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Friday, April 13, 2007

Alternatively column April 13

This week's column from Day and Night magazine in the Irish Independent

OK I know it’s April, but if you happen to run into someone now that you haven’t seen since December, is it still acceptable to wish them a Happy New Year? If this is literally the first time you have seen them this year, are you not technically still entitled to invoke that January spirit?

I ask because this is the kind of logic I've been applying to my plans to join the gym. I haven't 'run into' one yet, but I intend to soon, so technically - there's that word again - when I do find one, it will be New Year's in spirit. Hence that will mean I haven't squandered the last four months living as a lazy, Jabba the Hut-esque slob, right?

I do feel bad because I swore last Christmas that the gym was the only resolution I was going to make for 2007. But I purposefully didn't join right away. No, my masterplan was to allow all the guilt-plagued, crash-dieting, well-intentioned gym newbies have the month of January to burn themselves out, and then I'd smugly swoop in at the start of February with a more realistic, honest and committed attitude to getting fit.

But, like a politician at election time, I lied to myself and others by making promises I knew I wouldn't and/or couldn't keep.

However, now that spring is in the air, I have renewed vigour to take on the challenges of January. It has nothing at all to do with the fact that I've recently taken the term 'tight-fitting shirt' to literal, almost ironic extremes, and that my hitherto perfectly-fitting favourite jeans now look as if I was uncomfortably sown into them a la Olivia Newton John and those leather pants at the end of Grease.

So this is it. I have the budget, I have an end goal and I even know the gym I'm joining. So if you see me on a treadmill, flailing about, gasping and wailing like a rhinoceros that's just been shot with a tranquilizer gun, don't point and laugh. Come over and wish me Happy New Year instead.

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