A politician who’s running to lose his seat
Reading about Richard Marles’ experience on a water slide this summer reminded me of an episode of The Simpsons when Homer takes Bart and Lisa to a water theme park.
Just like Richard Marles, Homer’s attempt at going down a water slide ends in serious embarrassment. Richard’s experience wasn’t as shocking as Homer’s though – who had to be cut out of the water slide and placed back to earth by a crane.
Thankfully, unlike Homer, Richard has decided not to pursue a life in the ‘moo-moo’, but is instead seeking to, albeit slowly, trim down for a healthier life. In fact, while there’s no shortage of reports telling us how fat we are, there are more and more of us attempting to lose that spare tyre.
A report might say we are a nation of fatties, but we are fast becoming a nation of people trying to lose it.
We all have our motivations for doing so. Some are spurred on by the nightly news telling us how horribly unhealthy we have become; others are motivated by the fact they can’t keep up with their children on the push-bike anymore. Richard Marles decided to hit the gym because his sparring partner on Sky News had lost his extra chin and was making him look rather large on TV.
Others are hitting the gym as an escape. The Parliament House gym has become somewhat of a sanctuary for politicians, staff and journalists seeking refuge from the daily grind of politics.
Whatever the motivations for exercising, trying to lose weight and starting a healthier life is a good thing.
But while we are turning a corner and trying to lose the bulge, roadblocks – mainly self-made – still remain.
It’s easy to avoid the gym. There is always an excuse not to go. You’ll go tomorrow. And then when you do go, your confidence is shot because there’s the marathon runner on the treadmill next to you, or there’s a body-builder pushing weights as easy as picking up a feather.
Before long, your attempt at the gym is over, and like the confessions of Richard Marles, you crave a return to the couch.
As you get a bit older, you might not be able to fit down a water slide like you did when you were twelve, or run as fast as you once did, but that’s no excuse for a return to the confectionery section of the supermarket.
With exercising, you need to endure a bit of discomfort to feel the results. Eating a cocktail of burgers, ice cream and chocolate gives you an instant hit, but makes you feel terrible as you digest it. When you exercise, the feelings are reversed. During exercise, your legs hurt, your back can ache, and your breathing is about as loud as an A380 taking-off, but then you feel good afterwards (well, after the lactic acid has gone and your muscles have healed).
As we get into the New Year, try to remember the bloated feeling you get after you eat junk food, before you enter the drive-thru, and when you are sweating it out at the gym, focus on the long-term results.
Then, maybe, we won’t have to worry about politicians blocking-up water slides.
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