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New Year, Old Me

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Published at 3:38pm 5th January 2019.

Happy New Year! I hope it brings you everything you want and less of what you don't. Now, let me annoy you slightly by complaining about the burden of being skinny and what I intend to do this year. 2019 is going to be busy and perhaps painful!

In the imaginary book 'The World's Oldest Cliches' the business of joining the Gym at the start of a new year ranks right up there with the "I'm never drinking again" line we trot out from time to time. The intention may well be sincere in the moment but seriously, how long does it really last?Carl Ashwin On Air 2019

Being a skinny man can be, honestly, not very nice. People comment on it freely, to your face. They say things like "you look thin" with a worried expression. They ask if you've been ill or say, again with a worried expression "you look like you've lost weight". I've always struggled with this. It is actually borderline offensive. How quickly would you tell someone to their face "you look huge" or "you look like you've piled on the weight". My guess is that you wouldn't so why is it OK to do it to somebody who is thin?

This is all incidental of course. I've gone from a 30" waste to a 36" waste. I struggle with buying clothes now. My top is a medium but my stomach now needs a large slim fit (which means shirt sleeves are too long) or I might just accomodate a standard medium fit depending on the brand and perhaps just remember to breathe in a bit if there are any photos or an audience involved. It is far from ideal. Am I embracing my 40's? Well, only in the sense that I refuse to act according to my 16 year old self's view of how a 40 something acts. Yes, I intend to grow older as disgracefully as possible. No beige slacks and velcro comfy shoes for me thank you very much (Chino's excepted!).

So with the end of my 30's and start of my 40's my weight, as many prophesised to me years back has gone up. The problem is that I have done nothing about it. In 2017, Pete from our Sales team got me into a Gym (for the very first time) to make a promo video. I have always avoided gyms like the plague. In my head Gyms were full of men who looked like WWF Wrestlers and who would point and laugh at me. Why I thought this I don't know. Ignorance most likely. The fact is I couldn't have been more wrong. Off we trotted to 1610 Dorchester Sports Centre and I found myself in a large room full of weights and treadmills and bikes and machines and things that I'm still not quite sure about. We were there to make a video along with James from Drivetime but I found myself really enjoying the experience. Here's the evidence.

I was having a whale of a time! What was this? I was in a Gym and enjoying myself?? OK this was new! Further visits followed to other places. Pete convinced me to do an Aquafit class (filmed of course). I agreed after some debate over how much of my body people would see. Again, I enjoyed it. First time in a Pool for Donkey's years!

So having busted the Gym myth in 2018 and knowing that I'm at an age where I need to start looking after myself a bit more - 2019 is the year I join a Gym. I'm making it a public commitment so I have no excuse not to go. You can hold me to it. I need to get in shape. Questions are which gym?, how often?, what equipment should I use? All things I intend to find out this year.

In a strange way, 2019 is all about new year, old me. The me that used to know which sizes to buy and that they would fit. If you're doing something similar for this year, good luck! I'm with you every step, stride, lift, pull and bead of sweat along the way.

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