Me and my health: Darren Matthews on his lifestyle
Stand-up comic and construction worker Darren Matthews (33) is originally from Bessbrook in Co Armagh ("or I just say Newry when people don't know where my little village is and stare blankly at me!"). He is performing his new comedy show, Fighting Fit, in the Black Box tonight at 8pm.
Q: Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?
A: I try and exercise a couple of times a week. I'm a qualified gym instructor but I am probably one of the worst clients I have trained. I also play Gaelic football for St Paul's reserves in Belfast because the first team didn't need a right-half comedian.
I also attend the gym a couple of times just to keep the mental health good.
I recently competed in a White Collar boxing match and that was eight weeks of intensive boxing and fitness twice a week.
Q: What is the worst illness you've had?
A: The worst illness I've had and still have is my asthma. I was only diagnosed with it at 25 which felt like a real kick in the butt after a youth of not smoking and playing everything from hurling to football via rugby and Gaelic football.
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Q: How healthy is your diet? Any bad habits?
A: My diet isn't the worst. Compared to the guys I work on site with, I'm very well behaved. My downfall would be sweet treats with the morning coffee and I have a tendency to binge on the weekends if I've behaved myself during the week.
Q: Do you drink and smoke? If so, how much?
A: I work occasionally in the Northern Lights on the Ormeau Road in Belfast as a bar man, so I love some empty calories via whiskey and craft beer. I don't smoke and probably couldn't anyway with my asthma.
Q: Do you take any supplements?
A: Supplements-wise, I only take a protein drink after a gym workout or a match to help with recovery.
Q: How do you take time out?
A: My time out is often spent reading comics and avoiding Love Island when it's been put on in the apartment. Sometimes just going for a walk and listening to a new album or a podcast gives me that hour to myself for some self-care and reflection. I've been trying to do some meditation also, but I struggle to quieten my mind, especially with writing a new show lately.
I will be performing my new comedy show, Fighting Fit, in the Black Box tonight - it's all about my adventures and keeping your mind right by helping others while helping yourself. I tried to do that with the charity boxing event and you can hear all about what happened in the show.
Q: How well do you sleep?
A: Not as well as I'd like and a lot of that is late nights coming home from gigs or the bar work and getting up early to drive to site. Somewhere between five to seven hours. I would prefer to be better rested but I often feel like I just don't have enough hours in the day.
Q: Do you worry about getting old?
A: Considering my brothers Gareth, Declan and Steven call me Peter Pan due to my refusal to settle down, I don't think it bothers me as much as some people. Getting old is mandatory. Growing up is not.
Q: What is your go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?
A: That's going to be either the ON Nutrition Whey protein I take for after the gym or the mirror in the bathroom is usually the best product that keeps me feeling healthy and reminds me when I have to get back to training a little bit harder.
Darren will be performing his new comedy show, Fighting Fit, in the Black Box tonight at 8pm. Find out more on Twitter @matthewsdarren or follow him on Instagram at darrenmatthewscomedy or find him on Facebook. Tickets for the show are available on the Black Box website at www.blackboxbelfast.com