I suppose it’s pretty normal to think about improving your health at this time of year. The yawning void which is January seems to hint at decline and the grim aftermath of festive excess.
Did you hit the booze a bit too hard? Too much nut roast? (turkey was never a hot favourite of mine) Then it’s time to dust off your dumbbells and pump your biceps… assuming you can remember where they are.
That’s what fit folks do isn’t it? Or – as I silently call them – ‘The Fit’. I see them jogging around my local reservoir, showing off their compact limbs and tight bums. By God! To run like that. To sprint effortlessly over the frosty horizon like a prize-winning greyhound on coffee and disco biscuits.
But hang on a minute. There are 1000s of people living in my neighbourhood and hardly any of them go jogging. I mean, at any one time all I see is perhaps 4-5 people doing breathless circuits of the local ‘rezzer’.
One man really caught my attention last time I was out there. He ran with a strange loping stride: neck extended, arms swaying for balance… arse sticking out like a low-hung shelf. He was listening to his iPod on the way around. Ah yes The Fit like to step to the beat as they run. Preferably somewhere they will be noticed.
As I finished my own slow sombre circuit of the rezzer, I spotted The Loper leaning against a tree, panting for dear life. He looked like he was going to lose his lunch as he spluttered through snortling gobbetts of mucous. I know it’s not pretty, but vigorous exercise always produces buckets of the stuff. Thanks. I aim to disgust.
‘Ah-ha!’ thought I. ‘You and me are like brothers.’ Yeah. That’s what I look like when I take unaccustomed exercise. No firm buttocks and purposeful arms for me; I look more like a dying swan with a balloon shoved up its chuff.
Red-faced and breathless I ramble, wishing for the quiet repose of a pub table and a pint of ale. And throw some female company into the mix, oh Lord. Amen.
I WILL get fitter. I MUST take to the streets… But on a bike and a bit at a time. It’s the least I can do.