The Value of Exercise
While I was officially mentally unwell my therapist referred me onto the local "stop shouting at inanimate objects by getting fit" programme. By the time they phoned me I was no longer officially a mental (because you can only officially be NHS rated depressed for 5 visits to the therapist or thereabouts. This is, I think, because Grace, my therapist was, as the youngsters put it - well fit - and knows a timewaster when she sees one. Me? No, I double bluffed and kept looking down) but they said I'd been referred so it didn't matter and it was a pretty damned good way of getting ten weeks of swimming and use of the fitness suites for free so they as much as insisted. I agreed and signed up, then had a panic. I had no clothes suitable for trying to be fit in as exercise and me gave up being firm friends in 1996 when I started working shifts. I used to play golf to a reasonably atrocious level (I did actually win the company Stableford once) and I was a more than enthusiastic cricketer, only ending up in hospital three times. Blimey.
I had a sort out: I still have the Adidas tennis shoes I bought in 1994 -they are comfy and don't smell too much. I have some old t-shirts. "Just wear some tracky bottoms and a top" they said. I don't have tracky bottoms. I abhor tracky bottoms. There are more tracky bottoms in Crewe than any other item of clothing. I would just be another fat bloke attempting to look as though he's active, like women whose pink velour coated legs touch all the way down to the calf, drink Diet Coke thinking it makes them look as though they have a strict fitness regime. Either that or I would look like a West End dealer who's left his Staffordshire bull terrier at home (although at 48, my acne has at last cleared up). Oh well, in for a penny. I went to Matalan in Stoke and bought some swimming trunks and into Crewe's answer to Browns of South Molton St, the sport shop over Grand Junction retail park, and got a pair of Umbro shorts and, ahem, a pair of tracky bottoms in blue polyester with the Everlast logo on them. All, I hasten to add, in the sales. Still spent the best part of £20 just trying to look serious.
Anyway, I turned up this morning for my induction session and had got the time wrong. I was three hours late. On the way back I got a call from my bank - Matey, your latest direct debit took you £11 over your limit. You owe us £25. Again. I am poor but at least I look the part. Bye, I'm off to drink cider down the bus station.