That’ll Do Pig

Almost made it to the end of the first ‘proper’ week of 2020 without exploding ! New ideas are taking hold and others are falling by the wayside.
My time as an assistant to the assistant coach in Monaghan Phoenix Athletics Juveniles is coming to an end. A number of new coaches are stepping up and they are different from me in a number of regards, namely, they know what they are doing, they actually have kids of their own as members of the club, and, perhaps most importantly of all, they have whistles. I never felt qualified enough as a coach to use a whistle.
 Last Tuesday when I arrived at the track at the start of a new year and a new season, the Head Coach approached me, and in a scene reminiscent of ‘Babe’, he placed a hand on my shoulder and said “That’ll do Paul. That’ll do.”

In what may have been my last ever coaching session I told one wee girl perhaps the most important thing that I’ve ever told any of the kids I’ve coached. It was a wet and windy night and we’d already run two sets of 600m, 400m and 200m and were now doing 100m sprints. This wee girl had sat out one heat and we were chatting about Christmas, Lego and other very important things. Just as the others arrived back and they were all lining up for the last heat she turned back and said “I always come last in everything”.
“No you don’t. You’re here. There are hundreds of other kids your age siting on their ass at home watching idiots on YouTube, or even worse, Hollyoaks. You’re miles ahead of all of them.”
The kids smiled and laughed and ran their final heat. She came last. She’s my hero.

And so, with a heavy heart, I left the track and made my way to Darren Tierney’s Gym for the weigh in before the start of a 6 week bootcamp. When I say ‘heavy heart’ I’m not implying that I was sad, it transpires that every part of me is heavy, or at least heavier than it ought to be. I didn’t need a weigh in to tell me that, the snugger fit of my favourite Nick Cave tee told me that. So I wasn’t surprised when I was weighed. What I was surprised by were the calipers that were presented to measure…I’m not exactly sure what the correct term is for the extra rolls of matter that seem to adorn my arm, tummy and most alarmingly, my back ! It was also a cause of some concern when they sent out for the large calipers.
When it came to measuring my tummy Darren twice asked me to just breath out, it being glaringly obvious that I was still holding something back after the first breath, and as I exhaled the second time the last vestiges of my pride hissed past my teeth.

At least, I thought, that’s the worst bit over. But no, oh no. On Thursday evening I headed back for the talk on nutrition. Oh how all of my favourite foods have betrayed me by their gorgeousness and many, many calories. The most surprising thing to me was how many calories are in a rice cake, an avocado and a banana. And the recommended portion sizes ??? I would have felt mean dishing that out to a child. It reminded me of the story about Churchill during WWII hearing peoples’ complaints about rationing and asked his secretary to bring in what people were being allocated. The next morning she presented a family’s weekly allowance of meat. Churchill had a quick glance and harrumphed “I don’t see what all of the fuss is, it seems like a perfectly adequate breakfast.”

I went home and told my Soulmate about the talk and what I wasn’t allowed eat and she asked in genuine surprise “What are you allowed to eat ?”

“Nothing.” I replied.” I’m only allowed to lick you after you’ve eaten.”

But I have a cunning plan ! If I simply don’t eat anything from Wednesday to Friday I’ll still be able to sneak in a Guinness or two on a Saturday, and perhaps a wee glass of Rioja…and , sure, it’d be rude to let my Soulmate eat all of those cashew nuts on her own…..OK, if I don’t eat on Tuesday, I can have the cashew nuts, and another glass of Rioja…Or if I run on Tuesdays , Thursdays and Saturdays, I could have some crisps as well…and another glass of Rioja.

Ach , it’ll work itself out, all will be well !

As will everything else.

Enjoy the full moon and eclipse!



P.S. For some bizarre reason I’ve been listening to every live version of Faithless ‘God is a DJ2 this week. This is the best one, from Alexandra Palace, 2005

Author: paul

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