Self-Made Men (And Other Leaps of Faith)

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It was a weekday and I’d cycled to work.

On the way to the change room I found myself wishing I’d meet someone new. And so I did, in the locker room: a big blokey-looking bloke with muscles and a chin.

I instantly switched into masculine mode.

Hey, I said. Hey mate, he replied, going one better.

A blokey-sounding conversation ensued, one in which Luke – for that was his suitably red-blooded name – told me he was going jumping later that day.

Flummoxed, I froze. Jumping? Visions of the Dufflepuds from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader flashed into my head.

Mountain-biking, he said.

I felt like a fraud. When put to the test I’d thought of a child’s storybook rather than the trial of a man’s derring-do.

Enjoy, I squeaked, and rushed off to work. I’d got changed but I hadn’t changed at all.

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