the Esplanade during a two day break in the monsoon rain. When we took this house sit in Cairns over the wet season, Doug was quite concerned that endless days of rain and inactivity would send me crazy, he could be right.

I managed the month of January reasonably well. The rain was not so continuous, or it fell at night, or it was relatively light. It was easy to go biking, hiking, bouldering, and kayaking. In the last two weeks, however, we have had almost 400 mm of rain. The ground is saturated and lakes of water lie everywhere. If you stop moving for half an hour, mould grows over your body. On the plus side, 25 degrees Celsius is a lot more comfortable than 33 degrees Celsius and 80% humidity. Under the latter conditions, you sweat just sitting still in the shade. 

In between gym workouts, walks, and bike rides in the rain, I've been spending a lot of time looking at maps and working out where we will go and what we will do when we leave Cairns – probably around mid-June. This is something I always planned to do, but never did when it was sunny. Rainy days are good for getting things done that you put off when the sun is shining and it's great to be outdoors. 

The gym is still moderately busy with the New Year's crowd but numbers are definitely declining. There must be half a dozen different personal trainers with varying clients who are still coming in, but I have yet to see any of them training their clients with weighted compound movements such as back squats or deadlifts. Not a single one has done so much as an air-squat, a push-up, or even a negative pull-up. Progress for the clients must be so slow as to be virtually undetectable so it is no surprise that people quit. I really don't get how these personal trainers can be so poorly educated and get away with basically wasting their client's time. A 30 minute session of weighted compound movements two to three times a week would result in immediate, measurable, easily observed improvements in the client's body composition and functional ability, which would surely encourage people to persevere with their resolutions. 

I've listened to a few Ben Greenfield podcasts during my walks/work-out sessions/rides which I have to stop doing as I am sure these podcasts cause my stress level to go up not down. Apparently, Mr Greenfield is some kind of endurance athlete/personal coach/health and fitness guru who, if you believe the hype on his various and numerous web-pages has done just about everything but walk on the moon. I am instantly skeptical of people who speak with great certainty about anything in our uncertain world, and downright distrustful of people who speak with the degree of confidence that Ben Greenfield exhibits when he talks about anything. If you want to see the Peter Principle at its most developed surf over to any one of this dude's websites or listen to one or two of his podcasts. Try not to make the mistake of conflating confidence with competence. Contrary to what you might think, the two are not inextricably linked.

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