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Quick, run, a mammoth is chasing you

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National Times

Date

March 7, 2013 – 10:48AM
Category
Opinion

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Derek

The Tiger of Happiness

Derek Rielly is a surfer, writer, entrepreneur and raconteur.

View more entries from The Tiger of Happiness


When you live at Bondi, you see some awesomely faddish behaviour.

It’s not a world away from Venice in Cali with its frisbees, tap-dancing rollerbladers and packs of mooching teen skaters, rolling joints and swilling liquor from brown paper bags, between tricks.

For the last couple of years Bondi has been all about military inspired boot camps at level beyond any other beach in the country. At 6am every morning, the sand and the grass knolls surrounding the beach, shake with lycra-encased office workers (hundreds!, squatting and pushing and grunting their way through 45 minutes of callisthenics and exercises meant for war-bound young men.

Before the boot camps, you couldn’t move for the kinky yoga devils, arses raised to the heavens, downward dogs as far as the eye could see.

But how did I miss this latest and most spectacular of fads? The Paleolithic Diet. Caveman Power. It wasn’t until yesterday when a dozen red-faced men, all with tattoos (another fad!) and t-shirts wrapped around their heads, started climbing like wild animals on the fence surrounding the skate park that I had an inkling that a new and massive fad had formed without my knowing.

I love a good fad. Always have. I pride myself on an ability to climb aboard any cultural curio, however pointless.

But ever since I learned how to squash just-screened US TV shows and current release movies into my laptop I haven’t turned on the Sony that sits so magnificent, but silent, on my salon wall. And so I miss things that are lavished with television coverage.

Whenever there’s some shift in fashion and tastes, the cultural shift’ll be edited and packaged in an easy-to-digest manner and shoved in your face again and again and again. Watch television with any sort of gusto and you won’t miss a thing.

And therefore it took a polite inquiry to yield the explanation that I was watching prototype cavemen adopting an “organic” approach to exercise. Rather than the structure of bouncing around on treadmills and bikes for 20 minutes every day and hoiking barbells of various weights above your head, you must run, jump, skip! Imagine an enemy band of cavemen has you in their sight! Run like your life depends on it!

By coincidence, one of the other housewives (note: I say “other housewife” without any irony. I am a neutered man for I care for little children and therefore am certainly no caveman) recounted she’d sat through a dinner party the night before where everyone in the host family were following the Paleolithic diet.

So close did the family mimic the diet of stone age man she admitted some surprise when the matriarch of the house went to the fridge for the meat rather than into the backyard to slaughter the family cat.

Despite all the pseudo-scientific babble that surrounds it, the caveman angle is the first fad diet/exercise angle that actually rides on a foundation of common sense. Let’s examine the data: eat foods as unprocessed as possible including naturally lean meats, tons of local, seasonal veges and avoid anything stoked with extra sugar.

You see that can of Monster Energy drink in the fridge? Hands off! No Rice Bubbles or Coco Pops, either. Phew!

And you must back it all up with exercise that takes you outside to run, balance, chase and run. See those stairs? Run! A tiger chases you! Uh, oh, a mammoth approaches. Climb! Hide!

Balance in everything, however. Combine the caveman diet with the Mad Men diet (scotch before, during and after meetings, martinis after six pm) for a diet that is truly enduring and truly enjoyable.

How about we call it the Caveman on Madison Ave diet. It works!


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