Just When It Was All Going So Well .... Catastrophe!

By: | Sat 02 May 2020 | Comments


Golfshake's Derek Clements documents his continuing health kick during lockdown.


FOUR significant events have happened since my last fitness update. First, I cracked 30 minutes for 5km. That may not sound like much but for somebody who hasn’t done any significant exercise since Victoria was on the throne, I can assure you that it is something to celebrate.

Second, just when it was all going so well, I tweaked my calf muscle, which means that I am having to curtail my running efforts for a few days. I am sure it is nothing serious so I am still out there walking as quickly as it is comfortable for me to do, covering as much ground as I can, and I am still exercising on a daily basis.


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Third, to my utter astonishment, I am actually missing the feeling that jogging gives me. I have experienced feelings of physical wellbeing that are totally alien to me. And I can’t wait to get back out there again.

Finally, I have discovered that those young whippersnappers at Golfshake view me as being an old git. There it was in black and white - they described me a a veteran. A veteran? How very dare they.

Golf Light

So I have to tell you that, although I continue to eat healthily, I am growing increasingly fed up of switching on the TV to see some chef or other telling me what I should be eating, and what I should be doing with the things that I have in my cupboard, fridge and freezer. Do they think that we are all totally stupid? I know what is good for me. And I most definitely know what isn’t.

And I have just reached a remarkable personal milestone. It is a week since bread last crossed my lips. I have actually just thrown out a loaf of bread that I hadn’t even opened. And I have discovered that I actually like fruit. Apples and bananas taste great, and they are good for you. I have also abandoned tinned vegetables and am eating fresh carrots, tomatoes etc.

I have to tell you that I am starting to pine for chips and potatoes but in the past seven days I have eaten just one portion of chips. On Tuesday I cooked myself a steak and, as it was doing its thing in the pan I had this overwhelming urge to dive into the fridge and liberate some chips. So I did. Steak, salad and chips. And do you know what? The only thing left on my plate at the end were the chips.

Oh yes, and I no longer use oil to cook food such as steak, sausages and stir fries. Buy yourself the right sort of frying pan, and oil becomes a thing of the past.

I truly have been abducted by fitness aliens.

Not being able to jog for a few days has focused my mind on other forms of exercise. And there is a huge amount out there. Many of you will be tuning in to the BBC’s daily Health Check UK Live, which is one of the more uplifting offerings. And there he is - Mr Motivator. I am certain that lots of you will be watching his daily workout routines and laughing, convincing yourselves that they are for “veterans” like me. If that’s what you really think, you should give them a go. They are far more strenuous than you might think.

I am now recording them and following them two or three times a day, which, along with the plank challenge and my walking, is most definitely helping me to transform my life. And here’s the good news - you don’t have to wear a headband, leotard and bum bag because that is most certainly not a good look.

If you don’t think that Mr Motivator is for you, I would urge you to have a trawl through YouTube to see what else you can find. I assure you that there is something for everybody. It might be exercise. It might be yoga. It might be pilates. There will be something that suits you. And if it makes you feel better and improves your physical - and mental - conditioning, it is surely a no-brainer.

All the evidence points towards a huge upsurge in exercise in homes around the UK, and I am certain that this will also have a huge impact on our mental wellbeing. None of us are enjoying the lockdown. We all pine for our “freedom” and when it comes we will never again take simple pleasures for granted. If we all keep ourselves in shape while we wait for the Government to tell us when the lockdown rules might be eased we will surely appreciate those freedoms all the more.

You will need to excuse me. Time to get the frozen peas back on my calf!


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