It’s only been a week since my last blog and, while not much happened in the month leading up to Quizlamic State, this week shit loads of stuff has happened.
Where do I start … I suppose with what could turn out to be the stupidest decision of my life. I’ve joined a gym. Yes, that’s right, you did read that correctly – I’ve joined a gym. Not any old cheap shitty gym either – a proper one with proper equipment.
Now, I’m fully aware that I’ve broken the Golden Rules of Gym Membership. For those of you who don’t know what they are, read on MacDuff:
- Overeat and over drink at Christmas
- Join a gym in early January, the lingering effect of mince pies and mulled wine dulling your senses into joining one with an extortionate joining fee, a monthly payment of twice what you’d normally spend on a decent night out, and a contract that makes borrowing money from the Iron Bank of Braavos look like the vague promise to repay you get when your kids want to ‘borrow’ money off you
- Go two or three times in January
- Go once in March
- Count down the days until your contract ends so you can cancel the direct debit and afford to eat again
However never being one for playing by the rules (unless I’m doing a quiz when, of course, I never cheat), my gym has a reasonable contract and I intend to go on a regular (3 to 4 times a week) basis. Therefore having skipped step 2, I’m now already at step 3.
Part of the deal with the gym was a complimentary session with a personal trainer. This turned out to be a strapping young lad who, in a miracle of reincarnation, was Torquemada reborn (a Spanish Inquisition joke – you didn’t expect that!). I appreciate that the following comment may be deemed as sexist, but I’d have preferred a female personal trainer – after all, being put through my paces by a fit young personage of the female persuasion is more likely to convince me to hand over £150 for regular sessions.
If you’re not sure what I mean, just ask yourself the question which of the following would you prefer to be telling you what to do?
Anyway, after 30 mins on the proverbial rack, it turns out that every major muscle group in my body had been ceased up for like ages and it’s a miracle I’m able to move. I now have a recommended plan, which involves cardio, stretching and core fitness (apparently this is meant to mean something).
I also attended my first fitness class this week, which I expected to be something akin to Kylie Minogue. It most definitely was not. I spent 45 mins being tortured on a bike, in a dark room (this time by a female trainer so I’ll be going back) to the accompaniment of both flashing lights and a banging dance beat. I lost enough sweat to rehydrate the Sahara desert and every other person in the room could spin faster than me – when the lights went up and I realised that both Bella Emburg and Dame Vera Lynn were in the room (neither of whom were wearing Kylie-esque gold lamé hotpants) my self-esteem nose-dived into the rather large puddle of sweat I’d left on the floor.
The following day every major muscle group in my body ached so much that I wished they were still ceased up and it was a miracle I was able to move. If I can survive the Pilates session (the stretch bit of the plan). I’ll be spinning around again next week.
Moving on – this month’s quiz (delayed by a week due to Easter) is the Norway Open. In Wakefield. Which apparently is in Yorkshire. Not Norway. So, if my exercise regime hasn’t left me passed on, expired, gone to meet my maker, bereft of life, resting in peace, pushing up the daisies, kicked the bucket, having shuffled off the mortal coil, and/or run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible, I foresee myself pining for the fjords (and without the beautiful plumage).
It also means that I’m missing Black Widow’s* Game of Thrones marathon weekend, but she can blame the Norwegians for that. On the GoT front, it turns out that The Seven Year Bitch* is dating Stannis Baratheon.
The new rankings (ahead of the above) put me at a starting to be credible 132nd. And, having seen off one Chaser, I now have another Chaser, an Egghead and the current Mastermind champion in my sites. How did I do? For me this is another 24 hours away, but for you (by the magic of literature) is just the other side of this spiffing graphic that I knocked up:
- It’s been a long day, hence the late publishing time, and I was up at the crack of Dawn (a girl I met through t’internet dating – it was always going to be a tough quiz so I thought I’d start the day with a smile on my face at least). That, and a journey time of almost three hours each way (due to road works on the M1), has left me officially knackered. With Pilates at stupid o’clock in the morning as well.
- It turns out my knowledge is sadly lacking in areas such as Norwegian Death Metal bands, Swedish harness horse racing and Alpine Skiing; although I did know who Ole Einar Bjørndalen was. I am, officially, no longer pining for the fjords. 57 out of 69 in the room (Scandinavian results pending) and 12 points behind No.122 – ‘Tremendous Knowledge’ Dave.
- My team captain for the afternoon quiz was No.27 – Egghead Barry. Turns out he’s a lot like Hulk*, in so much as he also whinges about the questions being trivia instead of general knowledge. As a team we stunk (TKD’s team won that quiz), and we only missed last place by a single point. There’s a booby prize for last place. We couldn’t even win that!
I’ll leave the last word of the blog to Bazza. After the National had finished (there was a postponement to watch it), I said to him that it’s another horse that we now need to remember. He replied “and the jockey, and the trainer, and the owner, and probably the odds as well”. This is clearly why he’s an Egghead and I’m not.
Footnote: Wakefield Trinity are a Super League team. No, I haven’t dumped Lucy (again) for some random woman I met on the interweb. She (Lucy) is always nagging me about being kinder to the environment, so I’m starting by recycling an old joke. I actually had to get up early to take my parents to a coach depot for their holiday (they’re going to Spain, not two weeks in London Victoria) and The Divine Mr M* pointed out that, as I was already on the M42, I might as well carry on up North, rather that go home then repeat the first journey an hour later.