6 April 2012

The Bag Men

supermarket trolley
A new phenomenon appears to have hit my little suburb lately and although known for my trademark modesty, I feel inclined to say that I believe I am responsible for it! Indeed dare I say - a trendsetter!

Even more surprising is the fact that this - phenomenon - is all to do with fitness! Yes, I thought the notion of my being a fitness guru may surprise some of you, but read on and I'll tell you something, that will make you change your mind!

My little suburb is very handy for shopping with two large and conveniently located supermarkets. Most shoppers who frequent the supermarkets live within a stone's throw of the shopping plaza. Many of course use cars, but most prefer to pile their shopping into a supermarket trolley and wheel their groceries home on foot. Once home, the trolleys are left safely on the nature strip to be picked up by a cart that travels around the suburb from early morning to early evening.

That is what I used to do - until about eighteen months ago. Until I set out to get myself fit and trim!

I decided to do ignore the trolleys and carry the bags home by hand - a walk of about ten to twelve minutes. This may not seem a suitable or trendy alternative to a personal fitness instructor, but when you are carrying five bags of groceries including 3kg of spuds, 2kg of sugar and a 3 liter carton of milk, it can be quite a slog!

Sometimes I vary the route and take the "long way" which is very quiet, very pretty - but also very hilly.

What, I hear you asking yourselves, does this have to do with the introduction to this post? I shall tell you.

If you happen to visit my suburb and have a little walk around, you are quite likely to notice a surprising number of middle age men panting down the street carrying five or six shopping bags! They are following my example! Not content with just carrying the bags home, a few of us have become competitive. Not with each other, as that would break some sort of unwritten code - but with other pedestrians.

We will see a younger person ahead of us, who we assume will not only be younger, but also much fitter and say to ourselves, "I can take him/her". Gradually we increase our walking speed, smiling with satisfaction as we see the gap between us slowly but noticeably diminishing. Of course we tend to ignore the bit about our, "competitor" not knowing they are a competitor and keep smiling and patting ourselves on the back, (metaphorically of course as we our actual hands are full with wash powder and spuds).

Soon we are upon them, we place ourselves in their slipstream and coast along behind waiting for the right moment. Then, just meters away from an imaginary finishing post, we veer onto the nature strip and fly past with self-righteous satisfaction. It's even more effective if I am listening to "Chariots of Fire" on my iPod shuffle!

Once home the effects of all that exertion kick in. I throw the bags on the breakfast bar, pour myself a nice healthy fruit juice, sit down and congratulate myself for my latest efforts in my fitness regime - and gratefully light a cigarette.


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