Lunges, Burpees, Crunches and Other Torture Devices

“You have to trust me,” my personal trainer says. “If I think you can do something, you can do it. I’m not going to make you do anything you can’t manage.”
I am sitting collapsed in a heap on the floor after some ghastly alternate leg lunge experience.
“I didn’t say you could sit down,”. She says. “Get up: we’re going to do forty seconds of burpees and then rest. Stand up!” She says.
I drag myself to my feet. “Can’t we do the abs exercises where I lie on my back? I hate those jumping up and die ones.”
“Afterwards,” she says, pressing the button on the timer.
Argh, burpees are awful. Starting with legs outstretched behind me and hands grasping the edge of the step, I pull my legs in, jump up, stretch my arms to the ceiling, and then jump back down, stretching my legs out behind me. Repeating this about twenty times, finally the buzzer rings.
Collapsing on the floor, I take a gulp of my water.
“Well done,” my trainer says. “I’m proud of you.”
I haven’t caught my breath yet, and this is the easy version of the exercise: the harder one involves touching the floor each time, rather than the step.
“I hate that one,” I say, when I’ve finally stopped huffing and puffing.
“But you can do it, you did it,” she says. “You have to stop complaining so much. I know what you can do. You have to listen to me.”
“Sorry,” I say.
“And stop apologising,” she says. “Now lie on your back on the step, pick up the weighted ball and we’re going to do crunches with outstretched legs, lifting the ball towards your feet.”
These ones aren’t too bad, the abs exercises where I’m on my back, at least I’m lying down.
We do several circuits of combinations of different core exercises.
“All done,” she says at the end of the session. “I’m proud of you. So, how do you feel after six weeks of training? You’ve lost weight.”
“Ah, good,” I say.
“So what do you eat?” She asks.
“Um porridge, omelette, quorn stir fry,” I say, because that is pretty much my three meals most day. “I drink quite a lot,” I say.
“What do you drink?” She asks.
My trainer is French, she will understand, I think.
“Wine, gin, champagne, prosecco,” I list my tipples of choice.
“What wine?”
“Chianti, Rioja, Sauvignon,” I say.
“You should stick to champagne,” she says. “It’s got the fewest calories.”
“Ok, I will try that,” I say. There are certainly benefits of having a French personal trainer, such as the dietary advice.
The training is making a difference: already I am finding some movements easier and I’ve added various new exercises to my repertoire. I do need to stop complaining so much, of course I do, but so often I haven’t had a good night’s sleep because the football’s gone on till nearly midnight, or I’ve had too much to drink the previous night.
“How’s the dating?” She says, as she stretches my leg out.
“I’m having a rest for a few days,” I say. “Going to see my kitten and my parents and spend the night there.”
I can’t wait to get to my parentals and have a couple of proper meals that I haven’t had to cook myself and snuggle up on the sofa with my baby kitten.
“Anymore dates lined up?” She asks me, stretching out my other leg.
“There’s a couple over the weekend, but they might cancel,” I say, “A lot of them do. But my first one is on Saturday.”
“OK, you worked well today,” she says. “I’ll see you next week. have a good weekend.”
“You too,” I say, as I rush off to the station to go to my parentals for lunch.

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