But without oil, because that’s fattening, but then again I read something on the internet the other day about how oil really isn’t and besides it’s good for your knees and one of mine hurts so maybe I should drink a pint of it before breakfast, like when Viv from the Young Ones necked a bottle of Mazola.
The wheels have slowly started to spin up again. Work beckons me back, and I was treated for my conscientiousness in turning up by a beautiful ride to work. Cotton wool clouds flanked the slopes of the mountain, the air so still that warm air pooled below overhanging trees. True, there was nothing to blow the occasional stench of cow shit away, but I suppose you can’t have everything.
Oddly, I don’t seem to have lost too much in the way of fitness. I attribute this to several things.
Firstly, by the end of last season I had the upper body strength of a three-year old. Surfing, swimming, running and even the odd bit of swiss ball work have filled the bike-free days, and I’ve found to my amazement that I can climb out of the saddle at a high cadence relatively effortlessly. I think this now means that a remark that I once read on the internet from a respected coach (who was respected because he put something on the internet) to the effect that any kind of exercise except for cycling is never going to make you quicker at cycling than just going cycling would is total BALLS. I wrote this on the internet, so that means I’m respected, too, and this is now the new word and I may as a result start my own cult.
The swimming, running and surfing things: all good ways of raising the heartbeat. It’s pretty easy to coast on a bike when your heart’s not really in it. Bit harder to coast when you’re running where everyone can see you, even harder not to push it when there’s a six-foot wave bearing down on you head and you arms already feel like noodles. And the inevitable bit without breathing that comes shortly after that. That probably helps too, in the way that oxygen starvation helps suppress conscious thought. Given that most athletes are, no matter how intelligent they might pretend to be in real life, demonstrably fundamentally as thick as pig shit because there’s really no other excuse for it, this is probably a good thing. Stupidity wins races, after all.
I wrote about letting the off-season do its thing last time, and among the occasional bouts of excess, I’ve eaten really good quality food. The garden’s bursting with leafy vegetables, fresh fruit is easy to find. I haven’t watched what I’ve eaten – far from it – but I haven’t filled up with shit. Some wise man once said that the best way to determine good food was to answer three questions: one, is it from Greggs the Bakers*? Two, does it look like anything sold in Greggs the Bakers*? Three, is it the same colour as anything sold in Greggs the Bakers*?
You can figure out how this works, by the way, even if you are an athlete.
*Greggs the Bakers may have turned into a health food emporium since I was last in the UK. They’d have alienated their existing customers, but I’m prepared to be corrected. Insert white flour, refined sugar and cholesterol peddler of shit of your choice.