From an early age, my dad would take the dog for a walk every Friday night. Each week, on his return, it would be clear that he had partaken in quite rigorous exercise as he would always return fatigued, collapsing on the sofa and falling fast asleep. On occasion, he would return so exhausted from walking the dog that he would even be known to fall asleep on the way home, only finally making it to his abode thanks to the help of our kind neighborhood policeman who would help him to his feet and back on his bike.
Of course, as with Santa Clause and the Tooth fairy, it wasn't until I got a bit older that I began to question certain details: why did his dog walks last several hours? Why did he need his bike to walk the dog? And why did the dog never go with him?
It was on my 18th birthday that he finally disclosed these secrets and thus the real reason behind his regular friday night expeditions... Unbelievably, 'walking the dog' was actually a euphemism for going down the pub!
It was also at this time that he taught me about the real skill, effort and determination that is required to spend several hours lifting heavy pints, maintaining scintillating conversation, whilst fighting the rapidly increasing exhaustion and desire to take a quick nap at the table. And all of this would then be followed by a long trek home. Truly inspiring.
Even today, after much practise, my efforts still pale in comparison to the championship levels my dad used to achieve but, practise makes perfect; and so, tonight's (unofficial) Janathon effort took place in the pub as I trained with the effort and dedication that would make my dad proud!