Ten of the best
If you want to put yourself off your breakfast one morning, type the words "pole vault accident" into a well-known video-sharing website.
If you really want to put yourself off your breakfast, type in those words having just agreed to take part in a decathlon, with no prior experience of pole vaulting - or indeed shot putting, high jump, discus and 110m hurdles.
When I took up UK Athletics' challenge - completing an entire decathlon in an hour, by the end of August - it seemed somehow possible that I could learn 10 entirely new events in less than four months, and then do them all back-to-back in a very short space of time with at least a limited degree of success.
Among the significant issues I'd ignored were the following:
1. It's extremely hard even walking slowly while holding a pole in the right position
2. Shots are much heavier than they look
3. Throwing a javelin is not the same as throwing a cricket ball
4. I am not Daley Thompson
5. Or Jurgen Hingsen, or even Siggi Wentz
Daley, bless him, was full of encouragement when I put my fears to him.
"A friend of mine died while doing the pole vault," he told me, matter-of-factly. "Have you ever done anything like this before?"
The answer is simple: no. Triathlon doesn't count, since - as Daley happily pointed out - it is both seven disciplines short and over-reliant on swimming and cycling. Even the running bit in decathlon is the reverse of my usual - too fast, too explosive and way, way too short.
I vaguely remember being shown how to sprint start once by my PE teacher, and later the same term being shown how to carry a javelin to the school playing-fields without blinding the chap next to me. That - plus the usual spontaneous Beach Olympics when on holiday with mates - is about it.
Still - I've got four months. And while I've barely got room in my flat to swing a kitten, let alone a discus, I have got myself a coach.
Ian Grant was a contemporary of Daley's (he once beat him in a high jump, which Daley has certainly not forgotten) and as a coach has masterminded the careers of more than 40 international athletes. Like all good coaches, he's got a knack of making you feel good about your limited ability.
"We'll get you through this," he said confidently, even if his initial assessment of me also included the phrase "lacking natural spring".
Were Tomas Dvorak or Dean Macey noticeably lacking natural spring? Probably not, I reflected, as Ian set me a weights programme to daunt Conan and a series of medicine ball drills that make it clear how that particular piece of equipment derives its name.
The plan is simple. Each week, Ian will take me through a different event. I'll blog each week on how I'm getting on (unless I've fractured my hand or skull pole vaulting) and tap up as many current GB internationals for tips and training sessions as possible. Competition day is 30 August, at Gateshead International Stadium, the day before the British Grand Prix.
Feel free to pile in yourself whenever the mood takes. If you've competed in any of the 10 disciplines, give me all the advice you've got. If you're still doing them, let's see if we can hook up for a training session or two over the next few months. And if you simply want to cast scorn and derision, you should know that Daley's given me his number should I want assistance. And he's still a very, very strong man.
Why have I said yes to all this in the first place? Easy.
For starters, for the same reason that any right-thinking, red-blooded sports fan would. Who wouldn't want to be trained up by an expert in 10 new sports?
Then, of course, there are the legendary deeds and derring-do of Daley.
For a child growing up in a Britain starved of sporting success, the sight of him thrashing all and sundry on the way to successive Olympic gold medals was as inspiring as it was delightfully inevitable.
Here was a sport that seemingly required the ability to morph from one body shape to another for the different disciplines - light, lean and lanky for the high jump, short, squat and stocky for the shot; an explosive ball of muscle for the 100m, a study in stamina for the 1500m - and still do them all to a staggering standard.
Decathlon is the biggie, the ultimate athletics test. Other sportsmen could claim to be great at one event, but the title of "greatest athlete in the world" has always been reserved for a decathlete, from Jim Thorpe in 1912 and Bob Mathias in 1948 through Daley, Dan O'Brien and Roman Sebrle.
And the one hour bit?
I'm still not entirely sure. I think it might be partly as an extra (and somewhat unnecessary) element to the challenge, and partly because they need to clear the Gateshead track and infield for the proper athletes.
The one-hour world record is currently 7897 points, set by Robert Zmelik in 1992. To give you an idea of how much tougher it is, that's 1129 short of Sebrle's two-day record.
What will my target be? I'm open to ideas. When I asked Daley whether he'd ever done a one-hour competition, he fixed me with the sort of look that used to turn Hingsen and Wentz to jelly.
"No," he said, and then winked. "I did one in half an hour."
Next week: pole vault lesson no.1