Thursday, 23 October 2008
Part Nine - Relight My Fryer
I don’t have much to do these days. Since I was diagnosed, virtual football management has been quite literally my sole responsibility. This is excellent news for the millions of pretend Sparta Prague supporters who are currently basking in the glory of a seventeenth consecutive championship triumph, but not such good news for the increasingly strained waistbands of every single garment that I own. My lack of activity combined with my incessant demands for Kettle Chips and Battenberg Cake has resulted in me putting on one full stone in little over two months. This didn’t concern me too much, I had resigned myself to the fact that I’m not going to be doing much seducing in the near future and I have been told by several medical professionals that I should be eating as much as I can. However, this all changed last week when - like a clichéd, bumbling obese character from an 70s television sitcom - my leather belt physically snapped into two pieces when I was trying to put it on.
On top of this, each time I receive treatment they insist upon weighing me and it’s turned into an altogether depressing ritual. There hasn’t been a two week cycle in which I haven’t put on at least two entire kilograms which is the equivalent of strapping two bags of sugar directly onto my inflating arse. My nursing team insist that me putting on weight is a good sign, but they’re hardly going to prod me in the stomach and dance around in a circle singing ‘podgy podgy cancer face’ are they? Having said that, I don’t actually see any reason why they should weigh me other than the desire to put me through yet another mildly humiliating saga - I have cancer, not bulimia. On many occasions I’ve considered screaming ‘Fuck off! I’m comfortable in my own skin!‘ and then running off in tears, much like Rik Waller did on Fat Club. Then I realise that the day you sympathise with Rik Waller is a very sad day indeed.
So, with these weigh-ins in mind and the sound of my belt snapping still ringing in my ears, I paid my very first visit to a place called ‘JJB Sports‘ to get some running clothes. The first thing that struck me was the unmistakable rubbery stench of sports equipment, something that hadn’t assaulted my nostrils since school PE three years ago. Immediately, this sent me back to terrible Wednesday afternoons spent huffing and puffing in tiny white shorts - a garment which, to this day, is responsible for my debilitating complex about my spindly, hairless legs. Anyway, I started to browse around feeling very conspicuous in my pie-stained Jimi Hendrix t shirt whilst being quite unsure about what I was going to get. I had never bought any sportswear before, plus I’ve been programmed to believe that anyone who wears Adidas clothing is an awful person. As far as I can see, sportswear is basically an industry that relies on needless purchases by neds and rugby players - the two worst genres of people currently known to mankind. However, eventually I swallowed my pride and settled for a smashing pair of navy blue tracksuit bottoms along with a Nike sleeveless vest. I may be getting podgy, but my arms can still only be described as awe-inspiringly colossal and I thought that this was the ideal piece of clothing to emphasise that point.
With my shiny new clothes and a burning hatred for the sight of my body I now had everything I needed to start my exercise regime. It would be a lie to say that I’m a stranger to running, but it’s usually after an ice cream van. I hadn’t actually done any proper exercise for about two years before Tuesday which, in hindsight, wasn’t a wise lifestyle choice considering my current dire state of health. Feeling faintly ridiculous in my vest - my upper half looked like a slightly under-inflated beach ball with two pieces of old, withered string sellotaped to either side - I shuffled out of the house and began what I intended to be a short one or two mile run. What actually transpired was an embarrassing series of breathless forty meter jogs, each ending with a five minute rest to massage my achingly painful stitch. I’d created a motivational play list for it including songs such as ‘Lose Yourself’ by Eminem and ‘Let’s Get It Started’ by the Black Eyed Peas - all up-tempo, inspiring tracks which just made my constant failures to run further than the length of a few small cars seem all the more shameful and ridiculous.
However, I persevered and forty-seven tiny runs is far better than of one big run in my eyes. I’m going to be doing three runs a week supplemented by sit-ups, push-ups and weights. By the next time many of you see me I’ll either be an intimidating hulk of a man, or I’ll give up my exercise regime within a week and be a fat, hideous mess. Either way my entire t-shirt collection, the pride of my existence, will sadly be skin-tight and therefore unintentionally very camp. Anyway - keep your eyes open for the next blog. I’m having treatment, a CT scan and a testicular ultrasound scan in the space of three days next week so it’s sure to be a hoot.