This is not a LED image on an electric treadmill in a nice air-conditioned gym, like we had at an upscale marina a year ago. Cruising on a sailboat, we do far more sitting on our butts than exerting ourselves. In some ways this is not a healthy lifestyle. We are very out of shape. Now, we are hung up in a basic marina, i.e. “low rent”, at Tioman, Malaysia, a tourist island. We can’t plug our air-conditioner into the shore power as it will burn up the primitive wiring on the dock. Our little 12 volt cabin fans whirr all day and night on the high setting. Still it is sweat dripping uncomfortable.
We are here waiting, for what might be days or weeks, for new boat parts to arrive from America. So rather than a pleasant gym with a plug in the wall rotating rubber mat, I have a real paved road to tread up in the morning before it gets too hot. But in this real world, there are monkeys in the jungle trees and geckos on the guard rails and hawks gliding overhead, sometimes with something large in their talons. What keeps the jungle so green is the daily rain, which can happen at any time. To get drenched in the rain is cooling and welcome in this land of sweat soaked t-shirts, shorts and sandals. Those clothes have to get rinsed out every day so the rain is helpful in many ways.
For a bit of a daily workout, it is an uphill grade from the marina to a turnoff which winds up and over the mountain. At that
turnoff, the grade greatly increases, which would be a maximum setting on an electric treadmill. This paved exercise road is used by a couple other sailing friends to help stay in shape. A vehicle on this road never leaves first gear on the way to the top of the island where the elevation is 1,750’. It is a steep first gear, brake pad heating, down grade to the other side. Although traffic is infrequent, around tight bends, motor cycles and cars lay on the horn to warn of their approach with the hope to avoid a head on collision and as a
warning for a walker to hug a tree. On these long hot tramps, you can’t sit and take a break for too long as the tiny red ants will find you but the mosquitoes always arrive first. No matter how many you splat against your skin, there are soon plenty of replacements. You can’t find that motivation to keep moving in an air-conditioned gym.
Who knows how many miles long the winding road is but as the mynah bird flies, it is 3.3 miles to the village on the other side. Each day I make sure to pass my previous days mark on the uphill road and just today made my destination at the summit. That was 1.5 hours up. Now to do it with no rest breaks.
The other morning, as I was treading my way up, a European man with a broad smile, and about my own age, jogged down. He must have turned around at the bottom, from where I had come, because we passed again as I had turned around and was on my decent. Geez, he is a tourist and had come all the way from the east shore village and does this each morning of his vacation. That same distance would take me all day, if I could make it at all. At least seeing him is motivation and is evidence I might survive if I keep pushing myself.
In any case, being stuck on this tourist island is getting me off my lazy butt. It would be better if our repair parts don’t show up too soon.