I am sure, along with millions of others tonight, I will be making some new year's resolutions, some of which I hope I will keep and others which I probably will not.
Three years ago I made a new year's resolution to get my lardy ass into gear and get myself fit. I didn't want to be a fat 50 year old. So, as you may have read in my other blogs, I took up cycling and it became part of my life. Against the protestations of my wife and family I commuted into work whenever I could (in most cases this worked out three or four times a week, therefore averaging 60 to 80 miles a week, 100 miles if I managed all five days). This, along with training for a London to Paris Charity ride, got me as fit as I had been in many years. I lost shedloads of weight and felt so much healthier all round.
Now, as I write this blog on New Year's Eve 2014, I have plunged into new levels of unfitness, so much so that I do not want to step on the bathroom scales (at least while I am wearing anything that might add to the weight!) and I dread to try on my 34" waist suit trousers that I have just taken to the cleaners as a delay tactic. I don't want to shave off my beard incase my double chin is just too horrific. Yes I know it's vain but I never said I wasn't!
"So what went wrong, Paul?" I hear you say. "You were so svelte and so fit just two years ago. How can you have let it all go?" I made up the question (especially the word svelte, to try to give me something to go for!). But yes I fear I have 'let it all go' and I am wracked with self-loathing and regret for doing so. And now I need to do something about it. Either that or my wardrobe of 'slim fit' shirts (that I was so delighted to be told by the staff member in Charles Tyrwhitt I qualified for) will be consigned to the charity shop - and that I cannot afford.
But it's easy to 'let it all go'. It is amazing how quickly you can lose fitness and put on weight.
It all started during my last few weeks (or was it months?) where I was unhappy in my job, and it was simply easier to catch public transport than to cycle into work. And probably because I was fed up I'd have a cheeky beer in the evening, or maybe a glass or two of wine, not to mention the crisps and sweets to munch on or maybe some popcorn (it's healthy isn't it!).
Then I went on holiday for two weeks in October and did very little but eat and drink - I am sure I'd read somewhere that the Mediterranean diet was good for me!!
Then, when I got back, to work my employer had moved office to central London (from Vauxhall) and the route seemed so complicated and congested so I got my 'feet under the desk' for a bit before I half-heartedly cycled in half a dozen times. Then finally I changed job to work for the British Red Cross, who are based near Moorgate. Again I waited to get my 'feet under the desk' for a couple of weeks (you know, find out where the showers are, where I can store my clothes, etc.) so I think I've cycled about 8 times in all in two months - it is quite a trek at 14 miles each way. Then it was the Christmas party season, the roads were icy or wet and there was no 'reason' to cycle.
The rest is history. But I am now back where I started three years ago. At least it feels that way, but I would like to think I could still cycle back from the bike shop without getting out of breath! I thinkI am still a bit fitter and I think my cardio vascular system is in better nick. But heh the ride to work next week will be the test.
So, when you are making your resolutions tonight, send me some positive energy and help me out a bit to achieve my goal to get fit again. I don't want to be Chris Froome I just want to avoid the dreaded 'middle age spread' that my parents used to complain about. I promise if you do so that I will get back to writing the inspiring and motivating 'The Blogging Cyclist' and 'The Charity Coach' Blogs that you tell me you like!
Have a wonderful 2015, and get out there on your bikes soon.