Dave Twentyman - Harry’s an inspiration but the gym’s not for me

Grandfather Harry Jackson, 68, who did 5,000 sit-ups to raise funds for Children In Need, with Len McGrail, a volunteer with the Step Up Stroke Class, which Harry runs, and Lee McKeon and Frank Moody, duty managers at Central Fitness on Duke Street
Grandfather Harry Jackson, 68, who did 5,000 sit-ups to raise funds for Children In Need, with Len McGrail, a volunteer with the Step Up Stroke Class, which Harry runs, and Lee McKeon and Frank Moody, duty managers at Central Fitness on Duke Street

I JUST want to start off with a tribute to St Helens pensioner, Harry Jackson who managed to do 5,000 sit-ups in just over an hour, for Children In Need.

What a legend. I was eager to see a photo of him and when I did I was shocked. He’s 68 years old but he looks twenty years younger. What’s he been living in, a oxygen tent?

I’ve no idea of his marital status but Harry, stay away from the bars on Duke Street mate, you’ll be beating those younger ladies off with the proverbial stick otherwise.

I really need to start doing some exercise, I am so unfit. It was my New Years resolution which ended very quickly. I parked up near the Rainford By-Pass and jogged for ten minutes before giving in and walking back to my car. I then went home and had a pot noodle, I’ve never looked back.

My missus bought me a 12 day gym pass as a taster for my birthday to try and get me into it but once you’ve had a swim and sat in the jacuzzi and sauna for a bit there’s not much else to do and it gets a bit boring.

As I’m sat in the jacuzzi I can see people lifting weights and I feel exhausted for them.

People who have met me will be stunned to learn that I’m not into lifting weights and stuff like that. ‘But Dave, how did you manage to gain such a magnificent physique, you’re like a pale Adonis’? I’m just lucky I guess.

I’ve always been a firm believer in the fact you only get so many heartbeats per lifetime ... why waste them? Well Harry Jackson’s proved me wrong big time with that one.

I’ll be honest, I can be quite addictive at times. I’m frightened that if I start pumping iron I’ll get addicted to it and I won’t know when to stop.

Okay, that’s utter garbage. I’m just a little put off by the whole gym thing. There are mirrors everywhere for a start. I get paranoid that people are going to be chuckling to themselves as to what I’m lifting. A little orphan boy could lift more than me.

And then you get the whole changing room thing. Blokes stood chatting to each other with their tackle hanging out like it’s completely normal. They’re one step away from windmilling to each other. Put some boxers on and then start talking.