Hey, you. Yeah, you with the nose. Sit your backside down and take that cotton wool out of your ears. I’ve got a bone to pick with you.

Before you start – I know. You – brawn, but me – I mean, I – I’m the brains. But I’ve wasted more than enough brain cells on your pissing about with trivial crap. I’ve examined every part of you. A sickly, scrawny insignificant example of a human being. An emaciated, flawed, hollow man who can’t do anything but lie back and complain ‘no’, and ‘why me?’ and ‘another one? What’s this injection for?’

I’ve half a mind to give up on you completely after your last little stunt. Embarrassing me, yourself, everyone like that.

No more knee-jerk reactions or trying to elbow me out. You just sit there quietly unless I advise otherwise. Without me, you’re nothing. I don’t need you to survive. We’re playing ‘Simon Says’ and I’m always Simon. Now that’s a slap across the cheek, isn’t it?

Listen up – I know there’s nothing wrong with your ears, b’dy boy. We’re in this thing together, whether you like it or not. If I want you to drop and give me twenty, well, soldier, I’m over your lip. This is a battle of wills that I can and must win. I’ve probed your many vulnerabilities and weaknesses, and I will exploit each and every one of them in turn, when and as I see fit.

Tired or achy? Your heart’s not in it? Tough! That’s the ‘old’ you. Get out and run another kilometre before you have the gall to get back to me. Blood, sweat, tears – they all regenerate. How do you feel now, wimp? Much better, right? Well, you have me to thank for that… You’re welcome.

Those endorphins you’re feeling? They’re all due to me, too, thank you very much. Urging you onward. Lift those legs and pump your arms. Deep breaths – in through the nose and out through the mouth.


And again. No body truly appreciates anything until you can’t do it easily anymore – not just exercising. Remember, even breathing is a privilege and not a right. I’m doing this for you, you bloody cry-baby. Don’t give me the cold shoulder. This is mind over matter.

Run another lap around the oval? You sure can use the fitness, string-bean. Give me one more. Build up the stomach for hard work and exercise – it pays off. We have a long road ahead. Head down, big strides; ignore that stitch you’re feeling in your side.

Feelings again.

I’d thought we’d moved past all the complaining and whinging. If you start that nonsense again, I swear I’ll cram enough pills down your throat so you won’t feel anything for a week – no, a month. How’d you like that, eh?

Didn’t think so.

Well, they’re a necessary evil and you disagreed with me before, which is precisely how your poor choices and lack of preparation has landed us back here. I’ve grown a thick skin, faster than you have, and your so-called self-styled ‘expertise’ won’t save you here. You will break, long before I’ll bend, you gutless thing. I’m using my knowledge and insights to ensure I’ll win. That’s a promise.

Look, I know life happens. You didn’t know that reckless kid, taking risks on his first drive alone. Gunning the engine too fast around the corner… he wasn’t indestructible, no matter what he may have thought about himself. Bad news, but only for him and his family and friends, don’t you see? He dies, people live on; that’s the nature of a legacy.

Too bad, so sad. See ya, kid.

Oh, you think I’m being heartless? Speak for yourself! There’s a time for mawkish sentimentality, and a time for pragmatism. It’s a good thing that kid didn’t take a few more people out with him. Satisfied?

What? You’re saying I don’t have a good heart? Well, let’s fix that then. You and me, old b’dy of mine. Starting now. Are you going to grab this opportunity with both hands? I can only do so much without your active input.

When that kind cardiologist comes back, here’s what you’ll do : park your arse, shut up, pay attention, look interested, nod in the right places, and let me take the lead. He will stick his arm out at some stage – when that happens, you smile gratefully and shake his hand. Easy. It’s a reflex action.

Let’s take this third chance at a fresh start and move on. No more rejections from you, you hear? In return, I’ll do my best to keep us both toeing the line. Get it? Got it? Good.

So, what do you think, old body of mine? A sound mind in a sound frame. Finally.