Tuesday, 24 January 2012

No Pain, No Gain...apparently

Towards the end of 2011, my friend James decided it was a great idea to start boxing. Not boxercise, or other such 'girly' pastimes, but real boxing.

Now, at this point I should probably point out that James is one of those 'let's jump off a cliff' guys. Literally in fact - he partakes in that mad sport of paragliding. This is the guy that persuaded me to get up at 6am every day for a month to do the Bikram Yoga challenge, the guy that is currently preparing to leave home for over a year and cycle from Bolivia to Alaska. WHY? Because he's a 'let's jump off a cliff' kinda guy. Or as us mere mortals call them: Insane.

So this boxing malarky seemed like a good idea. Get fit, continue the giving up smoking, be able to beat up tough guys in dark alleys, attract hot girls. I couldn't see a downside.

I have recently found the downside. It's not as you might think. It's not the blisters on my hands, or the fact that I am constantly bruised somewhere, or indeed that most days I am limping due to extreme muscle ache. Oh no. The downside is that I'm addicted.


I never thought I would say that, but I am. When I'm not at the boxing gym I feel guilty. When I am there, I don't want to leave as I don't feel I have earned the right to leave. It's starting to ruin my life somewhat. Even right now, if it wasn't for the fact that both my hands seem to be bleeding from this morning's session, I would go back again this evening.

I'm starting to get the idea of what it must be like to be a crack addict.

Sunday, 15 January 2012


I have spent most of my life in England. By rights, this means I should be a football fan, however, for some reason I am not. I've spent hours and hours trying to like it; I've been to the pub with mates to scream at a TV screen with a bunch of scary strangers, I've tried to join in conversations about so-and-so's latest signing, or the controversial tackle from the night before, I've even been to matches to watch first hand....but still, nothing. I just don't get it.

What with 2012 being a year of change for me, I've decided to find a team to support and give football one last go.

I've decided to become a proper 'bloke'.

The first thing is to decide which team to follow. This is the shortlist with reasons:

Manchester City - the glory hunter's choice
Ipswich Town - near my childhood hometown
Norwich City - near my childhood hometown
QPR - nearest club to where I live and nearest to where I was born
Chelsea - close to where I live and close to where I was born
Fulham - close to where I live and close to where I was born

I discarded Manchester City immediately. No-one wants to be a glory hunter. Not a good look. I wouldn't get respect from other 'blokes'.
Ipswich Town was also discarded. I watched them play Aston Villa when I was a kid and it was unbelievably boring. Don't want to start this new project with bad memories.
Norwich stays. Good potential choice. Horrid kit colours though. Shouldn't worry about colours however, remember Jon, you are now a real man.
QPR stays. If, god forbid, I actually end up liking football, it's easy to get to matches.
Chelsea - they seem a bit twatty - can't be dealing with that. Chelsea goes.
Fulham - I used to live very near their ground and the fans used to piss me off most weeks. Bye bye Fulham.

So that leaves Norwich v QPR. After completing a bit of geeky analysis, it seems that Norwich have beaten QPR twice this season, plus are higher in the league table. I've always had a soft spot for an underdog, plus, as mentioned before, no-one likes a glory hunter.

Queens Park Rangers it is. I vow that I shall stick with my team through thick and thin, relegation and promotion. I will argue to the death that they are the best team in the world, even when results don't quite prove it. I will discuss and analyse new signings, changes in management and will partake in banterous conversations with other 'real men' about my club.

But first I should probably learn the off-side rule.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

How did it come to this?

My name is Jon. I'm a pretty average guy; I live in London, have a decent career, modest income, good mates, go out a few times a week, recently stopped smoking, not repulsive to girls, go on at least 2 holidays a year, own a car, laptop, bunch of other crap I don't need. But there is something wrong.

Before I know it, I will be 30.

In 2005 I graduated from university. Within a month I had landed (blagged) my dream job at a major record label. I was 21 years old. That same month, London was announced as the host of the 2012 Olympics. I remember wondering what I would be doing in 2012. Life was good and therefore was convinced that by then I would:

- be the CEO of the label I worked for
- have an amazing girlfriend, preferably a musician
- own an Audi RS4 AND an Aston Martin DB9 (for weekends)
- go on at least 2 holidays a year
- own two houses, one in London and one in the alps

Suffice to say, I was pretty excited by the prospect of 2012.

Reality, as we all know, tends to be rather different. In the 7 years since 2005, I:

- have been made redundant...twice
- have been dumped by a long term girlfriend...twice
- own a 2003 Ford Focus (which I didn't even buy, my Dad gave it to me)
- go on at least 2 holidays a year - YES!
- live in a shared rented flat

It's now only 6 months until the Olympics and I have achieved one out of five of my goals. Not bad, but not ideal quite frankly.

I originally thought about trying to achieve all my original goals before the Olympics, but let's be honest, that will never happen.

Instead, I am going to spend the next year and a half trying to work my life out.

I'm going to work out why I shouldn't just be a bum. Right now it seems quite attractive.