She says if I'm good, she'll take me to a Mexican resort and *&^%$£ Wow!
It took romance, as ever, to get this rotund reporter going again.
Where it all began: London, 1963
Although this out-of-shape old git used to run a large gym for Bowman-Shaw's Universal Health Clubs in Oxford St back in the 1960's, it was recruiting members and attempting to seduce the pretty ones, rather than utilizing the equipment, that took up my time.
Clive Bowman Shaw and wife, Tania, were eventually hauled in by the long arm of the law: their purpose had never been about the nation's waistline or flabby muscles, but about charging huge yearly membership fees to line the owner's pockets.
(I believe they were connected with the venerable and long gone Vic Tanney organization in the USA at one stage).
This scribe was beginning his world adventures before Clive and Tania were tarred and feathered: Australia, the USA; Mexico...the scheming directors of Universal were soon forgotten.
My early working life was very physical
My good health and muscular physique when young were earned "on the playing fields of Eton..."
Did I just write that? Not true, of course, but I have always wanted to say it. No, iron six-packs, delts, lats, abdominals - all down to hard graft on farms in Romney Marsh and Yorkshire for two years; the Royal Navy for four more and Clearers Scrap Metal and House Clearance Co., Ltd. of Thanet., along with Bernie Flanagans Scrap Metal at Deptford.
Then the rot set in.
I did little exercising for 6 years in Oz, apart from copious copulating, even less for 8 in the USA and none at all, if you discount lifting a tequila glass, for 15 years in Mexico. Nothing at all for the last 14 years as a pensioner exept some strolling; half-heartedly pushing the pedals of a rotting exercise bike, and watching copious coupling on Youporn!
Regular walking did keep the wolf from the door
Yes, I had continued to walk a bit all this time, but the intervening years between callow youth and wrinkled pensioner had left a blob stumbling around. I still had the six-pack and all the other muscles, although atrophied more than a little, but you would have to send a camera-probe down through 4 inches of grease to see them!
I might have happily carried on, a Billy Bunter lookalike, until it was time to put me under the sod, or into the flames.
Love steps in!
But what may turn out to be my saving is getting to know a lady who not only works out 24/7, but instructs others in taking care of themselves. At 60, she looks like the 30-year-old Wonderwoman!
We are actually yet to meet! I have seen pictures of her, but managed to hide my image behind a smoke-screen of bulldust. I would sooner be arrested by the FBI (again) than expose my wobbling waist in front of one of these awful webcams.
Don't you miss the days when new lovers communicated with scented letters, flowers, and breathy phone calls on a proper telephone; she crossing and uncrossing her shapely legs; him playing pocket billiards? Surely more meaningful than all this electronic smoke and mirrors?
Time is of the essence
So I have just over two months to lose XXXX pounds; no, I am too ashamed to put that in print, besides, she reads my articles.
Not only lose the bulges but let a few muscles and my high cheekbones, low hipbones and that stimulating pubic bone show through again. I once resembled Marlon, you know? No, not Brando you idiots, Perkins, the one on the USA animal shows for an insurance company (it was Brando but I never boast!).
I choose a torture chamber
Well hidden in the back of a commercial district, probably so the screams or attending ambulances wouldn't upset the neighbors, Unique Health and Fitness is ensconced in an unremarkable building.
Well, it's what's inside? I asked self...self smirked!
But - Surprise! Groups of gleaming dumb-belles were on benches lifting gleaming dumbbells (gotcha). And guys, pespiration flying off them as they hoofed it on treadmills, looked to be having as much fun as the folks in Buchenwald (or Texas). (Note: I did not say "sweat" Horses sweat, men perspire and women gently glow...no? tell my gran.).
I screwed up my courage and registered
A receptionist-cum-trainer, Ashley leaped over the registration desk and smiled at me. "Robert Challen," I ventured, screaming inside as he crushed my paw.
"Need to lose a few pounds," I stammered and - shaky titter - "have only two months to do it."
"Have you tried praying," Ashley suggested and he wasn't even smiling. These young tigers today have no feelings for their elders and buttered, er, betters.
"Hop on the scales," he said, successfully trapping the scales underfoot before they could escape to the changing rooms.
"Mmmm," he frowned, "18 stone, well, we should see some early results anyway. (If you don't know what a "stone" is, please stay uninformed).
So I signed on for a month, cagily thinking I might not live longer than that.
Was it as bad as I had expected? Worse...much worse!
This tale jumps two days ahead, after the first work out...
It was bloody shameful!!!
But I still feel as if I have just fought Tyson over 300 rounds. Every muscle group in my body feels full full of some obscure, pain-causing chemical. She, the girlfriend, told me with some relish that this was the case and it was known as "Lactic Acid," which I thought was confined to milk.
Don't hurt her feelings, but she was WRONG, as many of you will be, too; (I just looked it up on Wiki)
This fact will surprise many readers
The Club tells me it's not lactic acid at all that leaves us weary, pain-wracked and wilting after a hard work-out, but micro-fractures in the muscles themselves that cause that aching pain and heavy legs.
Hot baths and pain-killers help, but it takes a good few days for all those tiny tears to fill in with new cells...the "no gain without pain" syndrome.
I knew it; they want to kill me!
Microbloodyfractures!!! This bunch of sadistic swine are tearing all my muscles up, and didn't even warn me!
Oh, well, £70 down the drain, lovely lady or not, wild horses won't get me back there!
More on this at a later date
(I wish I could stick with that macho attitude. But...this chickadee's worth a bit of effort, stay tuned for a later bulletin...)