I wrote, here, a darkly confessional piece about negative body image and my progress on my own fitness journey.
Since then I had a few back twinges, shoulder aches, and I was worried I wasn't making as much progress on my abs as I would have liked.
A couple of things have changed.
Firstly, Rachel has joined me on the daily workouts, has accelerated her own progress and has joined MyGym in Hazel Grove, working regularly with my personal trainer pal Steve Hoyles. I've supported Steve's new gym since he started and have been enjoying going there, it's a lovely environment to train in, and a step up on the weights I shift.
Secondly, those basic routines have had to change.
I went to Marple Physio with the back problem and came away a bit shocked at how I was on the edge of damaging myself in a few ways.
When I was a kid I used to be quite good at swimming and my stroke of choice was backstroke, but the abdominal action accelerated a hernia. Because of my obsession with improving my abs, I was at risk again of another hernia or a rupture to the stomach wall. I must admit I was really fed up to hear that, but I would be even more upset if I wasn't able to go on a Freshwalks because I'd had a back spasm, which I was in real danger of having.
Luckily, I was booked in with Leonie Fitzgerald, who really knows what she's doing. The progress I've made since has been remarkable. Both the repair to my sore back, and the strengthening of my core and the impact on my abs. I so rate physios, by the way, they seem to be able to spot the slightest things and impressively diagnose cause and effect.
The routine she prescribed that has absolutely changed everything is pilates. I must admit I'd never really given it much thought, I just assumed it was a bit like yoga (it is, to be fair). Although I don't throw myself around like I do with High-Intensity Interval Training where I would bang out the sit-ups and the crunches, the breathing and holding movements have been awesome (and exhausting).
Life comes at you fast. I do still love the endorphin burst, the fact that I can push on up the hills and fells with very little trouble. And I like that I look better too, I'm not going to lie about that. As we eased out of lockdown, I played football again. Once. I really liked how my stamina held up for the hour, but I was really worried about getting injured. It was an old fellahs five-a-side, and everyone was dead sensible, but the next day my left Achilles was quite swollen. Scoring a wondergoal, or threading a pass, just isn't worth it if I then miss a Kinder sunset.
It's a reminder why we do this, why we push ourselves and how it makes us feel.