One of the many requirements when entering the ministry is that you need to go for a medical examination in order to join the Methodist Church's medical aid scheme. Presumably they want to make sure that you are fit and strong before your future congregations put you through the wringer?!
Be that as it may, in my case my doctor told me in no uncertain terms that I am overweight and need to do something about it. So with the zeal of a new convert, I joined a gym. Now previous experience has told me that the "work out - get fit" progression is not true! It's more like "work out - sweat a lot - half die - slow recovery - EVENTUALLY get fit".
So it is with a measure of empathy that I read this story about some other hapless gym victim...
A WEEK AT THE GYM: ONE MAN'S STORY...
If you read this without laughing out loud, there is something wrong with you. This is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular work-out routine.
For my 44th birthday this year, my good friend Werner purchased a week of personal training at the Virgin health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since playing for my varsity Rugby team 18 yrs ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.
I called the club and made my reservation with a personal trainer named Belinda, who identified herself as a 26 yr. old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swimwear.
Werner seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.
Started my day at 6:00am. Tough to get out of bed, but it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me. She was something of a Greek goddess with blonde hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile.
She took my pulse after 5 minutes on the treadmill. She was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attributed it to standing next to her in her Lycra aerobics outfit. I enjoyed watching the skilful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today.
Very inspiring, Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!
I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air, and then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile.
Belinda's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It's a whole new life for me.
The only way I can brush my teeth is by lying on the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a moped in the club parking lot.
Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered the other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying.
My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other rubbish, too.
Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late; it took me that long to tie my shoes.
Belinda took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the men's room. She sent Lars to find me, then, as punishment, put me on the rowing machine – which I sank.
I hate that Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anaemic little cheerleading cow. If there were a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it. Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if she didn't want dents in the floor, she shouldn't have handed me the barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.
The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?
Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.
I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank God that this week is over. I will also pray that next year, Werner (the rotten jerk), will choose a gift for me that is fun – like a root canal or a vasectomy!!
A time to count our losses - This year has been a year like no other! We have gone through highs and lows - and then more highs and more lows. The roller-coaster ride has been hectic...
15 hours ago