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Diary of a Home Bird
Ciara Galvin

WHAT is it about the dark evenings creeping in that automatically makes you think you have to get in shape? It doesn’t make any sense. The figure-revealing summer clothes have been consigned to the back of the wardrobe, and the cold, short days don’t exactly make you want to hop on your bike or head for the hills.
Well, whether it makes sense or not, I’m back in the exercise game after a shameful six months of pizza eating, beer swilling and Netflix binging.
Finally, the guilt has gotten the better of me. (That and an invitation to a wedding in December, the updates from the sis about her exercise regime and the general realisation that I’m about as active as a narcoleptic pot-belly pig.)
On a recent trip to Dublin ahead of the All-Ireland semi-final, the sis had me running around Dundrum in torrential rain, and there wasn’t even a shopping bag at the end of it.
We were those people you look at  on a miserably rainy day from your car and go ‘What the hell are those eejits at in the p***ing rain? Would they not go home and light a fire for themselves?’. Even though we diced with pneumonia after our 5k run, it gave me licence to gorge on carbs, and gin, for the remainder of the weekend.
So, it’s finally back to early mornings of battle ropes and planks. Of course I threw myself in at the deep end from the start. A 7am circuit class was followed by my first night back playing basketball … after three years. Because that was totally going to be a good idea.
I assured myself the runaround on the court would ‘loosen me out’ after the morning workout. Alas, with 30 minutes left on the court, I was offering to sit on the sideline for a while to ‘even the numbers’. I told my fellow players I’d watch the clock and remind them to alternate subs. Little did they know I was on Instagram drooling over picture-perfect ‘cheat meals’.
As I type, I’m literally aching all over. I think the muscles in my eyes are even a bit stiff. Waking myself up in the middle of the night while stretching was a first for me also. And when I say stretching, I don’t mean the ‘Oh I’m tired’ stretching, I mean full on ‘I’m about to play 90 minutes of competitive soccer’ stretching. I wouldn’t mind if it helped, but I still woke up with pains in places I didn’t know I had places.
I asked my gym buddy to go for a walk the following evening hoping that would help, and I must say that if anyone saw us hobbling around the town they probably thought we had left a local hostelry.
The diet has been clean for oh, four days now. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate; while waiting for my sweet potato fries to cook the other night, I horsed into a load of brie, salami and crackers. Don’t judge me, it turned out to be a good move, considering the oven didn’t cook the fries properly so I was left with withered inedible chunks, and my steak went cold as I spent 15 minutes trying to rectify a problem on the female roomie’s phone (to no avail, I might add).
The previous night I was actually too tired from all my exercise to even eat.
So I’m thinking with a dodgy oven, dodgy cooking skills and being actually too fatigued to bother, I’ll have a Victoria’s Secret body in no time.
If all else fails I’ll just go back to my old ways and wear a Santa suit for this wedding in December. Ho, Ho, Ho.

> In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old trying to get used to living away from her parents.