Excitement! Sweat! Nostalgia! The lovely Lainey gave me a guest pass for Fancy Gym, the temple of fitness that used to be my second home before I moved across the Forth for love. We went along to Body Pump, hosted by Kiwi Vanessa, a.k.a the best instructor in the universe.
Last time I was in her buff and bossy presence was January 2005, during Operation Wedding Dress. She was as fit and strong as ever; I think I counted 50 kilos on her bar for the squats. She corrected my form during that track – my wonky knee wasn’t tracking properly. I can’t believe she noticed me. Woohoo!
I’ve missed Body Pump so much. The plastic clickity-clack of the weights, the ridiculous sense of anticipation during the Warm-up, the mutual nods of agony with your neighbour when the evil Chest track is over. Without thinking I set up my step at my old spot up the back on the left-hand side, right next to the mirror. During 2003 and 2004, most Mondays and Thursdays, I’d keep one eye glued to my reflection, searching for signs of shrinkage.
But most of all I’d missed the motivational banter, and Vanessa did not disappoint.
"PAIN IS TEMPORARY!" she bellowed as we grunted through the Shoulder track, "BUT FAILURE IS FOREVER!"