Sadly, his kind went up as his weight went down, which one imagines would have strengthened the connection, in his thoughts, between bulimia, weight, management and self-worth. And it’s the massively sturdy, however lean Flintoff of 2005 who exists most within the sporting public’s creativeness.
So long as Take a look at cricket is performed, a number of his moments can be talked of, however – as has been the case with plenty of British sporting success tales – it’s now clear that behind the scenes, psychological and bodily well being had been being both sacrificed or ignored. A tour of Lord’s, scene of a few of his best triumphs, sees him displaying the cameras across the bathrooms, which he rated amongst as the very best on the circuit due to their low footfall and full-length cubicle doorways, permitting discreet purging. It’s all very unhappy.
On retirement, he moved into his new profession as a light-entertainment persona and a daily on problem exhibits together with a courageous however, even on the time, slightly disturbing crack at beginner boxing. Right this moment, he trains his physique to what could possibly be thought of an extreme diploma: 9 exercises per week, a few of which go away his private coach needing to lie down, and hour-long periods on an train bike that present him wanting totally drained. Within the now-familiar type of those “very private journey” sort docs, he learns from psychologists and dietitians that his bulimia is likely to be a symptom slightly than a trigger, however the deeper roots are past the scope of this movie, which is honest sufficient. He repeatedly maintains, nevertheless, that he has roughly bought a deal with on the scenario, though the medical specialists don’t appear fairly satisfied.
He does additionally relay the truth that 1.5 million folks in Britain “have an consuming dysfunction like bulimia” and that 25 per cent of these are males. Flintoff notes that there’s a gender-based stigma connected to asking for assist, so this movie represents a noble effort in that regard.
Among the many insights within the documentary is a section the place Flintoff notes he “has two totally different sides to his persona. Fred is the one who goes out on the cricket area or drives vehicles, Andrew is the bloke that worries about plenty of issues, has bought his personal insecurities.” It is attention-grabbing, then, that this comes out underneath the ‘Freddie’ model, the brash and, to some tastes, slightly grating TV presenter of High Gear, slightly than the significantly extra considerate and sympathetic Andrew. However it’s clear that he has all the time been pulled in two instructions without delay, and anybody who liked watching him with both bat or ball will certainly want him good well being, and a few peace, with this downside.