While standing at the side of the football pitch watching our youngest play this morning, a Dad that lives across the way from us wandered up to me, and asked a rather strange question.
“So what did you used to play then?”
“How do you mean?”
“Well… looking at your frame – the muscle on you, I presumed you used to do some kind of professional sport?”
“Umm… nope” (cue laughter)
I then described that no, I’ve never played on a sports team, and my job involves lots and lots of sitting in front of computers, or sitting on trains, or sitting in hotel rooms hundreds of miles from home. I’m not quite sure what muscle he saw either – sure, my legs are bigger than normal from the bike, but my upper body is nowhere near.
The weird thing is – this isn’t the first time somebody has had similar thoughts about me. Back when the kids were little one of them came out with the best line ever while we were messing around in the swimming pool:
“Dad, how come you don’t look like the other Dads?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well you look like the swimmers on TV – the other Dad’s don’t”
I laughed, but also did a quiet fist pump. I’m taking that story to the grave (or far more likely, the incinerator).
Another time, I was waiting quietly in a queue for food at a social lunch thing we went to, when a lady I vaguely know joined me in the queue, and then said something entirely unexpected:
“Do you know – it’s nice to see somebody tall that stands properly, instead of slouching, or hunching over”
I didn’t quite know how to respond to her, so just smiled. I told my other half later in the day, and she agreed with her – apparently I do “stand tall” – holding my head and back straight. I had never noticed that so many people don’t until then.
So yeah – this morning was a bit of a wake-up call really. I never really look after myself as such – but I do ride a bike to work and back, and I don’t eat a world of junk every day (although saying that, we’re about to order Pizza for dinner – the first in two weeks, I might add). Having visited the martial-arts gym with our eldest daughter on Friday night, and booked her in for her first training sessions, I’m wondering if I should get off my ass and do something. When I was younger I could get away with eating like a dustbin, and never put any weight on – as I get older, I do have to be at least a little bit careful.
I think probably running will be the answer. I don’t mind paying out for the kids clubs, because I don’t want them to miss out – but I tend to only choose free options for myself – and going for a run when chance allows is kind of perfect for me. I do need to get some new running shoes though – which will cost a small fortune.
Anyway. Time to order that Pizza!