The Ghost of Fitness Past

I used to cycle every day
To school and work and uni;
My calves were like chiseled stone
(But my upper half quite puny).
By the age of twenty-one, y’know
I’d done ten thousand miles
And no problems to report except
The odd crash and minor piles.

I was lithe and athletic then.
I would run, cycle, swim.
(Unlike so many lads at school
Whose fitness was quite grim).
I loved to kick a ball about,
To dribble, score and pass
But this often made me slip and fall
Into people, mud and grass.

I’d throw my body at the ball,
Take shots from stupid angles
(Which sometimes left me on the deck,
My limbs in terrible tangles).
And then one day I twisted hard;
One knee snapped from its socket.
The pain made my head go swimmy
And I felt the need to vomit.

My wobbly knee kept me out
Of playing five-a-side.
Or even running for a bus –
It ached whenever I tried.
It gave way when I went to turn
And, although somewhat reluctant,
I toddled off to my GP
Who sent me to a consultant.

“Your Anterior Cruciate Ligament
Has been torn to destruction,
I’ll get you on the list,” he said,
“For an ACL reconstruction.
I take two tendons from your thigh
(You’ll still have another three, though)
And thread them through your kneecap;
Like I fixed Lawrence Dallaglio.”

The operation came and went
But my tibia hurt like sin.
They hadn’t said the tendon ends
Would be nailed on to my shin.
A bit of rest and physio,
Repairing stitched-up holes,
And soon enough, I was back
Scoring cracking goals.

But then my luck finally ran out
A year after I’d re-started;
I had stabbing pains in my left knee
Due to a drifting bit of cartilage.
Another op, now I can’t look
Upon the side that’s brightest;
The last consultant told me that
I’ve got early stage arthritis.

Now comes the twist in this sorry tale:
Those sedentary lads from my past
Have pictures up on Facebook
Of them running far and fast.
John Bennett did a mud run;
Scott Marshall changed his life plan:
He’s competing in triathlons!
And Martyn Brunt’s an Ironman!

Even Jamie bloody Walker,
(Who threw up in school cross country
And finished pretty much plumb last
Just behind our dear old Brunty),
Has a picture on his Facebook page
(This gets me so depressed)
Smiling in his running gear
With a number on his vest.

I’m so unfit; I can’t really run,
I find gym and swimming just boring.
Cycling for it’s own sake
Don’t match the thrill of scoring.
I can’t help but compare myself
To the likes of Scott and Martyn;
The most exercise my abdomen gets
Is trying to hold a fart in.

Still in my forties, I’m not fat
(To suggest I am is silly)
And when I’m naked and look down
My guts don’t hide my willy.
No motivation or time at hand
(My commute’s an hour’s drive);
Perhaps I need to lower my sights:
Just be glad I’m still alive.

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3 thoughts on “The Ghost of Fitness Past

  1. Glad you both liked it! But foot facing the wrong way?! Oww! Having had a knee injury any thought of someone twisting their knee makes me squirm.
    I played badminton for a solid hour the other weekend and my knee ached for several days afterwards 😦 Although, thinking about it, it only actually twinged when I was getting out of the car at home, so maybe I should give it another go – I went head to head with my daughter’s 20 yr old boyfriend and only faded in the last 10 minutes due to being unfit (see above).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Knees are tough. It’s great that your still at it and can keep up with a 20 year old. My husband has nine screws in his ankle. He says it doesn’t bother him, but that injury was the end of sports. Made him gun shy.

      Liked by 1 person

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