With less resistance than I anticipated, given the notable lack of enthusiasm when I first raised the idea, the four of us set off to Kempton Park racecourse to take part in a 5k inflatable obstacle course race.
James and our eldest son, Ollie (16), much prefer pumping iron to running. But because I’ve signed up to at least one event per month this year, on account of turning fifty in October, they put their fears of catabolism to one side and agreed to join me.
I’ve never even been to a racecourse before, let alone run around one whilst intermittently tackling fifteen enormous inflatables: mountains to climb, spiders’ webs to navigate, tubes to crawl through and swinging balls to dodge: great fun. One particular slide with a steep, stepped descent had us juddering down on our backsides like John going uphill in the Grand Tour Mongolian special (27 seconds in). (Incidentally, if I did ever get Clarkson’s job I think I’d have to pick and choose which episodes to take part in: I’d definitely give that one a miss, although the scenery was beyond breathtaking).
Anyway, we decided ahead of time that we’d have a McDonalds on the way home, because, balance. And protein. I was careful how I pitched this because I don’t think of food in terms of a reward for exercising, and it’s certainly not a message I want to relay to the boys. But our wave set off at 1pm and none of us had eaten since breakfast so, being an hour from home, it seemed like a good refuelling option.
Here we are at the start. I think I’ve invented a new bodybuilding pose. I was going for ‘front double biceps’, but hadn’t quite got into position in time.
Tomorrow will see me in the garage gym for leg day (box squats, Bulgarian split squats, Romanian deadlifts, weighted planks). Closely followed by birthday lunch at Zizzi for Tom who will, astonishingly, be turning 14. I was buying his cake in Waitrose earlier and bumped into a friend who said “I’ve just been reading your blog”. Thank you, Abi.