"What do you call this horrible circuit ?" I asked, short of breath, covered in a sweat I only work into when I perform bikram yoga. I was at the gym and not at yoga this morning.
"What shall we call it?" The trainer turned the question on me. I had just struggled for 30 minutes flat. It had consisted in a series of mountain climbers, then some new exercise that made burpies feel like a piece of cake, followed by kettle bar exercises, lunges and bear crawls. Has anyone done bear crawls outside the army? The series started as a set of 10, then 9, then 8 till you reached 1, and finally you shoot another series of 10s. Written language cannot convey how difficult this circuit is. You should hear me verbalize it!
I requested some good music. He cranked some Trance and I got started. I don't remember how I did. I just knew I had to complete it, without stopping, without drinking, without collapsing. I emptied my head. I listened to the music and I suffered. I suffered so much throughout the whole circuit that I couldn't see my surroundings, only my palms and legs doing their work. I wanted fitness: here I was fighting for it. In my own trance. The trainer's voice drowned in the music, but I knew I would have stopped without his corrections and instructions.
Now the lunges and the kettle exercises seemed like luxurious brakes. I needed to recover somewhere! I counted downwards and then the last series of ten. I isolated them, convinced myself: pretend these are the only ones you are doing.
The trainer screamed that I was breaking the record and I retorted that I didn't care. When I completed the circuit, I gave him one answer:
"Call this circuit Never Again. I will never ever do this again"