A waning resolve to tune in and shape up

Paul McCabe

Paul McCabe

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By Paul McCabe

So as you are well aware if you’ve been into a shop recently, Christmas is on its way.

Of course, there’s still actually ages to go, unless you work in the retail sector. Despite still being on the wrong side of Halloween lots of them have already got the tinsel out and their trees up.

And lest we forget, hard on the heels of Christmas comes New Year where traditionally you’re expected to draw up a list of things that will help you dramatically improve your life, but never really do.

So come on, admit it. Which of you went for number one on the oh-so-obvious list last year and decided to join a gym? Pah! Do you realise how predictable that makes you? Can’t think for yourself, eh? Happy to meekly follow the crowd?

Anyway, that’s exactly what I did in January. By the end of March I had been a mammoth four times, but come the summer I decided to step it up slightly and since then I’ve been going two or three times at least - and I loathe and detest every miserable sweaty second of it.

I’ve never understood the sort of people who feel energised, refreshed and ready to take on the world after a workout. I feel exhausted and a little bit sick. Every hateful visit is an internal fight against my natural instincts which are screaming at me to turn around, go home, stick on the telly and eat crisps.

The other problem is the gym itself which blasts out dance music in order to get those arms n’ legs going and really feel the burn, man.

For a self-confessed music snob such as myself it has the opposite effect. It’s incredibly annoying and worsens my already petulant mood.

Usually I try my best to drown it out by listening to music of my own, but one week I realised, to my horror, that I had forgotten my headphones and had to endure a fascinatingly horrid car crash of a TV channel called 4 Music.

I came in half way through a run down of the top ten of what they claimed were “Pop’s Most Outrageous Men”.

Jim Morrison? Keith Moon? Jimi Hendrix?

Well according to 4 Music, no. At number five on the list was Harry Styles from One Direction. Yeah! Look out Iggy, you’ve nothing on wild man Harry! Y’know with his, let’s think.....funny hair? And...erm...cardigan? So shocking was the miscreant at number four that I can’t actually remember who it was, my mind clearly having blocked it out for fear of mental scarring. Number three was Eminem, replete with a video so shocking in its depravity that it featured Dominic Monaghan from ‘Hetty Wainthropp Investigates’. Terrifying.

Kanye West was number two. Well, I suppose that such an odious specimen still has thousands buying his records in droves and turning him into a multi- millionaire in the process is, sadly, quite outrageous.

And at number one, who else but the absolute epitome of rock n’ roll rebellion himself, Justin Beiber?

That’s right, “Pop’s Most Outrageous Man” is someone who hasn’t started shaving yet. It appears that the reason that he towers above the rest was because one time he popped out of a car to swear at a photographer wearing a little pink leprechaun hat. Must we throw this filth at our kids?

Having made a mental note to never EVER forget my headphones again I’ve tried to keep up my gym appearances. I should point out this is in no way an attempt to end up looking like Hugh Jackman. My sole aim each time is basically not to die, which I seem to have achieved so far. And none of that weight lifting nonsense either, just cardio stuff will do for me.

Anyway, every vile hour of grunting and perspiring, combined with a slight improvement in my diet, has resulted in a weight loss of...nothing. Not a single, solitary pound. Unbelievable.

I’m giving the whole absurd affair to the end of the year if the result isn’t to my liking I’m hitting the settee with beer and peanuts.

That’s my resolution.