"Come on give it some effort," Babs says, slapping my back and interrupting my Monday morning self flagellation session, otherwise known as 'the gym.' She leans over to scrutinise the screen on my treadmill. "Dear me, you've can't have that set on 'walk with a 3% incline,' me Granny can do better than that and she's on a Zimmer frame." She moves it up to 12%, turns the speed up to 'jog.' Five seconds later my countryside ramble has become rapid ascent on South Face of Eiger. Without ropes or oxygen.
"That'll give you a bum of steel," she says patting hers to prove it.
"If I live to see it," I mutter under breath.
"What's that?" she asks.
"Errm, I'd love to see it." I lie, fighting to stay upright.
"Good," she grins, sets timer for ten minutes and says cheerfully, "You need to feel your fat jiggling to know it's working, I'll be back shortly to see how you're doing, so no wimping out on me now."
She is not personal trainer but used to be. However she is still fitness fanatic, who has decided I need help.
She runs, does Pilate's classes and gym sessions everyday and swims a mile, three times a week 'for fun.' I decide she needs help, of a different kind.
"Anyway, where's your partner in crime today," she asks referring to Bee's absence, "busy painting?"
I nod in reply because I can't speak as am now puffing away like steam engine, knees pumping like pistons. Bee is at home creating artwork for a show next month and missing out on all this joy. I really wanted to stay home and write but am afraid of becoming petrified by arthritis and ending up like those fossilised people they found at Pompeii.
To top it all, across gym I see woman Bee and myself call 'Madge,' after 'you know who.' Today she is wearing top that is cropped to show off a tanned and toned torso which is neatly exposed above cargo pants, that are cinched into her 15" waist. She puts on leather gloves like a racing car driver's to lift weights the equivalent of a Fiat 500 and doesn't even break a sweat. I can only gasp in awe and try not to stare.
Finished on Treadmill (in more ways than one) with wobbly knees I step on the dread scales before I go. Despite yesterday's walk on Hadrian's Wall, not eating last bit of Christmas cake, plucking eyebrows and shaving legs, I am still same weight as last week. I glance back at Madge, annoyingly she's still hauling away, holding a full conversation and worse, she's not even pink yet.
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