Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Sporting Season

BOF's other career
Though January is traditionally the month for punishing work-out regimes and implausibly rigorous weekend timetables of self-improvement, the New Year spirit remains strong in the Pad. If anything, our commitment to sports has reached an almost embarrassing peak.

This morning found me late and munching my cereal at speed as I dashed for the door, when young BOF returns from his morning run.

He is buoyant with endorphins and the Battersea Park scenery.

‘Hello! Just had such a great run Kate I can’t understand why you don’t like running outside! I can’t understand why you don’t come for a run with me! Let’s go tomorrow, let me tell you about my route, OK...’

I am so impressed, I tell him, but I really have to go, as I’m about to be late for work.

‘OK! Great idea! Have a lovely day!’


‘Oh Kate, wait...’ I turn back, wondering if I’ve left behind my packed lunch. Or, indeed, my gym kit. ‘... Look at my stretch – it’s great – I learnt it at Bikram Yoga.... Look!’

I flee, shouting compliments on the complexity of the stretch over my shoulder.

Later, more follows.

No caption necessary
My Pimlico Guru, proud of her success at encouraging me to join her gym, tells me all about spinning. The ultimate city sport - it's for people with no space and no time. I must go because I’ll love it, I’m told. Because there is a man who shouts at you until you try harder.

It sounds like a cult.

But I go. Of course I do. PG gets me by implying that there’s a competitive element to spinning and I get embarrassingly excited at the thought.

When I arrive the spin-room is darkened and I can hardly make out the antlered forms of the sweaty bikes. Inspirational music blasts at club volume. I climb on the bike PG has saved for me (‘I had to fight someone off for you! The class is oversubscribed!’) and Shouting instructor spies me.

‘Has anyone not done this before?’ he asks pointedly, as the spin-crowd observe my feeble attempts to change the bike’s seat height. He swoops down.

‘HAH! (gesturing at PG) Did she bring you then? Are you ready for this? Are you?’
‘Erm...’ (Oh God, it is a cult. PG and The Shouter are in league.)
‘I’ll fix your bike then. You don’t have any water? You don’t have a towel? Oh dear me (knowing look) you really haven’t been spinning before have you now...’
(The whole class titter. They love him too.)

Forty minutes later and the walls run with sweat. As we reach the climax of ‘I Gotta Feeling’ (The Shouter: ‘You’re almost at the top of the hill now. How fit do you wanna be?? YOU DECIDE!!’) I eye the squash courts through the window and think longingly of Saturday morning’s Fight Club.

And then it’s over. The Shouter dismisses us and his adoring spinners throng round him gratefully as they leave.

‘See you next week!’ I exclaim involuntarily as I pass.

Damn you cult.


  1. At the risk of a double post, the scourge of the internet forum,

    Is the bike seat covered in second hand sweat from the previous rider/spinner? If so, I suppose this begs the question, how sweaty is the seat after you've finished?

  2. Re the comment above I believe unbelievably would be the correct word...

  3. as moist as Gary Glitter in a nursery

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