As I sit on the early morning train to London to teach a security team based in Gatwick my mind drifts to the thought of lounge pants.
It is my hectic run up to Christmas filled with courses, gradings, privates and group classes not unlike most of my year. This year has been a very hard year both professionally and personally, with my mind and body being pushed to the limit and beyond but it’s nothing like I am used to, but it is surprising what you can get used to!
I must stay focused but that is easier said than done when the thought of donning my lounge pants and the only thing I will be hitting will be my lazy boy sofa in the reclined position.
Many years ago, I used to go and teach during the Christmas holidays but this resulted in more stress related issues than the rest of the year. I would leave everyone at home enjoying themselves and drive to the gym and wait for my private classes to arrive. Sometimes when people have time off work they will book classes with every good intention of training hard and learning new skills during their down time. The quiet night out turns in to the best Micky Flanagan words” You’re not OUT OUT” from his famous sketch of just popping out for milk and then ending up clubbing, this will result in a poor state in the morning.
Meanwhile I would be sitting in the gym, (while you were sleeping) waiting to pass on the knowledge of the masters, but you were in the land of nod or trying to get your head off the pillow while a full on Mexican fiesta was having a party in your head and stomach. We have all felt like this in our life and I don’t wish this on anyone. So, after ringing a few times to inquire where you were a discussing would take place;
Student “I am not well, I think it is the flu!”
Me “Really are you not hung over?”
Student “No, it is the flu!”
Me “You must pay for the class as we have a 48 hours’ notice policy”
So, they rearrange the class to another time so they can recover, resulting paying for two classes and only training one. Most people pay but others argue the case resulting in a reluctant payment, or an avoidance tactic of not responding to texts or phone calls causing friction when we meet up or total avoidance in the hope the issue blows over in the new year. So, I had this on such a regular basis that I decided not to teach, train or step foot into the gym during the Christmas period. Resulting in the next discussion
Student “when can I come training? I am off work!”
Me “funny so am I”
Student “could you not just come in for me, I have not trained for six months”
Me “I am sorry but I am unable to, I am spending it with my family”
This reminds me of when I worked in a clothing print factory, we would work shifts of 6am-6pm or 10am-10pm, changing every week and every week they would ask you to work a little overtime resulting in not having a day of for months, until your body goes into shut down due to over work and they always used to say “just think of the money”.
So now I am polite but firm I owe this to my wife, my girls, little Nev and my own wellbeing. Putting a pause button on my stressful but enjoyable life, no matter how much I love to train and teach, you become dull like the man sawing the tree trunk with a blunt saw but won’t stop to sharpen the saw. It will take less time to stop, sharpen the saw, then cut the tree down than it will to cut the tree down with a blunt saw, but he fails to see this and carries on regardless this is a great life lessen.
So, after the gym closes on Wednesday the 21st of December we have our gym members party at cafe Neon (great place run by lovely people). The next day is the Christmas big shop where we buy everything in the world and try to cram it into the fridge freezer and cupboards as if we are going to be snowed in until march.
We go to the pantomime on the Friday (oh, no you’re not, oh, yes, we do!)
This is one of our best treats of the year and family tradition since the girls we old enough to go! We hire the box and sit like royalty and have an amazing time.
On Christmas eve, a large group of the family go for a meal together then it is straight home for Christmas DVDs and cooking the turkey crown then off to bed to wait for Santa to arrive.
Christmas day is filled with presents, people and 23 potions of chocolate cake at teatime with strawberries and whipped cream with me hoping there will be some left for a later date.
Then it is boxing day, que the lounge pants, the next few days spent watching new Dvds and reading Christmas books (oor willie and the broons) we eat through our food mountain and I drink on a school night like I am on holiday (Lambrini won’t drink itself).
You ask what time it is just for the fun of it and you sleep in or not as my bladder gets me out of bed then try to go back to sleep but sometimes you feel worse from having a lie in and you feel wonky for the rest of the day. Breakfast is at 11am and tea is at 6pm and snacks are provided throughout the day. These are the days you work all year for but slip through your fingers too quickly just like when you go on holiday, you had planned it for ages and the days are gone in a flash.
The lounge pants days are the best days, I feel sorry when I see people rushing to the shops for the sales when they have just been getting new clothes and shiny gadgets at Christmas, but feel the need to rush out and get a bargain when they are missing out on the lounge pants feeling. Being at home with the family building lasting memories together is the best feeling in the world
Not long now, I just have to hang on a little while longer!
Big love from the