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Rob Hunt


Rob Hunt

About a year ago I became an FB. You know you're an FB because instead of people saying: "You're too skinny", they say: "You're looking healthy" and stop trying to force- feed you lard. Another clear-cut sign was that I had a passport photograph taken which nobody laughed at. For the purposes of this article I'm happy to claim that the main reason I noticed this was my inability to dive properly, but any man that's looked down in the shower and wonders if men can get pregnant knows this to be a lie.

The diving was becoming an issue, though. Because it's under my employ and has no choice, my brain diligently came up with explanations for things:

  • Probably salt water makes dry- suits shrink, and has worn down the lead on my weights so I need more of them.

  • Probably I was out of breath because the dive shop had been fraudulently renting aluminium tanks to me in the past, and had now switched to steel.

  • Probably the currents had it in for me because of an offhand comment I made about them whilst drunk at a party (and eating five pizzas simultaneously).

  • Probably I was going through my air too quickly because I wasn't smoking enough cigarettes.

  • Probably working from home, diligently pursuing an Atkins Diet but with plenty of carbs, and not leaving the flat for up to six days at a time had turned me into an FB.

So I went to the gym.This is not a course of action I would recommend to anybody, except possibly my worst enemy because he beat me up outside a chippie when I was twelve and he was eleven, and I'd do anything to hurt him. Go to the gym, Jason, it's brilliant. Also, smoking crack cocaine is a good idea.

It's not, though (the gym being brilliant, I mean. I have no idea if smoking crack is a good idea. I've never tried it, and if there have been any media reports on the subject, and I can't recall it ever being mentioned in such outlets, I expect they were inconclusive as to its relative merits). People who go to gyms; you know the ones: they have bodies that are misshapen by muscles; they have that maxim "no pain, no gain" which rhymes so that it's easy for their tiny brains to remember (more on that in a moment). But it's also true, and translated it means that the gym is supposed to be incredibly unpleasant, and if it's not unpleasant then there's no point being there. Like prison. Or a family Christmas.

Upon being quizzed as to how he managed to pass his HSE, a Course Director I once knew, who was the size of a small house (or a very large Mini Metro), replied "I used to go kickboxing". It's a response I use a lot these days for anything, because it's as relevant to the question of "What's the time?" or "Can cats swim?" as it is to the one posed about the HSE, the answer to which will forever remain a mystery. I used to be 19, but now I have to go to the gym. Cavemen (and women) never had this problem. But then they rarely went scuba diving. Or lived over the age of 30.

At this point, I'd like to say that the knowledge that it will make you a better diver will see you through the hard times of the gym, but it won't. The exercise will certainly make your diving life easier, but that knowledge is useless when your brain points out that instead of repeatedly lifting a weight, the sole purpose of which is to be a weight (it isn't heavy because it's a couch or a massive burger or something), you could be doing something equally moronic but much more enjoyable. Something that probably involves some sort of pub. No, the only way to get through it is to switch off your brain, and that's why all body-builders are morons, fit only to carry your tanks around and kick your legs for you against a mild current in Portland, and if you have a problem with that I'm more than happy to take you on.

My name is Dave and I live in Cardiff. And I used to go kickboxing.

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