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

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Amjad Bashir said Ukip had become a 'party of ruthless self-interest'  

Could Ukip turncoat Amjad Bashir be the Churchill of his day?

Matthew Norman
King Abdullah made Saudi Arabia prosperous but had absolute disregard for what liberal Westerners would view as basic human rights  

The media cannot ignore tricky questions when someone dies - but it must stick to the facts

Will Gore
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us