There is nothing sexy about lying semi dressed on a vibrating plate surrounded by a football team. The media might have lead you to believe otherwise. I however, not looking like Eva Mendes on a good day, found myself in the most levelling of positions, in the gym yesterday. The woman at the reception, with impossibly well- arched eyebrows, told me the vibrator was included in my membership. I smiled (Being British, with no comprehension of what this meant) and secretly hoped never to have his conversation again. I soon began to have a vague comprehension, when faced with the reflecting mirrored wall of doom.
“This does not feel like exercise, but wait until tomorrow…” chirped the gym instructor. I was then asked to hold a series of utterly undignified positions. For yoga aficionados incidentally, they made the downward dog, look socially acceptable.
I am not sure I ever want to see the build up to an earthquake ,but it can’t be as terrifying as watching your entire body being shaken at break neck speed with one leg in the air, in front of a hall length mirror. Not unless you lift your eyes to the right and see that the whole of the gym has been swarmed by young men all wearing the same coloured tracksuits. Oh did I fail to mention they also train footballers here? Oh right…the hotel had failed to mention that to me, as well. Not only did the machine make an incredible amount of noise, but there was no getting away from the fact that I was lying upside down watching people do normal gym things, like use exercise bikes, pull weights or go on a cross trainer.
I however was like an experiment for a new blender, with a vibrating platform, holding aloft my five year old trainer at the end of my flexed foot. Yes, amongst the footballers and gym bunnies, not only was I short and unfit, but the instructor had decided to make me look like a freak of nature, at the same time. Incidentally, anyone endowed with an hour- glass figure should not attempt this without the structural support of the Eiffel tower. Lying with my left foot in the air (you have to change feet , to even out the embarrassment- might be something to do with the chakras…I’m not entirely sure) the rest of my body was shaken with incredible force. Imagine the mandatory photos you have taken inadvertently on roller coasters at theme parks. They capture nano -second of unflattering horror, now magnify that by half an hour, with a very public audience. I think somewhere in my public school upbringing, they would have called this character building. I was relieved when the machine finished and I could blend in with the ageing ex pats on the cross trainers. Why did the personal trainer keep having to repeat my name so loudly?
I can honestly say this was nearly as embarrassing as my worst ever teenage moment in history. I had waited what seemed like a lifetime, for the boy I venerated to sit opposite me at lunch. He did this, because there were no other spaces. I flashed him a brace constrained smile and made sure my elbows were not on the table. I ignored flipping a floured bread roll onto my kilt and struck up a conversation, as I did so, the rubber band from my tooth brace, flicked and ended up on the Shepherds Pie, on his fork. I saw it, he saw it, I ignored it ,(outwardly) he put down his cutlery. The three minutes that followed were in slow motion. If I had thought the fork sharp enough, I might have contemplated stabbing myself in the throat with the offending item of cutlery. I, in some kind of nerve related, good –looking, boy, Tourrettes manoeuvre- elbowed my cup of tea, off my tray. It was difficult to ignore the steam rising from the parquet floor. It was the unsaid in the public arena that was the cruel judge. I left the gym grateful that although I had been shaken in a most unbecoming manner, at least I hadn’t suffered any dental related blunders.