Brown Hula Hoops


Last night we went to see Jersey Boys in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre on Grand Canal Dock. I work just around the corner so I stayed in the office while I waited for Michelle to come in and meet me. She was working late so we would only have time to go and see the show. I needed to fill my belly so grabbed a maltesers bar and packet of brown hula hoops from the vending machine in work. As I sat in the company canteen munching away, staring at the Convention Centre’s reflection in the Liffey, I was reminded of all the nights I used to stay late in work eating crap. I would usually work through lunch and rarely see the outside world except for going to and from work. Especially on a Monday and Wednesday, when after work I would have college as well, the amount of time I spent outside in the fresh air was minimal. No surprise then that the first time I recall noticing my first symptoms of blurred vision and dizziness was on a nighttime walk home from college.

I was a massive Oasis fan growing up. I must have read the notes in the sleeve to their (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? album a thousand times. I loved the line “They have gone to work so you can go home”. There’s a nobility to that reference that perhaps I thought I was replicating by working long hours and taking very little breaks. I knew I wasn’t doing myself any favours but carried on regardless. I wasn’t the only one. I had thought because I don’t drink excessively (compared to many) and have never even put a cigarette in my mouth I was living a relatively healthy lifestyle. I was wrong. There’s no definitive lifestyle choice that leads to a diagnosis of MS. However, very little exercise and fresh air accompanied by substituting proper dinners for crisps and chocolate bars over a prolonged period of time have to be serious contributing factors in my case.

I often wonder if nothing had happened to me what would it have taken for me to have the realisations that I have had over the last year? I had always threatened to look after myself better, like I think we all do, but I never got round to it. I can definitely relate to Homer Simpson when he kept threatening to go see Mr. T in the Mall but when he finally got round to it Mr. T had gone and they didn’t know if he’d ever be back 🙂

It’s all well and good threatening to do something but you have to put into practice if you’re genuine about it. I’ve been left with no choice but to look after myself better than I had been. Luckily though I actually enjoy the lifestyle changes I’ve been making. I also know that I will always be looking at ways to improve and change. It keeps me on my toes.

Today I was all prepared for another day of trying to eat what I consider to be healthy and go about the usual routine in work. Just before lunch I started to get these cravings. Those brown hula hoops were calling me. They’ve always been a weakness. In the past I definitely would have given in, “sure I only had one packet last night it’s not a big deal”.  “No I’m all about moderation, I must resist!”. Argh the conflict!! The thoughts now though of putting stuff into my body that’s going to make me feel lethargic, no matter how tasty, does not appeal to me in the way it once did. Suffice to say I resisted, I went on my lunchtime run and even got a PB for 3km. Phew!

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 23.29.00

It’s such an eye-opener though how old habits can come back to haunt us so quickly. I’m not saying I’m off crisps for life but they will in no way be consumed as regular as before. There are so many better alternatives. I know now that by taking better care of myself I’m able to set goals and dreams that I would never have even thought of before.

“All the dream-stealers are lying in wait, but if you wannabe a spaceman it’s still not too late” 

Oasis – d’yer wannabe a spaceman?


Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 23.14.21The last page of the sleeve to (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? I got full marks for copying most of this into an essay in English Class back in 6th year in school 🙂



  1. Natalie says:

    Well done Keith on the piece & your PB! Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

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