I’ve got a short term deal on a local gym so I’m making the most of it. Yesterday I stumbled into what was definitely referred to as a Fast Class. Which meant it would be over with fast. Hopefully. It was 8am and I staggered onto the gym floor. ‘Ok where’s the fast class?’ I muttered to a sick makingly wide awake young man with bright eyes and a goatee, hoping for a classload of equally tired, grumpy people I could hide behind. ‘Put these on,’ he said, smiling, so before I realised what the hell was going on, I had shrugged into a pair of minging sweaty boxing gloves. Hang on! This wasn’t a fast class! This was . . er . . .boxing? On my own? ‘Yeah it’s you and me,’ said Elijah with the goatee. ‘Where’s everyone else?’ I whimpered. He ignored me. ‘Punch ten times both sides then we go down by two’. Eh? What? Counting and exercise? I feebly punched the wrong number. ‘No – put your whole body into it!’ shouted Elijah. It’s very very hard to punch sulkily but I managed it. When I’d punched the wrong number and dislocated my spine ten times it was time for a ‘rest’. ‘Round the track!’ snapped Elijah. I ran round the track, grumbling. Then I had to punch again. I tried pleading inability to breathe or stand up but Elijah wasn’t having any of it. ‘You punch like a girl!’ he said. Finally I socked him a punch he was grudgingly pleased with. ‘Come back tomorrow,’ he said in a kind but butch voice. I kept thinking of that bit in Ben Hur when Charlton Heston is chained to the ship. ‘Hate keeps a man alive Number Six’. Doesn’t quite work as ‘Sulking helps a girl to punch.’ I’ve never been so glad when forty five minutes was up. All I can remember after that is slowly collapsing to the ground and whimpering. I’ll never laugh at Rocky again.
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