My Olympic legacy – a husband dressed up in lycra

The closest thing I've got to being part of the Olympic legacy is a spouse in tight lycra.

Share
Related Topics

Yesterday I had lunch with Steve Moore, chief executive of the Big Society Network.

He tells me that the Government is scratching its head over the Olympic legacy, and he’s been drafted in to sort it out. It’s not the future of the buildings so much, as delivering Olympic zeal coursing through society. What about all those gold medal winners? I thought that we are all charging off to the gym now, hoping to emulate Jessica Ennis. Isn’t that some form of legacy?  Not so, apparently. Probably quite sensibly, most people regard Ennis and co as superhuman. Self-belief comes from looking at efforts a bit more close to home, says Moore.

“You can be more inspired by your son, or neighbour doing something, than by Mo Farah.”

On this basis the inhabitants of chez Millard are about to be knocked out by the sterling efforts of Mr Millard, who has just joined the club popularly known as Middle Aged Men In Lycra (MAMIL).

Last Sunday, he and about 5000 others got up at 8 am to pledge entry for the Welsh Dragon, a hellish race more ferocious than the Etape, the fearful section of the Tour de France which is annually reserved for mortals. The Dragon involves 206 km of track and some 3350 metres of climbing through the Brecon Beacons. “This is not a leisure ride”, warns the blurb. It certainly is not. Which is why training for next June must start now.

For the first outing as a competitor my dear spouse arrays himself in a plethora of brightly coloured Lycra, featuring zips, webbing, pouches, poppers and elastic. MAMIL like their gizmos, and these clothes are bursting with them.

In the style of Bradley Wiggins he descends into our hallway and watched by an array of silent children, clambers into his special Racing Shoes and gets his new Racing Bike out, ready for his first training ride with our neighbour Ben. Who is very fit and has done the Dragon twice.

“Bye then,” he says, nervously. “We’re off to Essex.”

“Where’s that?” says the youngest.

“A long way away,” I say. “God speed!”

Three hours, and some 60 miles later they return. It is midday. Mr Millard clatters into the house and goes straight to bed. Where he remains huddled under a duvet for at least an hour. I run a hot bath and order him to get up. Forget man flu. This is MAMIL flu.

Either way, I have no time for it. I dread to think it might descend on our home until June. I ring Ben’s doughty wife. “I have told Ben that he is very welcome to train for the Dragon. But only on condition he has to come back from his training rides and resume his role as a father and a husband, immediately.”

I relay this to Mr Millard through the bathroom door. He groans in response. Thanks, Wiggo.

Give me a fat friend any day

Laydeez, we must ditch friends who bang on about their weight. Or so say academics in Canada. Taking  into account the fact that everyone in North America talks about weight all the time, their study finds that if we surround ourselves with mates who moan on about having fat legs or a fat bum, we will end up feeling negative about ourselves. Well, sometimes. If you have a colossal friend there is always a bit of inward smugness that, at least you are sufficiently organised to get to your Zumba classes. I hate to say it but of all my friends, it is the gorgeous stick-thin ones who make me feel like reaching for the Nutella jar.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

LSA (afterschool club) vacancy in Newport

£40 per day + Travel Scheme : Randstad Education Cardiff: The Job: Our client ...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: randstad education are curre...

Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: You must:- Speak English as a first lang...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: There's a crackle in the Brum air

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Obama has admitted that his administration underestimated the threat posed by Isis  

Syrian air-strikes: Does the US have the foggiest idea who their enemy is?

Kim Sengupta
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style