Tric Kearney: 'I decided it was better to die on a hill where others might think I was a fitness freak'

I am in full January mode, struggling to remember what year it is, searching my bank account for traces of money and wondering why my jeans have all shrunk.

Christmas may be a distant memory to some but it’s still with me, filling the space that used to be my waist. Every mince pie drowned in cream is sitting there, as is the three boxes of Lindor washed down with a vat of wine.

I’ve no idea how many extra pounds I have keeping me company, but unless I wish to buy myself a new wardrobe, it’s time I did something about it. I could cut back on what I eat, but it might take until next Christmas for that to take effect, so instead, I’ll have to actually do something, something physical, which involves effort. The mere thought of it has been exhausting me.

So, what to do?

I could join a gym? However, I’m not really a gym person. Too many people and too much effort, not to mention the pain afterwards. Or I could walk more and aspire to eat less.

If I were to walk, my chosen route would be a local country road, which is mostly car-free. It’s a loop walk which takes almost exactly one hour but unfortunately is not flat. In fact, it’s the opposite of flat containing one hill of a cardiac-arrest inducing incline. To make matters worse, this almost mountain is near the end of the loop when I’m close to calling a taxi home.

Following a protracted row with the zip and button of my jeans, with me telling them they do indeed close and they insisting that is not physically possible.

I decided it was better to die on a hill where others might think I was a fitness freak, rather than in a heap on the floor following a secret battle with my jeans

Luckily, a couple of my colleagues were in a similar state so agreed to join me. I awoke the following day seriously disappointed to note there was no hint of rain. The walk was on.

We set off at a reasonable pace and with plenty of chat. The first part is mostly downhill so it was almost enjoyable. However, cardiac hill was never far from my thoughts. As we drew closer, we passed a farm where the utmost care had to be taken as the mud and farm excess, to put it politely, is as slippy as an ice-rink. Tip-toeing along while chatting at full female speed is a skill at which we excel and all made it to the other side intact.

However, it was then disaster struck. Mid-sentence I inhaled and a large fly made its way into my lungs. I coughed and spluttered in a desperate bid to remove it but despite my best efforts, I saw no sign of it emerging. Not wanting to make a fuss, I recovered after much unladylike wheezing and rasping although a part of me wondered if it might set up home within me only to emerge later accompanied by a whole family?

As we made our way up cardiac hill, it’s safe to say Mr McFly had little to do with my wheezing. That hill was just as awful as it always was. Once or twice one of us made a pathetic effort to communicate as we climbed, but it was mostly a rather quiet ordeal, punctuated with deep breathing, sighing and even a little moaning as we got nearer the top.

Thankfully, all things come to an end, and a little longer than our usual hour we staggered towards our cars, hugging each other goodbye as if we’d finished the marathon.

After which I raced home starving for a well-deserved mince pie with lashings of cream.

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