AS you may have read, the mighty Sunderland Echo were trounced 8-4 by their Shields Gazette counterparts in the run up to the Wear-Tyne derby.
But the scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story. It was, as the football pundits like to say, a game of two halves. We were poor in the first, and terrible in the second.
Despite the poor (to terrible) showing, I did manage to score a goal and pick up a trophy.
And may I take this opportunity to say a big thank you to my two sons for all their phone calls of congratulations for my Man of the Match award. It was very touching.
I’ll let them know at a later date that the award was a mickey-taking honour presented to me after the match for being the useless bleeder who missed the most goal-scoring opportunities.
I don’t want their adulation to be diluted by such dreary details.
If the debacle of our derby trouncing revealed one thing, it’s that I need to work on my fitness.
Either that, or it’s perfectly normal for a man in his 40s to roll out of bed in the morning and crawl to the shower wailing like a baby.
To be fair, the alarm bells about my fitness have been ringing for some time. When you have to lie on your back to put your socks on in the morning it’s a fair bet the old flexibility needs working on.
By chance, when watching our eldest doing his football training I spotted a middle-aged bloke being put through his paces by a personal trainer on another court.
Dance music was blaring and this gentleman was blasting away on a punch-bag, skipping, running up and down on a step, and various other exercises, under the watchful eye (far better than those unwatchful eyes, don’t you think?) of a strapping lad with a stopwatch.
As you might expect, he was full of all the benefits to be gained from having one-to-one access to a personal trainer. I was enthused, and slipped his business flyer into my back pocket, with the thought of bringing up the subject at a suitable point with my wife.
You’ve got to wait for the right moment with my wife. She needs to be in a good mood (which reduces the number of potential “right moments” somewhat) and you need to produce an argument that promotes the benefits to her.
What, she would argue, does she get out of me being fit? The longer I live the longer she has to wait before cashing in on my life insurance.
I may, of course, be painting an unfair picture of my wife. And I apologise.
Anyway, I didn’t have time to formulate an argument, as she found the flyer while rummaging through my pockets for cash.
“And you can forget about hiring a personal trainer for starters,” she said, waving the flyer in the air.
“But it’s only a tenner and having a personal trainer pushes you to exercise harder,” I pleaded.
“I’ll be your personal trainer,” she retorted. “Now, go out for a run. When you get tired, phone me on your mobile and I’ll tell you to keep running. Saved you a tenner already. Sorted.” And she chucked the flyer in the bin.
Roll on the return leg of the Shields Gazette match. Forget me, I think we’ll stick our Michelle in goal. Unlike me, she’s rarely beaten.