Wild Camping? Give me a break…

Lots of people now posting their ‘Wild Camping’ adventures on Social Media as if it’s a new concept.

Well…the terminology might have changed.

In my day it was called camping..

Circa 1980 was at a loose end one Easter. A friend suggested we go camping in The Lake District.

Now…I lived a conservative life in Washington, Tyne & Wear. Furthest I’d been was Filey one summer holiday with my parents.

Anyway, bought the gear, no idea…Ultimate Peapod Tent, Berghaus rucksack, Trangia stove etc.

And we’re off…

Caught a bus from Washington to Newcastle.

Then a coach from Newcastle to Keswick Bus Station (now Booths)

Then the Mark 1 legs took over…

The initial formula of getting to The Lakes never changed…

I had many many adventures over the years.

I’d walk to a pre-planned camp site or more often, just walked until I was tired…put my tent up. Ate, drank, slept. Decamped then started walking again…

I walked all over The Lakes…and I mean all over…

If social media existed back in the 80’s and 90’s I’d be a <YouTube> <Instagram> sensation 😂

My mate Alex (deceased) on Helvellyn
We’re on top of the world ma!

Legs are a bit weary now. Being late fifties ain’t no fun. Still aim to complete the Birketts though!

Bodybuilding Builds Character

From 0-18 years old I was what my mam called a ‘skinnymalink’ terribly thin. I weighed about 9st 10lbs at age 18.

At about 18 I decided to study karate and after a couple of years was put into ‘combat’ with another student. He was MASSIVE (in my eyes). At the end of the session in the changing room and <ahem> admiring his physique I asked him what the his secret was…

Long story short..,I ordered a Weider Bench and a weights set from my mam’s catalogue

And got to work.

I’d train every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, relentlessly in my home gym..

Home gym

Eventually the home gym became limited (and at the time I was too insecure to join a public gym) however, I decided to start training at a gym in Concorde, Washington, Tyne & Wear.

I started to see a real difference.

I’d never been a big hit with the opposite sex on account of being short, skinny and ugly…

Then…ever so slowly..,things started to change.

As my chest, shoulders and legs started filling out, girls started showing an interest and…

Guys who may have been irreverent or disrespectful in the past (was great bumping into old school colleagues – you could visibly see their eyebrows raise) changed their attitude.

Then…for love and work (long story) I moved to Bolton, near Manchester.

I started training at a gym initially called ‘Physiques’ but after a few ownership changes became known as ‘J.R.’s Fitness Centre.

This was no jacuzzi / yoga / new age fitness centre. This was old school..,

After years and years of consistent training and clean eating (150g Protein every day, minimal junk) my stubborn physique began to change…

I used to go into the gym and immediately play Rocky music on a tape I had created…and eventually after about 2 years of that earned the nickname ‘Rocky’ which is ironic…I couldn’t fight my way out of a wet paper bag…

Anyway I trained and trained and trained for years and my luck with the ladies slowly changed…

The red head was my partner for a while

Anyway…I trained at that gym for years and years. My intensity slowed down after my forties.

The gym closed down early 2020. I’d trained there for over 30 years. Great memories. Great friends. It was a touchstone.

And here I am…

late fifties…reminiscing…wishing I could do it all again.

Oh…and I still love Rocky!