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OPEN LETTER New Year...New man?

Daragh Keany explains why he may feel like a new man right now but it is not the kind of 'new' his resolutions were supposed to create.


Daragh completed a half marathon in December with pals Sarah, Garrett and wife Sarah.

Daragh completed a half marathon in December with pals Sarah, Garrett and wife Sarah.

Daragh completed a half marathon in December with pals Sarah, Garrett and wife Sarah.

Okay hands up if you've renegotiated your New Year's resolution list three or four times already.

My best-laid plans for a new me in 2021 have not just gone out the window already - but they have broken NPHET recommendations and left the bloody county.

The brand spanking new bike I treated myself to last month is still unused. I haven't even attached the pedals and the tyres still have those long rubber pimply things on them.

I bought some cycling gear to go with it too - which is still sitting here beside me in my makeshift Covid office completely unopened. There is a 97pc chance that it no longer fits me after the last three weeks of bingeing, which is probably one of the main reasons I haven't gone out. Yep…that's it.

But that's not all.

I still haven't gone near my 'DIY To-Do' list, the one I drunkenly collaborated on with my wife on New Year's Eve. We sat on our own desperately trying to make it to midnight to wish each other Happy New Year and not accept that we are of an age where it is okay to go to bed early on December 31st.

In between watching Graham Norton trying to be polite about Emily Blunt's Irish accent in Wild Mountain Thyme and catching up on season three of The Crown while gently sipping away on another bottle of red wine, we enthusiastically declared that we would attempt all the little DIY things around the house that we've been putting off.

Individually, each of the jobs are embarrassingly small to call out an expert for, but combined into one giant super fixer-upper job we think we could justify hiring the services of a handy man for the day. But in the spirit of New Year's Eve we decided we would do them ourselves and ignore the experts.

So the skirting boards still have sporadic gaps in them, there is still a picture leaning on a shelf instead of hanging on a wall, the trampoline (who needs one of those in January anyway) is still broken and the playroom still has two missing bulbs out of six.

Oh…and we never did make it to midnight either. Not even close.

The ban on takeaways lasted all of 72 hours as we unanimously felt that my momentous return to my first 5-day week in three weeks warranted a Chicken Jalfrezi from the local Indian. And international Indian takeaway laws clearly state that you can't order a main course without samosas and garlic naan on the side. I have zero regrets about what happened this day last week. I can still taste it today.

My pre-Christmas running endeavours (I ran a half marathon for The Peter McVerry trust on December 19, thanks for asking. See picture above) are now but a distant memory. I managed 4km a few days after that run and each and every of those kilometres were harder than the combined 21km I jogged for the worthy charity a few days earlier.

I got out again earlier this week and I quickly realised that psychologically my brain has told my aching limbs that I am done. Every little niggle I ever had came out to party as I hobbled around for the same four sad, sore and pathetic kilometres. I couldn't even break the Covid 5km exercise rule if I tried!

When the lockdown is over I will set a new fitness goal because currently I can't get out of my estate before my back starts aching.

It's not all negative though. I have stuck to a few New Year's resolutions. I promised my two daughters that we would would play board games every evening before bed and the new routine is my favourite part of the day. I'm also spending far less time on social media in the evenings. I highly recommend it.

I did a long-overdue audit on my wardrobe earlier this week that saw me donate a boot full of shirts, suits, trousers and shoes to the local SVP shop in Blanchardstown. Weirdly, I noticed that I've fluctuated weight so much in recent years that sizes varied from medium up to extra-large - so there is something for everyone in that slightly-worn haul.

I've also taken on a daily 'To-Do' list in work so that when I log off each evening I have nothing niggling away in the back of my mind. It's a radical concept that I came up with all by myself. Imagine starting your day by writing out everything you need to get done and then finish my scribbling everything off that list? I know, right?

I'm five days in to the new revolutionary regime and I feel like a new man; a new man with an unused bike, a bulging waist line, dodgy skirting boards and aching 40-year-old limbs. But a new man nonetheless.

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