Sunday, 23 December 2007

Warming Up

It makes sense – in a kind of superstitious nonsensical way – to wait till January 1st 2008 to start my new life-changing fitness and health regime, as it’s only just over a week away. But I know from attempting to do similar things in the past that what’s likely to happen is that I’ll get all worked up about it, then I’ll start, throw myself into it and be laid up in bed for three weeks with a hernia. Then I’ll forget all about it and console myself with 12 giant pork pies.

So this time, as a way of avoiding this, I’m trying to bleed into it gradually. Which is why about an hour ago I squeezed into a rather repugnantly tight track suit and nipped across the road to Brockwell Park. On my back was a small rucksack. In the rucksack was 20 kilos worth of loose weights, from one of the other times I decided I was going to get fit and bought a weightlifting set from eBay. (I used it twice, then after a few months of feeling extremely guilty every time I saw it gathering dust, I put it in a cupboard.)

The thinking behind the bag of weights was this: once when I was about 17 I went on a walking holiday in the North West Highlands (in Scotland) with my friend Keith and his dad and uncle. We walked for ten days, camping as we went. It was one of the best times of my life. Keith’s dad was worried I wouldn’t be able to do it, physically, that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, as I was overweight and frankly, out of shape. But I really wanted to go, so he let me. And it nearly killed me. But I did it. And when I got back to London, I noticed that not only had I lost at least a stone and a half in weight, but my posture was massively improved. It was the lugging around of a heavy rucksack that had done it. Having that thing constantly pulling back my shoulders for over a week. And so today I thought I would try and replicate that experience. With loose weights in a bag in Brockwell Park for twenty minutes. More like ten if I’m honest. It was really cold.

I’m such a tool sometimes.

Tomorrow I’m going to buy a football and a skipping rope. And maybe a couple of pork pies. I love pork pies.

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