Loon puts life and limb on the line

There comes a time when theorists must put their words into action.

When the Renee Rivkins of this world must stop talking about turning a quid on the stock market and actually indulge in insider trading and when the Charles Mansons of the world are required to move on from merely indoctrinating gullible acolytes and make good their threats of mass murder to be taken seriously as a deranged cult leader. It is in much the same way that I, as your erstwhile sporting correspondent and self-proclaimed biggest loser, must also put aside the pen, keyboard and camera, and put my body on the line. When I must enter the sporting arena and offer up the necessary 110 per cent on that field of honour.

Obviously, at present, my body isnt even working at 10 per cent, so I need to go into training first. To this end I have enlisted the services of Lismores top gym instructor, Matthew George. Matt, who was Lismores Entrepreneur of the Year in 2004, owns and manages both the Summit and Futura gyms, where he employs 50 high quality personal trainers, dieticians and administrators. Im not absolutely certain that 50 of them will be enough to fix the body I have spent a lifetime trying to destroy but Im willing to take the dare. So I set out on Tuesday morning to meet the man and get the low down on what remains of my cardiovascular system. The news was pretty bad. Alright, very bad. My blood pressure was borderline (140/90) and I was all but required to go to a doctor to get an approval just for the training to start.

The cardio respiratory test run that Matt put me through indicated I was in a poor state of health indeed, plus I am currently carrying 22 per cent body fat, which apparently needs to be halved.

A world of pain opened before my very eyes as Matt read out the eight-week training schedule he had devised as I ran like a sweat-soaked rodent on the high tech treadmill. I couldnt actually hear anything he said, just my heart beating and a deep guttural gasping which I suspect was me. After I cooled off I read the schedule and a fresh sweat started to form and roll off my forehead. Oh God, eight weeks of daily supervised aerobic and core strength workouts. I checked my personal sanity metre and it indicated an extremely high state of lunacy. Normal reading, I was fine. Good, I thought, theres months of material for my column here, granted I dont follow my hero Douglas Adams into an early, exercise related death.

I have set a new course for my life, across the straights of anguish, over the sand hills of suffering and through the pain barrier of the bench press. Will I emerge a rippling, bronzed, buffed, smouldering adonis whos sculpted physique sends the women everywhere wild with lust? Sadly, its only gym work folks, not plastic surgery. But I might just be able to pull on a pair of boots and play fourth division soccer. Or I might even get a date. But lets not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Either way, youll be able to watch (or read, if I still have the energy to lift my poor overworked finger to the keyboard) my progress over the next eight weeks. It will be long, it will be hard, there will be tears, there will be bloodshed. But I shall never, ever withdraw.


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