Saturday, 24 December 2011

An Eggy Christmas Carol - Chapter 2

It had been a very busy day. Eggenezer Scrooge was feeling the slightly uncomfortable but strangely pleasant muscular ache that meant a thoroughly good workout had been had. She took a deep breath and hastily emptied the 'bag of contamination', tipping out sodden socks, muck-covered trainers, festering swim kit, a range of bottles containing dregs of carb and electrolyte drinks and a collection of food wrappers. She shiftily screwed up the evidence of packet of Tesco Finest Triple Chocolate Cookies and shoved it in the bin underneath the salad bags so she could pretend she had never eaten them.

Scrooge was tired but she couldn’t get to sleep. Every time she turned over she discovered a new bit of her body that was sore with fatigue. Her mind whirred as she thought about the next day; when would she eat, what treats would her office buddies bring in, would she be able to resist said treats?! How could she possibly fit in all the Christmas shopping around her training plan for the day, maybe it would be best just to forget about the shopping and do a few extra bicep sets instead? Yes, that would do.. and a bonus 20 minute ab workout.. ooh.. and she could see if there was a last minute space available in the spinning class too! With that pleasing thought, physical and mental exhaustion took over and Scrooge sunk into a deep sleep.

The cold of the night descended and Scrooge awoke just a few hours later to a gentle tapping on her window. She pulled back the curtain just an inch and peered outside. There, in the road, was her old blue Giant hybrid with its big bar extensions and oversized saddle. The pedal cranks were turning and the wheels were spinning, flicking freshly fallen snow in every direction. Scrooge grabbed her dressing gown and ran downstairs; she swung the front door open and nearly went head over heels as the bike had manoeuvred itself right in front of her.

“Scrooge, I am the bike of Christmases past, I’m here to remind you what life used to be like before you took up triathlon and became a gym junkie.”
“Why on earth would I want to see that?” Scrooge said grumpily, “I know what life used to be like. I was an unfit, lazy, boozing chubster, I’m glad those times are in the past!”
“Trust me Scrooge, you need to see what I have to show you. I’ve never let you down before have I? Not like these new fangled bikes with their skinny wheels and posh gear shifters.. you only had me serviced once in all of our time together and I never broke or punctured or caused you an injury!”
“Okay, okay, I’ll go with you”, Scrooge mumbled reluctantly, “but I want to be back in bed soon. You’re messing with my routine and if I can’t bang out single arm swings on that 16kg kettlebell tomorrow because I’m overtired, I will not be happy!”

Scrooge hopped on the bike and wondered briefly how it was she had never managed to pick up an injury riding in this absolutely atrocious position with her knees around her ears. They rode off into the past, a time where exercise was defined as a post-Sunday roast walk in the country and an hour in the gym would be enough to tide you over for the whole month.

They seemed to ride forever, travelling through many a past December. Memories came flooding back as Scrooge saw family Christmases with food and drink a-plenty. Back then, nobody cared how many calories they consumed or if they put on a few extra pounds over the festive season. Joyous times were spent laughing, playing games and being very amused at who was the drunkest. There was no choosing between celebrating and exercising, celebrating was just the done thing, and done well it was. Everybody made resolutions to “get fit” and “lose weight”, but really they were pretty happy and content just as they were.

Even in more recent years when Scrooge had become a bit fitter, she saw Nepalese mountain adventures, bouts of snowy British hillwalking, long days of skiing and snowboarding and the death-defying Alpine toboggan run. All of these fun, outdoorsy activities were swiftly followed by sociable evenings in the pub, filling up on hearty food and enjoying (a substantial amount of) the local tipple before dancing on the tables until the early hours.

“See Scrooge?” The bike said, “It wasn’t so bad back then. You were active, you had fun, family and friends came first... you weren’t always thinking about your next exercise fix, you just went off and did different things and enjoyed life! Granted yes, you were a bit of a drunkard and you could probably have done with less of the coming in trashed at 4am and eating entire egg mayonnaise filled baguettes, but in general, you worked hard and played hard and that is alright!”

“If I had lived like that forever I wouldn’t have a liver left!” Scrooge ranted, “I couldn’t have even run a mile then, skiing and snowboarding were easy enough because all that extra weight got me down the mountain nice and fast. Look where the partying and socialising and lack of exercise got me? Nowhere! Now I want to go back to bed, I’ve seen enough of this.”

They rode back whilst Scrooge continued to rant and rave about how unhealthy life used to be. As they arrived, Scrooge winced as she saw the bent and contorted remains of her truly beloved and recently departed old road bike, Bianca.

“Welcome back to the present time Scrooge”, she whispered with her silky, sultry tones, “I’ve come back from bicycle heaven to help you see the error of your ways”.

To be continued...

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