There has been a new addition to the Lawless household this week - a slightly battered and bruised, but still none too shabby exercise bike that my lovely lady wife Jennifer decided to purchase from her friend for the princely sum of £30.
Bargain, I'm sure you'll agree.
But I'm pretty sure I've been here before.
It was only last year that my father-in-law 'generously' offered us his old cross-trainer-come-weight-bench-come-cumbersome-waste-of-space, which we 'graciously' accepted and decided to keep under our stairs, just so he could free up some space under his.
Now, I'm all for keeping fit and healthy, but by god I don't want to do it at the expense of my under-stairs cubby hole again; it took me months last time to convince the wife to finally part with her father's contraption of crap and I am at pains to so readily abandon my man cave again this time around.
So this week, both Jennifer and I have made a concerted effort to cycle our way up virtual hills and down imaginary vales to try and make it stick, and do you know what - it is one of the best things that I (we) have ever done!
I used to love riding a push-bike anyway so, for me and my intrepid imagination, I could transport myself back to childhood and pretend that I was whistling along the Leeds and Liverpool canal, the wind billowing through my bouffant 80's hair and really fill my head with a feeling of nostalgic grace.
Initially I thought that I would just sit on the thing and flail my legs around in the forlorn hope that it would do me some good, give it up as a bad job and begin the painstaking removal of my many varied copies of 'How To Do Just About Anything & Get Away With It' from under the stairs, in order to make enough room for our latest visitor.
But, to my complete and almost unparalleled amazement, I actually found myself enjoying it.
I liked it.
It excited me.
I felt that, for once, I had something under my roof that I could actually make use of (sorry Jen) and begin to get some results with fitness wise.
My fitness routine has historically consisted of trying to muster the energy to go 'running' at least once a week and mucking out our daughters ponies - which anyone will tell you is one of the most surprising (and smelliest) ways to keep fit that there is - but sitting on this bike was...well, it was like experiencing Christmas for the very first time.
It was almost like it became part of me.
I felt for the first time since I was at school (too many moons ago), playing every sport you can begin to conceive of, that I could actually enjoy a fitness activity, stick with it, get somewhere (though not literally) and start to see results.
This stationary bike is going to change my life, I thought.
And so it has.
I get up at least a half-an-hour earlier than I would normally just to get some use out of it and I have even taken to watching the odd game of football whilst pedalling away to my heart's content (great if your team's winning, painful if they're not).
I feel fresher and more energetic just from having the odd half-an-hour here and there. It used to be that when I had finished the washing up, or taken the dog for a walk, I would settle into the recliner and enjoy me a long cool glass of (insert any alcoholic drink in existence here).
But this battered old bike has changed my outlook on fitness and, you might say, even life itself.
I have long preached the virtues of having a good health and fitness routine, but like many of us, I rarely practised what I preached (the shame of it). So you'll be pleased to hear that I have now finally found something that means I can proudly sit here and tell you where you are all going wrong without sounding like a monumental hypocrite.
Though I'm sure it's not for everyone and there are a number of horror stories about 'man problems' associated with riding your bike too much, I cannot recommend getting yourself an exercise bike enough.
It has revolutionised my approach to health and fitness.
I just hope that when I am older and beginning to fall apart, and I decide to hand it off to my son or daughter-in-law, they find it as pleasurable and as rewarding an experience as both myself and Jennifer do right now.