Saturday, August 3, 2013
Le Whirl Sportif
My relationship with sport is not a good one.
I’ve always possessed the competitive faculties necessary to compete at the highest level across a range of sports but somehow most of these got channelled into playing ludo or beating up kids who took the mickey out of me for sitting in a corner writing rubbish poetry.
As a result, for most of my life I’ve done precious little in the way of running, swimming, cycling, batting, ball kicking, rugby tackling, trampolining, diving, etc. Given my undeniable ‘foodie’ credentials and love of carb-packed foaming ale, by all accounts I should now be the world’s heaviest obese bastard.
As my cohort of minders wheeled me round Tesco on my converted articulated lorry chassis, girls I knew at school would mutter, “Christ! Look what’s happened to Whirl! He used to be thin as a rake but now he’s a hideous mass of quivering cellulite more repulsive than the rind of a zillion slices of bacon squeezed into a giant condom of pallid flesh!”
I daren’t think what all the kids I beat up would have made of this spectacle.
Perhaps they’d have descended upon my specially converted fat fucker bungalow, armed with sticks, and poked me till I popped like a slug pulled by its wibbly bits through a Rizla fag rolling machine.
“That’s for belting me one when I said your poetry was shit, you fat creep.”
Would I risk a riposte? Just to prove I ‘still had it’? “Hey, kid — I’m no creep. The last thing of which a 900 stone blob of lard is remotely capable is creeping.”
Maybe I’d simply back down. When you’re the size of a small terraced house, any movement at all is a sign of considerable courage.
As things stand, I’m 13 stone 13 lbs. Don’t ask me what that is in centimetres — all I know is that my doctor considers this just a tad over what’s ideal for a 6' 3" bloke with no extra arms or legs. Even better, all the weight is evenly distributed. It’s not like I’m a one ounce guy with a 13 stone and almost 13lbs nose (although it can seem that way sometimes when I catch myself in the mirror at a funny angle).
Conclusion? Not bad at all considering I drank 60+ units of alcohol every week for most of my 20s and early 30s and to this day favour dropping the dessert part of a three course meal for a second starter (typically more soup — and a roll).
The Olympics changed my view of sport like a blitzkrieg of poisonous wasps is considered the ideal bedtime companion for a crippled octogenarian spinster with hours to live. What really struck me was running for a bus and discovering, to my horror, that my movements were more laboured and awkward than those of a trussed paraplegic hopping over seaweed-covered stepping stones in stilettoes and an ill-fitting bandana. It’s not that there was no movement at all, or that muscles twanged and snapped — what I registered was the result of years of atrophy, condensed into the slo-mo groan of unseemly spazziness.
Since then I’ve invested in a pair of jogging bottoms and a T shirt with a lion motif. I can make it round the block in just over three minutes on a good day, nodding to Mr Do Something and Weird Dog Telepathy Guy as I go. I don’t deny that I’m practically breathless by the time I return home, but my understanding is that my metabolism will improve as I run farther and faster. It’s either that or I’ll keel over and die, thus rendering obsolete the agony and shame of breathlessness.
What this means is that sport and I are now new-found lovers, embracing one another in the sweat-drenched gusset of the Thrusto Briefs of romance. We’ve dated a couple of times and revealed one or two embarrassing tales of teenage puking, but the full-on Rubber Mask ‘n’ Mains Operated Dildo Play shenanigans are some distance off for the moment. As I understand it, there are pedometer phone apps for measuring a whole range of stats from steps taken to calories burned to Anal Massage Quotient, and you can even hook up with ‘friends’ from around the world via a sport version of Facebook and wince at the embarrassing hopelessness of your global ranking — but I say FUCK THAT.
I still can’t believe I’m doing this, but I suppose it’s proof that change is possible, even for the stubbornest of idle buggers.
Ha! Who knew?!