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Unagi!

This word actually means a type of eel, but if any of you are "Friends" fans, you'll know it was also used by Ross Geller to describe the skill he claims to have acquired in his karate that makes him uber aware of his surroundings. In the programme, Ross is, in fact, sadly lacking in unagi and gets caught out by Rachel and Phoebe throughout the episode. He is absolutely right though - accomplished martial artists seem to possess a sixth sense and can detect, just by remaining connected to the atmosphere around them, the presence of someone behind them, for example, or feel the change in the air that comes with impending danger. This is part of what I regard as fitness. If fitness is a readiness for whatever life throws at you, then unagi is a major component of what makes up a truly fit individual. When I used to exercise in gyms, or jump up and down on a step in my lounge, I worked my heart and lungs hard, toned my muscles and burned several hundered calories. Until I ran barefoot though, I don't think I really paid proper attention to what was going on around me. I think I used to look a lot like the shod runners I see now - feeling and focusing on the pain, trying to be inspired by the music on their ipod but ultimately wanting to get home. Ok, plenty of runners are actually having a good time - I have certainly enjoyed the majority of my runs, shod or barefoot - b