Friday 22 March 2013

Visiting the Health Club

Years ago when I was a reporter for a radio station I was sent to a new Health Club which had just opened in an old country manor out in the countryside.

I took with me a young reporter trainee who had just started at the station.

We were met by the owner of the club who was most eager for the free publicity. After the obligatory talk about the importance of being healthy and eating well we were invited to participate in a session which had just started in the Grand Hall of this ancient and prestigious manor.

We left our tape recorders and other gear and entered the Hall to discover that I was the only male there. My trainee looked at me and the smirk on her face said it all.

We were asked to join the group of “Club Members” right at the back so as not to disturb the session. There were about 30 or so women standing on tiptoe with arms stretched above their heads and listening intently to their instructor up front.

My colleague and I stood at the back and copied the same position as best as I could. I was never good at standing on tiptoe because of my big feet. Whenever I stand on my toes my head hits the ceiling!

Our instructor then said “Relax … arms by your side for a minute or so … now assume the plough position!”

I was suddenly faced with a dozen female bottoms pointing upwards as everyone in front of me lay down on the floor lifting their legs forward and over their heads whilst arching their back as best they could.
This was more than a hot-blooded young male could handle!

Why is it that women who go to these gym classes have to wear those skimpy leotards made of almost transparent material?

I tried unsuccessfully to copy the plough position much to the amusement of my colleague beside me. She bent forward and collapsed in a heap on the floor in a fit of stifled laughter.

The instructor then asked us all to sit on the ground cross-legged with our hands resting gently by our sides.

This is easy to do if you are slim and svelte like all the ladies in that room, including my colleague. But it is impossible in my case.

My legs just would not get crossed with each other or remain crossed. The more I tried the more I failed as I wobbled from side to side. My failed attempts were yet another source of hilarity to my colleague as I could see from her shaking breasts that she was stifling an uncontrollable fit of the giggles. The more she looked at me the more she shook like a jelly trying not to disrupt the class.

Our leader asked us to close our eyes and hum “Ommmmmm” continuously.

Apparently this helps you relax better, or in my case forget the pain in my abdomen as a result of sitting in this unnatural position. Why not let us hum whilst lying down on an easy chair?

As I hummed quietly I noticed an echo from somewhere. It was some trapped wind deep within me which had been disturbed and looking for a new location in which to travel. As it moved deep inside me it made an uncontrollable sound which led to my friend giggling a little louder.

“That’s right …” said the instructor, hearing the noise from the back, “breathe in deeply as you hum!”

My friend giggled even more to the rhythmic rumblings of my insides. I have never been pregnant, my friends, but I assure you I could feel the movements of my little baby within as I wobbled from side to side.

Our next instruction, for reasons far beyond my understanding, was to lie flat facing downwards on the ground with our legs wide open – a sort of Y shape if you could imagine that.

As I lay facing down I could see from the corner of my eye that my friend’s giggles had turned into uncontrolled laughter.

“Stop it!” I whispered sideways.

“I can’t,” she said, “your nose pointing down looks like a woodpecker trying to drill a hole into the parquet floor!”

Now that’s not a nice thing to say is it? So personal too.

A few more exercises later and the ordeal was finally over. I can assure you I’ve never been to a Health Club since.


  1. Victor, Victor, Victor....what can I say? That health club doesn't sound at all healthy for you. If it doesn't kill you with its stretches and squeezes, you'll be struck down by a thunderbolt! I think it was very wise to force yourself away from the terrible temptations you encountered.

    Oh, and thanks for the graphic description of the dysfunctional workings of your intestines. I've just eaten my lunch and now I'm thinking that was a wasted effort;-)

    Still, you are funny:-)

    God bless, Victor:-)

    1. Vicky, I was there in the line of duty. I often carried a voice-recorder with me to record interviews at new venues that opened locally, like Health Clubs, supermarkets etc ... or interviewed interesting people for various programs. Or attended concerts ... or reported on local pubs like those food critics do. All in the line of duty and a great pint!

      I did not realise they would ask me to take part. And at an all female session too !!! What where they thinking? What was I thinking?

      God bless.

    2. poor man BUT you can laugh in the face of a tragic-comdey

    3. That's right Melanie. Purely in the line of duty.

      God bless.

  2. Hee, hee, hee. But as a woman, I wouldn't like a man in a session with me. And I wouldn't want to be doing this with a co-worker of the opposite sex, either. What we do in the line of duty...

    1. Barbara, the intention was to interview the owner and perhaps the instructor and some Club Members. I took the trainee with me for job experience.

      We were then invited to take part in a session so we can say afterwards how easy and relaxing the exercises were; and enjoyable too. We couldn't refuse.

      And there I was the only male in a female exercise session.

      God bless.

  3. Hey ... I made you smile.

    God bless you Colleen.

  4. Too bad your co-worker didn't snap a picture of you in the plough position, Victor. Now THAT is something I'd like to see!

    Funny story!

    1. ME? In the plough position? There is no way I could lift my legs two inches off the ground, never mind over my head like in the picture above.

      God bless you, Mary.

  5. Don't feel bad...I wouldn't be able to do it anymore either ;) My daughter giggles when we exercise together because I have to cheat when we are stretching! Now, who, may I ask, cheats at exercise? Lol.

    1. I cheat at exercises too. I just watch the exercise videos whilst enjoying a pizza on the couch.



God bless you.