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Lessons from The Nightmare Before Christmas

I watched a new film this weekend, called 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'.

Just kidding, it came out in 1993, but I did watch it for the first time this weekend. If you haven't seen it, it was Tim Burton's last good film (CONTROVERSIAL) and it's set in a place called Halloween Town. The inhabitants are witches, ghosts, monsters, generally creepy creatures and they live every day as Halloween. This is until the anti-hero, Jack Skellington (pictured above) discovers another town called Christmas Town and believes he can do Christmas better than they have been doing. This involves kidnapping Santa (own up, we've all been there), giving scary and dangerous presents and Halloweenising Christmas in general... which, of course, goes down like a fart in a lift, only scarier. In the end, Santa gets returned and order is restored to both towns - they realise they're best at doing what they know best. (Did that need a 'Spoiler Alert' warning? The film's 23 years old, so I thought I was safe). It hit me that this is like when you decide start working on your fitness. You can keep it under your hat for so long, but soon enough your friends and family will know about it, and most of them will have an opinion on it and be keen on expressing it. However! Have they studied the body, how it works, is put together and what it responds to? Do they have the necessary qualifications and have they attended valid courses? Have they lived and breathed health, fitness, training and nutrition for more than four years? Or did they once pick up a copy of Men's Health at an airport on the way to Magaluf? This isn't to say the bloke you work with isn't good at their job, or that your Mum isn't a great mother, but more and more, fitness is something that every fucker has an opinion on, regardless of whether it's grounded in any kind of knowledge, scientific proof or even just experience. So, when they start gassing on about 'their friend who broke their back doing deadlifts' or 'that three eggs a week gives you heart disease', smile sweetly, and shut your ears. And leave it to those whose job it is to know this stuff. Best wishes, Matt 'The Pumpkin King' Boyles

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