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An Icy Reception

It is hard being a supportive and encouraging wife when you are married to a complete and utter nutcase. Now don’t get me wrong, I am VERY conscious of the many ways that Stephen is saintly and wonderful, but there are also times when I look at him in complete bemusement and wonder whether he is actually “all there”. 

You see, the thing is, that Stephen thinks he is …. Lance Armstrong. (Without any drugs. That I know of.) He will sign up for the most ridiculously difficult triathlons and cycling events; read everything he can find on the subject and buy every single piece of equipment that could possibly help him on his fitness journey. But never quite get around to doing any training. Nada. Zilch. Zero. 

You might remember a few years back when Stephen decided to enter the Otillo - an eye-wateringly difficult one-day race in Sweden where teams of two had to race together from island to island – swimming between the islands and then running on them to the next stretch of water. Each year, teams have from dawn to dusk to finish the 64km race, and apparently it is common practice for team members to run in their WETSUITS to save time, because they have to get in and out of the water 38 times!

Now to be fair, the list of participants was in fact quite impressive - Red Bull Ironman, the Swedish Armed Forces entered fourteen teams, the US Marines signed up six teams, and then there was Team Shosholoza, namely Stephen and his brother Andrew. Right.

Never one to take these things lightly, Stephen's first step was to hire a personal trainer - who lived in (wait for it) TEXAS. Yup, my husband had signed up to do the world’s toughest one-day race in Sweden with his brother that lives in the UK while being trained by a man that lives in another time zone in the United States of America. Superb.

Stephen's next step was to begin boxing lessons with a professional boxing coach at a gym in Linksfield. (I have no idea whether he thought that there was a boxing leg of the Otillo.) He also received his very professional training plan from Brett In Texas - something that he quickly figured out would take about 5 hours a day. Which then necessitated LYING to Brett about the amount of training he was doing (ie nothing) all the while paying him. In dollars.

Surprisingly, Stephen didn't actually take part in the race after realising that perhaps it was a little out of his league (you think?) and decided that he would try something a little closer to home - like Iron Man. He then subscribed to every magazine known to man that would help him train for the event - and to be fair, he then read each and every one of them. While lying on the couch.

Anyway, the LATEST news from the NT Nuthouse is that Stephen has now decided to enter the Winter World Swimming Championships in Finland next year. (PLEASE stop laughing, I am being deadly serious here.) According to the website, teams will embark on a 450m swim in water that is -18 degrees, once they have submitted a doctor's letter stating that they are fit enough and having proved that their life insurance is up to date.

As you can well imagine, Stephen's training is in FULL swing. And by "training", I mean that he has designed the most awesome team logo and has done loads of research on the best wetsuits to buy.

(He has yet to go and swim because it is apparently "too cold at the moment"....)

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