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The importance of being earnest: Diary of a meathead traveller

Some of you will remember me.  Some of you won’t.  Some of you will have cried at my leaving and others will have jumped for joy. Whatever your feelings (if you have joined in the last 7 months you won’t have any but that’s ok as well) I hope you find this series both helpful and amusing.

I am currently on hiatus, taking time away from the gym to chase the intrepid dream.  For the first six and half months I haven’t lifted a finger. The first three months was fine, I told myself, “your body could do with a rest”. What it didn’t need was 20 smokes a day, a shit load of beer etc combined with my idleness as well as the next three and a half months doing nothing. In truth I have been shamed back in to the gym.  I simply cannot bare the thought of returning to Dave’s back in the shape I was in when I started in 2006. To make matters worse I have realised a sad truth.  The lifestyle I have begun to lead while on the road is just a slightly more extreme version of how I behave back at home.  At home I drink too much at the weekends, smoke too occasionally to be an occasional smoker and have little concern for what I eat so long as when I get on the scales I’m over 15st stone. The reason I don’t have the extremes of behaviour is merely because I am fortunate enough to work in a gym. Secretly I think I can justify this behaviour by being marginally stronger than your average Joe Blogs.  Having taken a rather a large step back from it all both figuratively and geographically I can see how pathetic this is.

Despite this indulgence and self loathing I feel a change in the proverbial winds. The break has got me thinking about how much better I would be if I had been just a little bit more serious, a little more consistent. In essence doing all the things I’ve been telling you lot to do for the last four years. On returning from my sabbatical in the sun I need and indeed want things to be different.


  “trust the Scots to represent perfectly my life until my return to gym” Bamboo island
Cambodia

This blog therefore is to keep me honest.  To help me leave behind all the apathy of the previous years and to help me build on what I have learnt over the last five (for it has not been all time wasted). It is a way for me to put my head on the block and get rid of the old “do as I say not as I do,” attitude.  To help me move toward the genuine achievement of completing short and long term goals. I intend this new era of my personal fitness to be transparent so that all may hold me accountable for both failure and success. In the words of some tribal guru magi Yoda type figure that lives high on the wise hills in a
humble cave , “Let us begin.”

 This is what smoking a pipe from the age of eight looks like in old age. Central highlands Vietnam

Setting goals or targets is not something I have ever done publicly but it is clear that anyone who is successful be it businessmen, champion tiddly winkists or career serial killers, seem to at least make lists. Here is mine.

Short term goals
1) Quit smoking for good
2) Stop drinking until I return home
3) Complete 8 weeks of Westside for skinny bastards
4) Return to Dave’s Gym in better shape than when I left

Long term goals
1) Play professional rugby
2) Develop a viable PT business that makes me shit loads of cash
3) Become UKSCA certified
4) Squat two hundred kg
5) Coach elite athletes or athlete

These two lists can be added to, but now they are written they may not be shortened. Total transparency remember. Some of these you may think a little out of reach but then what is the point if these goals are easily achieved.  Nothing should be off the menu when setting goals. If one applies themselves fully and comes up short the only lesson to quote The Rolling Stones is “you can’t always get what you want,” and we all already knew that.  The important thing is that the goals are real in the sense that they stir something inside, something that makes you want to get up a grab them.

The programme is going to have to be good to bring this bad boy out of the depths of deepest taboo.

The goals above have that quality and therefore for me at least are worth pursuing.  I have actually already started achieving some short term goals. On the 1st of February I quit smoking for the final time after completing the book Alan Carr’s easy way to stop smoking.  When can you say that you have achieved quitting smoking for good I hear you ask? It’s probably easier to re phrase the target to ‘become a non smoker,’ which I feel that I am.  On the day I am writing this it is three months since my last cancer stick and I can assure you the time will only increase. To go along with this early success things are moving along positively with regards to short term goals 2,3 and 4 and it is these that will be the subject of blogs to follow.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

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