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Why Do I Explore? The Three Stages of Flabbiness…

Fat soldiers

There are three kinds of flabbiness. They creep up insidiously like vines until it takes a struggle to escape their debilitating clutches.

The first kind, and easiest to fix, is physical flabbiness. Busy schedules and dark winter days win the devil’s footrace against the part of me that knows that exercise isn’t a waste of time but actually makes me more efficient, effective and alert. Despite knowing this, I am still at times sufficiently idle to let my fitness slide away. Before I know it I am easing out my belt buckle and blaming my sloth on the effects of age.

The second stage is mental flabbiness. Give up exercising and inevitably my mind starts to sag as well. One evening I come home tired. Flopping down onto the sofa I break with habit and reach for the television remote. Suddenly I am gripped by light entertainment. I realise how pleasant life can be if I stop thinking about it. I’ll just slump in front of the telly until I have frittered away enough of my life that it’s time to go to bed and put the day out of its sub-conscious misery. It is much simpler to just exist than to live.

By this time I am already well on the primrose way to moral flabbiness. Not only have I conceded my physical health and accepted candy floss in place of a brain, I have also decided that this is good enough for my life. I have decided that Friends repeats and a Chinese takeaway are sufficient output in return for a life on Earth.

Sure, life is dangerous (it ends in certain death), but what a crime not to approach it with gusto while I can. I swell with rage and decide it is time to sort my life out. I plan a trip, set a start date, and hit the road.

This text is an extract from There Are Other Rivers, available as a giant mappazine or a free Kindle sample.


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  1. Great little post. I’ve gone through a similar process (I think I’ve now overused the ‘getting old’ excuse for the deteriorating fitness) and last week set myself a challenge to run 300 miles in the 100 days leading to the Olympics. What’s more I decided to try and raise some cash for Macmillan Cancer Support in the process.

    Also, the ‘candy floss’ syndrome has been striking, so also decided it is high time I undertake some more microadventures (I do still hope to indulge in a bit of ‘Eddie Stobart: Trucks and Trailers’ though!)

  2. Yeah, I recognise the TV problem. On the cycle home from work I’m absolutely all set to get the trainers and go for a run. And I can keep to that, but only if I can get in, get changed, and get out again BEFORE reaching for the remote. Once the TV is on my will is sapped and I’m hopelessly compromised.

  3. Sambhram Posted

    The last line is the hardest though.

  4. Simonthebum Posted

    Threw out the TV about 20 years ago and sold the car a year ago.

    Best things I have ever done.



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