1. Lack of Fitness - any gains made during last summer’s touch rugby have slowly but surely ebbed away during the autumn and winter. I have all the strength of a malnourished gnat, all the stamina of an asthmatic mayfly and all the muscle definition of strawberry jelly. Frankly I wouldn't last 5 minutes on a rugby pitch at the moment.
2. Illness - November in particular was a disaster health-wise. Head cold, sinus problems, labarynthitis, vomiting bug, back spasms. Not good. December was marginally better but the festive season wasn't exactly illness-free either. Bah humbug.
3. Weekend distractions - my 8 year old boy's footballing commitments mean that Saturday and Sunday mornings are largely both taken up driving him to various parts of Watford and Hemel and giving vociferous non-expert "advice" from the touchline, leaving precious little time for much else.
4. No Vets - my club hasn't been putting out a Vets team this season so the incentive to get myself fit and make myself available just hasn't been there. Running around with a bunch of teens in the 3rd XV doesn't have the same appeal somehow. Feeble excuse I know but I'm grasping at straws now.
5. Reality - much like my orange-skinned role model from the Valleys, I really do need to keep my weekends free for offers to take part in reality telly programmes such as Strictly Celebrity Big Brother Get Me Out of Here On Ice.
6. Laziness - the painful truth of it all is that, deep down, I'm a lazy bar steward.
All is not, however, lost. I do have a plan of sorts:
- Lose weight - yes, that old chestnut. Fact is, however, that I shed more than a few pounds between August and December last year simply by cutting down on alcohol and not eating crap like crisps, cakes and biscuits. It wasn't that difficult and I keep telling myself that the fact that I spent most of November feeling dreadful was purely coincidental. So, here it is, as from today I'm off the booze until further notice. Blimey, did I really just say that?
- Get Fit - the plan is to get down to the gym and out on the road for the next couple of months and recover a semblance of fitness so that I can approach the Touch Rugby "season" again in May with a degree of confidence. Who knows, it may even lead to a bit of proper pre-season training over the summer.
- Make myself available for World Cup selection, a plan that is only marginally more ludicrous than that of a certain uber-tanned former ballroom dancer from Bridgend.