So I glanced in the mirror this morning (I assure you, it was an accident) and I didn’t like what I saw. I mean, I’ve never been one of those narcissistic types that just melt with adoration at the sight of my reflection – but this was b-a-d. Maybe once I had a body that worked reasonably well. It was no Terminator, but at least it was functional. Now what passes for my muscle definition resembles a blancmange wrapped in Clingfilm, my posture is that of a jaded orangutan and my belly has been known to cause unkind people to make jokes about male pregnancy. It’s sad.
I’m not quite sure how it happened. One of the reasons I came to Bali was to start eating properly and to get fit and healthy. Lord knows I have tried. Since learning how to say lari pagi, I go for a morning run every single morning, hefting weights to ensure that I get a good cardio workout. Well, it’s more of a power-walk than an actual run. OK, would you believe a stroll? Oh all right, just one weight, and that’s actually a paperback book to read during my hearty breakfast … but at least I carry it home in the other hand. It wouldn’t do to end up with one over-developed bicep.
Running, or even jogging, is hard work. The worst part is that if I run, I jiggle. Bits of me move in ways they were never designed to move. I think I need a bra, or a corset or something. Actually, I did go for a real run of about 50 metres a few months back, followed up with walking since then. I think they call it interval training. I think an interval of a few months is perfect. My friends have been exhorting me to get up early (yeah, right) and at least go for a brisk walk on the beach every morning. I tried that, but I get distracted easily, so I end up spending most of the time watching planes landing, or watching others who are equally unenthused about committing exercise, or talking to dogs. I speak fluent dog, and it’s more fun than walking anyway.
On one of my beach walks I discovered the Bali equivalent of Muscle Beach. Under a group of palm trees, someone had left some rusty pipes with lumps of concrete attached to the ends. I watched a young Balinese man doing repeated sets of 20 curls without even breaking a sweat, then lying on the sand for another 20 bench presses. After he was well out of sight, I ambled over to have a go, but found that he had glued the weights to the beach.
It’s not as if I’m a complete slob, though. There is not a day goes by where I don’t swim four laps of my pool – sometimes even eight. And my pool is 4.8 metres long, so it’s not as if I’m slacking off. I hear that breaststroke can be quite punishing if you push yourself. And I will, just as soon as I get a little fitter.
In a temporary spasm of enthusiasm, I even looked for a gym close to me, so I wouldn’t have to walk too far. All I wanted was something with a few machines you could sit in for an hour while reading a book and having a Bintang. No good. They had machines, but they were all attached to heavy things that you had to lift, or push, or bend – all dangerous in my opinion.
There were other devices that made you run on the spot while this belt thing whizzed by underneath. If you stopped running, you would be shot backwards all the way to Nusa Dua. Insane.
No, what I need is a personal trainer to help me get fit and healthy again. One who understands that pushing one’s body to the limits of endurance is not something the gods had in mind for Bali expats. One who is as easily distracted as me, and will happily spend time watching planes or dogs while we are exercising on the beach. One who understands that nicotine is an appetite-suppressant and will happily share a quiet cigarette to support my efforts at dieting. Oh, and I’d like a flat stomach (with the abs on the outside please), and reasonable pecs and biceps and all that other macho stuff.
As long as I can find the right trainer, I’m willing to devote all the time it needs to achieve my goal. I reckon two weeks should just about do it. Any recommendations?
Vyt Karazija writes a blog at http://borborigmus.wordpress.com and can be emailed at email@example.com.