Monday 24 October 2016

Visiting A 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! I was really uncomfortable; I tell you.

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. My stomach was gurgling in tune to my uncomfortableness. As I wobbled from left to right the echo from within accompanied my every movement 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 to and fro.

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. Hi Victor! I feel for you, my husband can't sit and cross his legs "Indian style" either. Never could. I think it's wonderful that you tried, and all for a story too. How was the item received? Did you at least get some good feedback?
    I'm sure your sidekick had many times when she admired your experience and writing abilities. Humility is a learned quality that's for sure. Hope she got there!

    1. The radio interview and my "write-up" of how good the Health Club was went OK. My assistant kept laughing at me whenever she remembered the experience.

      Sitting cross-legged was near impossible. I kept wobbling left and right.

      Thank you for your visit, Ceil. God bless you.

  2. These days even football players are doing yoga to improve their flexibility. I'm with you--NO THANK YOU!

    1. I tried yoga once, but found it a bit of a stretch.

      After my first week of yoga classes, I found that I was still inflexible, but I had really improved my ability to hold in farts for long periods of time.

      Sorry, Lulu. I hope you don't think I'm too rude!

      God bless you, my friend.

    2. I'm so relieved that you thought it was funny. Thank you.

      God bless you, Lulu.



God bless you.