Two Scottish lads with one year to lose ten stones. That was the plan.
But as Burns himself said, the best laid schemes o mice an men aft gang aft a-gley.
Now that 2011 is nearly out I wonder if this has taught us, me, anything.
It’s just a few days before Christmas now and the clan is gathering from all corners; the meat is bought, the wine is ready, the presents are under the tree.
We will be spending Crimbo in the beautiful surroundings of the Earn Valley in Perthshire at my brother-in-law’s.
After I gorge myself on his roast, and finish it with some cheese from Mellis’s I may take time out to cast my mind over the year.
I can look back on 2011 as a pretty good vintage. It was the year when I lost a tiny bit of weight but gained much much more by way of experience and self-belief.
I have the medals to prove that I cycled, rowed and ran further than I could have thought possible. I met Kenny Dalglish.
But more than that it is the non-fitness memories of 2011 which I will cherish. Driving the A82 on a beautiful sunny day before crossing a glass-flat Minch, climbing Ben Nevis on another beautiful day.
I’ll never ever forget a magical evening at my friend Jean Jacques’ wedding drifting down the Girdonde while being astounded by the musical skill of an elderly French trumpet player (his grandfather); or climbing the Arc de Triomphe; or soaking the evening rays on a secluded pebble beach in Normandy with my wife and our friends, just happy to be alive celebrating the wedding of another French pal, Vincent.
Then there was Ireland and my mother-in-law Veronica’s funeral, watching her ashes drift from a Donegal hilltop down the glen.
Most recently I have changed my career direction and Shaun and I are colleagues, so now the Two Fat Laddies (or One Fat Laddie and one Ex-Fat Laddie) actually work together, like that sketch in Alas Smith and Jones we face each other face to face across the desks.
I didn’t lose five stone, I lost my mojo with that. But I am happier than I was regarding my weight. I am a happier husband and father in my new job. I know that I can take control of my own life and get it down, It’s just a question of firing that mental starting gun again.
Until then, who knows what way the world is going to turn, or whether you or I will be on it the next time it does.