Egbeyemi Ridwan Ridwan itibaren Pallano Math, Gujarat, Hindistan
** spoiler alert ** Ok Ok so I just have to share these few pages in this book. I was just about falling off my chair I was laughing so hard...."...I'm actually quite looking forward to doing a workout, because I bought this fab DKNY exercise outfit in the sales last year, and this is the first time I've had the chance to wear it! I did mean to join a gym, in fact I even went and got a registration pack from Holmes Place in Fulham. But then I read this really interesting article which said you could lose loads of weight just by fidgeting. Just by twitching your fingers and stuff! So I thought I'd go for that method instead, and spend the money I saved on a new dress. But it's not that I don't like exercise or anything. And if I'm going to live in New York, I'll have to go to the gym every day. I mean, it's the law or something. So this is a good way to acclimatize. As I reach the entrance to the firness center I glance at my reflection---and I'm secretly quite impressed. They say people in New York are all pencil thin and fir, don't they? But I recon I look much fitter than some of these characters. I mean, look at that balding guy over there in the gray T-shirt. He looks like he's never been near a gym in his life! "Hi there," says a voice. I look up and see a muscular guy in trendy black Lycra coming toward me. "I'm Tony. How are you today?" "I'm fine, thanks," I say, and casually do a little hamstring stretch. (At least, I think it's my hamstring. The one in your leg.) "just here for a workout." Nonchalantly I swap legs, clasp my hands, and stretch my arms out in front of me. I can see my reflection on the other side of the room---and thought I say it myself, I look pretty bloody cool. "Do you exercise regularly?" asks Tony. "Not in a gym," I say, reaching down to touch my toes---then changing my mind halfway down and resting my hands on my knees. "but I walk a lot." "Great!" says Tony. "On a treadmill? Or cross-country?" "Round the shops, mostly." "OK..." he says doubtfully. "But I'm often holding quite heavy things," I explain. "You know, carrier bags and stuff." "Right..." says Tony, not looking that convinced. "Well...would you like me to show you how the machines work?" "It's all right," I say confidently. "I'll be fine." Honestly, I can't be bothered listening to him explain every single machine and how many settings it has. I mean, I'm not a moron, am I? I take a towel from the pile, drape it around my neck, and head off toward a running machine, which should be fairly simple. I step up onto the treadmill and survey the buttons in front of me. A panel is flashing the word "time" and after some thought I enter "40 minutes," which sounds about right. I mean, that's how long you'd go on a walk for, isn't it? It flashes "program" and after scrolling down the choices I select "Everest," which sounds much more interesting than "hill walk." Then it flashes "level." Hmm. Level. I look around for some advice---but Tony is nowhere to be seen. The balding guy is getting onto the treadmill next to mine, and I lean over. "Excuse me," I say politely. "Which level do you think I should choose?" "That depends," says the guy. "How fit are you?" "Well," I say, smiling modestly. "You know..." "I'm going for level 5, if it's any help," says the guy, briskly punching at his machine. "OK," I say. "Thanks!" Well, if he's level 5, I must be at least level 7. I mean, frankly, look at him---and look at me. I reach up to the machine and punch in "7"---then press "start." The treadmill starts moving, and I start walking. And this is really pleasant! I really should go to the gym more often. Or, in fact, join a gym. But it just shows, even if you don't work out, you can still have a level of natural baseline fitness. Because this is causing me absolutely no problems at all. In fact, it's far too easy. I should have chosen level--- Hang on. The machine's tilting upward. And it's speeding up. I'm running to catch up with it. Which is OK. I mean, this is the point, isn't it? Having a nice healthy jog. Running along, panting a little, but that just means my heart is working. Which is perfect. Just as long as it doesn't get any--- It's tilting again. And it's getting faster. And faster. I can't do this. My face is red. My chest is hurting. I'm panting frenziedly, and clutching the sides of the machine. I can't run this fast. I have to slow down a bit. Feverishly I jab at the panel---but the treadmill keeps whirring round---and suddenly cranks up even higher. oh no. Please, no. "Time left: 38.00" flashes brightly on a panel in front of me. THIRTY-EIGHT MORE MINUTES? I glance to my right---and the balding guy is sprinting easily along as though he's running through a field of daisies. I want to ask him for help, but I can't open my mouth. I can't do anything except keep my legs moving as best I can. But all of a sudden he glances in my direction---and his expression changes. "Miss? Are you all right?" He hastily punches at his machine, which grinds to a halt, then leaps down and jabs at mine. The treadmill slows down, then comes to a rather abrupt standstill---and I collapse against one of the side bars, gasping for breath. "Have some water, " says the man, handing me a cup. "Th-thanks," I say, and stagger down off the treadmill, still gasping. My lungs feel as if they're about to burst, and when I glimpse my reflection opposite, my face beet red. "Maybe you should leave it for today," says the man, gazing at me anxiously. "Yes," I say. "Yes, maybe I will." I take a swig of water, trying to get my breath back. "I think actually the trouble is, I'm not used to American machines." "Could be," says the man, nodding. "They can be tricky. Of course, this one," he adds, slapping it cheerfully, "was made in Germany." "Right," I say after a pause. "Yes. Well, anyway. Thanks for your help." "Any time," says the man---and as he gets back onto his treadmill I can see him smiling.