RICHARD ORD: The gym doesn’t fix it for me

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IT’S always sad to learn that another pub has closed. Even more dismal to discover it is going to be turned into a gym.

And a real cloud of depression descends when you’re told that gym is to operate 24 hours a day.

The Grindon Mill pub in Sunderland is to be converted into a 24-hour gym. Announcements like this is the reason black armbands were invented.

Round-the-clock gyms are, I’m told, springing up all over the North East.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I wake up in cold sweat at 3am, the last thing that leaps to mind is “ooh, you know what I need? An hour on the treadmill and 40 bench presses!”.

A 25-minute burst on the cross-trainer is also far from my mind when I leave a pub at 11pm.

Or, more accurately, when I used to leave the pub at 11pm. Now I rarely get to walk into a pub.

My wife has blocked that particular avenue of pleasure. Nothing I can do about it, she included it in the wedding vows.

“Love, honour and obey (and then in very small writing) your wife’s prerogative to block any and/or all avenues of pleasure.”

And with every pub closure that is announced, so my fears that when the opportunity to actually go out and enjoy a pint arises (probably in 2020-21) there won’t be a boozer left.

It’s a thought that haunts my dreams. It’s why I wake up in a cold sweat at 3am.

Wives, generally, will not stop husbands going to the gym.

I once had the idea of opening up a pub and calling it The Gym. I thought it was a flawless concept for all married men.

“Just off to The Gym,” you could tell the wife without any qualms.

And returning several hours later, red-faced, sweating and little unsteady on your legs, would only add credence to the ruse that you had been working out.

And if she pulled you up about the kebab in your gaping maw, just tell her “carbs”. And then go to bed.

As it is, my wife won’t even let me go to the gym. Costs too much money.

Instead of tracking down gyms and comparing membership prices, I find it much more cost-effective to devote my time to trawling the internet looking for reasons not to exercise.

This week’s top money-saving tip: Don’t run. Jogging is the biggest cause of Achilles tendonitis, foot blisters and the painful joint injury Illiotabial Band Syndrome.

You can have that one on me. With the money saved you can enjoy a pint, if your local hasn’t been turned into a round-the-clock Zumba studio by the weekend, that is.