By the age of 35, after years of debauchery and idleness I’ve finally got to a stage where if I appeared in a line-up of slugs with spindly limbs loosley tacked on them, I probably wouldn’t be immediately ousted. I feel like I’ve been sewn together from the contents of a hospital dustbin and a recent blood test has turned up high cholesterol, high “bad cholesterol” and an enzyme in my liver working 3 times harder than it should.
I feel like I do at Christmas every year, where in late November/early December everyone starts quizzing me about plans and I tell them that it’s ages away, bother me at the time. Then out of nowhere it’s Christmas Eve and I’m trying to convince myself that my wife takes 10 baths a week and would really appreciate whatever tat the petrol station has on promotion next to the till.
What I’ve done to myself has been years in the making, but all of a sudden it’s officially made and needs to be unmade. More than a New Year’s resolution, if I want another 35 years and to be anything like the husband and father I dream of being, this has got to be a lifestyle one-eighty.
No more skipping breakfast, working through lunch and compensating with a plate that is intended to feed a village. No more Coca-Cola. No more smoking. Definitely no more smoking. No more red wine, no more beer (for a while), no more crap. Just clean livin’ and exercise.
Breakfast everyday, nuts and fruit mid morning, healthy lunch, more nuts and fruit in the afternoon, moderate dinner. And running. Later will come strength training but first is base fitness. I will, for the first time in my peculiar existence, have a six pack. I need a wild goal, so there it is.
On your average weekday, I’m usually out the house for work at 6am and not back until 18:30 - 19:00 (depending on traffic) and then have a precious hour with my 2-year-old daughter before she goes to bed. Throw dinner, wife-time and all the other bits and bobs into the mix and there’s not a lot of room to manoeuvre.
So, to make this work, it’s up at 4am, breakfast by 4:30, out running at 5am, then quick shower and ready to go at 6am.
It’s a sadistic routine, but it’s strangely empowering. I’ve pretty much got the world to myself at that time; no one can see me beetrooting, no one can see the sweat-stream clouding behind in my 2mph wake. At 5am, no one can hear you wheeze.
I can’t believe that I would actually recommend it. I feel a bit like a friend who’s prattling on about some fantastic chocolate-covered wasps they’ve discovered, or their homemade carrot wine, I can hardly take myself seriously that I’m telling people to try it.
If you feel in any way self conscious about running or being seen (or heard) running, get out there before the judgmental b@st@rds are even out of bed and then strut about (hobble is a form of strut) with shameless arrogance at 7am when you’re raring to go and everyone else is desperately trying to puzzle out which feet their shoes go on. Do it!
By the way, it’s probably worth noting that I’m only in Week 2. I hope I can keep this going, but I’ve got a track record of starting things zestfully and then waning or getting distracted by something shiny...or by sleep. Someone should call me out in a couple of weeks to see if I’m still this chirpy. I’ll use my dislike of being called-out and my like of being left alone as motivation to keep on it.
P.s. no sign of six-pack as of yet. That maybe a job for timeteam and their dirty great excavator.