It was a cold night. Not just an “oh it’s a bit nippy outside tonight” night, but more like you could feel the path slowly freeze under your feet as you walked along them kind of night. As I closed the door and walked down my path, my naked arms and knees metaphorically swore at me and my poor clothing decisions. They swore at me metaphorically as they are arms and knees and they don’t really have a way to communicate. That would be stupid.
I scrolled through my phone and my podgy thumb clicked down on the highest ranking ‘couch to 5k’ app I could find and I was greeted by a sexy robotic voice who instantly told me what we’re going to do. She even offered to play one of my favourite records so I asked her to play the Greatest Hits by Queen as there’s not a song on there’s that’s shit. “What a great start”, I thought, “based on this experience I’m going to be a great runner”, I mused.
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” came on first. I thought it was fantastic that my application already knew I’d fancy listening to the album on shuffle and needless to say I was a bit in love with said application. Not in a weird way, though more like a love for a fantastic burger or a rare Arsenal goal, not like when Will Smith tries to shag a robot in iRobot. Purely platonic.
For those who have never heard of the ‘couch to 5k’ app, it orders you to either ‘run’ or ‘briskly walk’ at a minute or so at a time. As a stupidly obese lad, this is perfect for starting out on the road from sweaty-sofa-neflix doofus to the white Mo Farah within weeks.
The first minute of running. I glided above the icy roads of Stowmarket town, Freddie’s voice panging into my surprisingly small ears and thought I finally found my calling in my life. I am a runner. I am running. Everything is going to be okay and I’m probably going to be the greatest runner East Suffolk has seen.
Oh boy was I on top of the world. That one minute of pure running excellence was followed by a steady walk before embarking on the second run. The “please start jogging” voice applied to my ears via the medium of new headphones was echoed by Queen’s Bicycle Race. Within 5 minutes of stepping outside my house I was already struggling.
The white Mo Farah of mere moments ago was suddenly transferred into the fat idiot in a distinct lack of clothing for the British climate. My man-boobs slapped against each other as I could feel my knees start to buckle under the weight and anticipation of this run. I kept looking back at my application to see how long until this torture would stop – “40 seconds remaining?!” I thought. The female robotic voice I fell in love with mere minutes ago had already abandoned me. I was stabbed in the back by the one digital download I thought I could trust.
The minute came to an end and my weight forced me to look upon the icy gravelly floor with my arms at my side, attempting to catch my breath. My frame felt like it was going to force itself through my knees and into my ankles. My chest felt like it was being sat on but not in a remotely sexy way. Am I dying?
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Several songs had entered my head and left as quickly as they came. Don’t Stop Me Now briefly gave me an uplifting few moments as I avoided the mid-evening cars that came hurtling towards me. If there’s anything funnier than watching a fat person run, it’s watching a fat person fail at running. We Are The Champions provided an atmospheric background to the push over the halfway point and my sexy robotic friend soothed my fears and told me I’m nearly there.
This is where Save Me came into play. Possibly my least favourite of Queen’s songs and it probably the song that summed up my feelings at that moment. As a fat person it is only natural I have many other ailments which include asthma. As my stomach bounced in front of me and formed a bulky shadow in front of me, I could feel my chest start to make reservations in another body and my lungs getting ready for an emergency evacuation.
Many things ran through my head including my location. I’ve never been to this part of Sowmarket before. The street lamps offered very little refuge in this wintery night and the cold air seemed to lament my feelings that I was probably going to die here this eve; On my first run. In shorts and t-shirt. Listening to Queen.
The first worry was how would I be able to contact my wife when it all goes to shit and I finally start to pass away. What street am I on? Can I describe it to her before all life leaves my fat-laden body? Will it be a replica of a month ago where I phoned my wife from Needham Market when I was utterly inebriated after the work Christmas do where I passed out outside Co-Op? No. I thought. This is not what I’m going to do. This is not how it’s going to end.
We Will Rock You
Alas, I did not die. If I had died then who would have been able to type up this really funny blog post which ultimately will be read exclusively by at least 5 different people? Whilst I was standing outside death’s door, looking pervertedly through the window, We Will Rock You bashed through my ears. The music that sound tracked Gladiators on ITV saved my life. I momentarily took the dorm of the resident Gladiator bad guy, Wolf.
Despite the disappointment that this version of We Will Rock You wasn’t the 5ive cover (it’s ace, and one of the fondest memories of my wedding was when the DJ played it at the reception), the sexy voiced robot once again kissed my inner ear with “one more minute to go, you can do it”. This excited me in a way that only a sexy voiced robot can only do. My chubby pieces of meat known as my feet hit the glazed floor; anticipation was high as I probably wouldn’t be dying outside in the cold Stowmarket outback but possibly within the confines my flat later that evening or possibly in West Suffolk Hospital.
I reached out to my front door and fell through into the hallway. I saw my wife who greeted me normally, without the realisation that her husband, and hopefully her last husband, nearly died while trying to get fit and lose that flubber that stuck to his body. She embraced me and pushed me away quickly when she realised how sweaty and disgusting I was; she will never know how Queen both nearly killed me and saved my life that night.
Needless to say, I will do it all over again tomorrow night.
You can follow Daniel’s mission to not be a fat dick by following him on Twitter @HelloImDanJames