Ah the bravado of young men. Male pride. Egos jostling for supremacy in the urban office based jungle. The ring tones of phones on desks replace the sound of the monkey’s cackle. Team leaders shouting, “Call waiting!” replace the squarks of wild birds. But nonetheless, it is still not unusual to see a face or two like a baboons arse still walking around.
A colleague is having a go at “Insanity” the 60 day work out programme by Shaun T, not the state of being seriously mentally ill.
“I’d have a go at that too,” I say. Laying down the gauntlet that I’m some kind of “Out there” guy who loves a challenge and is completely un-phased by the thought of the hard pain and physical rigour of intense daily exercise.
Then my team leader said he wanted to do it too.
Then my friend, Sam, gave me his Insanity dvd to borrow.
I was now in a bind. That was it. I was going to have to stick to my word this time. I couldn’t lose face, not go through with it and bring shame to my family name! As well as the shame, I would also look like a dick in front of everyone at work because I bottled it.
My pride kicked in. No! Failure was simply not an option. I would go through with this exercise regime. I will sculpt myself through blood, sweat and tears into a hunk of rippling man flesh. Besides Mrs Grump probably wouldn’t mind that would she? Think about all the brownie points with Mrs Grump! I day dream and drift off to a vision of me in 60 days time doing a one armed press up from a hand stand position and smiling a big cheesy grin as my huge, pasty white muscles, glisten with a light coating of perspiration. Mrs Grump is in this vision too, clearly fighting her passionate desires. And the sound track to this vision? Well it has to be So Macho by Sinitta of course. If you haven’t heard it, You Tube it.
It is something engrained in men to show off a little. Even as boys, you’d run past the girl you fancy really quick to show how you can run like lightening, thinking that the pretty girl will be so impressed by your sprint that she would fall into your arms. But of course that is not true. Firstly, because you can run like the wind but if you look like a bulldog that has chased too many parked cars then frankly, you stand no chance. Secondly, because it’s a bit embarrassing when they say to you, “Look, we’re 16 years of age. Fast running doesn’t impress me like when we were 7. Besides I’m already going out with Nick, the rugby team captain and you’re a minger.”
Despite the programme starting on a Monday, I decide I’m going to hit it that very night, on a Friday. I know, that’s how bloody insane I am. I even convince Mrs Grump to take part. Let’s work out together. That way, not only will it be a positive couples type thing to do, I can impress with my alpha male witness the fitness approach and show her that actually I’m in pretty amazing shape, despite having done no physical exertion since November 2011 when the toilets on our floor at work were out of action meaning I had to go down two floors only to find they were in use. I then had to run up four floors. It was not only physically demanding, putting a lot of strain on my body in various ways, it was a race against time!
She’ll be blown away and will probably lose a night’s sleep, wondering why I wasn’t hand picked for the British squad for any of the Olympic events last year.
That evening, we are stood in the lounge ready to begin our Insanity journey. We are introduced to Shaun T. He looks in amazing shape. Of course he does. He’s the Daddy of insanity. The man has muscles on top of muscles. Would I look as good as that in 60 days time?
I doubt it.
Shaun T tells us we need start with the first session being a fitness test. This did not perturb me. It would be a way of gauging how naturally fit I am and reaffirm my presence as the natural athlete within the household. Mrs Grump would probably be overwhelmed by my ability.
Shaun T is joined by two people ready to do this training. I don’t know their names but let’s use some very American names. Britney and Chet. God their smiles are white. We are to record our scores and Shaun tells us that we have got to push it and go as hard as we can.
At this moment I look across at Mrs Grump. Our eyes meet. For a second I lose myself in her beautiful green eyes. We knew that we could be embarking on a 60 day fitness journey of discovery together. We would be grimacing (well, she would be), sweating profusely, (I’d probably sweat lightly) and feeling pain and discomfort as we take our bodies to the edge of what we could do (I’d probably be holding back a little, so as to not make her feel too bad). But we were doing this together and it was a moment of bonding as we acknowledged this, I imagine. It was at this point, feeling connected to my soul mate, that I said to her, “You might want to take your cardigan off.”
All exercises were for a minute each and it began after a warm up.
Exercise 1: Switch Kicks
Kicking with alternate legs as you bounce from one to the other. Count how many you do. I did pretty well at this. Some would call it amazing.
Exercise 2: Power Jacks
Feeling very warm by now but I still felt I did pretty well.
Exercise 3: Power Knees
Getting a sweat on I still power through putting the Insane in Insanity. Although I was a bit disappointed that Britney scored higher than me at her first attempt. Must be a lie.
Exercise 4: Power Jumps
Ok. So now I realise that it was not wise to have the heating on. With what appears to be anything but powerful jumps, I’m starting to struggle.
Mrs Grump, however, is still plugging away at it.
There were another four exercises to go. I won’t go into detail about how I scored. Let’s just say single figures. Mrs Grump scored consistently higher than me for these exercises.
For some reason, I was in a heap on the floor clinging to the rug, digging my fingers in as if I was being sucked into outer space. Struggling for air I resembled the Arnie dummy in Total Recall as he starved for oxygen.
Shaun T had said to have a pen and paper to record our results. At no point did he mention the need for a bucket. Yes. I had to use any remaining energy reserves and dash upstairs to the bathroom.
My attempt to impress had failed. As Mrs Grump brought some freshly dried laundry upstairs, I was to be found, at the top of the stairs, too weak to walk down them, smelling of fresh vomit, hugging the vacuum cleaner for support. You know you’ve hit rock bottom when you find solace in a vacuum cleaner.
It’s also bad when the love of your life says they never knew you were asthmatic and offers you their inhaler.