A Juicy Greek Leopard and the Art of Gym

It all started at an open day, when I eyed a garish pair of lycra, rainbow-coloured leopard print gym pants. The lady said “Try them on”, as I did I felt them constrict, she said, “they’re good, they will hold you in”. Never one to feel constrained, I whipped them off and asked for a larger pair.
A day later having taken a gym sabbatical a little too seriously, I am ready again. I step into a SHAPE class, the buff instructor asks, “Anyone new to the class.” I put up my hand like I’m twelve. He asks, “Done any Body conditioning?” in Greek I am sure that means, “Do you cook with olive oil?”
I shake my head and hear a snicker from the older lady in front of me. She says “Really?” she’s so thin, shame, I want to pull her by her over bleached ponytail but I feel it may snap.
We are told to collect an array of weights, a sweet man in pink and orange (my fav colours, for real) comes to ensure that I’ve put the weights on the bar properly and I am grateful because I could just imagine me getting the weight to fly like an ancient Greek discus thrower at the Olympic games. (#just had to put Olympic in somewhere).
The music starts and our instructor moves like he doesn’t even have to go for lessons on, So You Think you can Dance, he’s jiving away and I’m nervously playing catch up trying not to grab my reflection in the wall to wall mirrors. Why didn’t I just wear All Black? (look what it did for New Zealand)
Rainbow leopard print is difficult to hide and I see parts of me everywhere like a kid in that weird section of the funfair. The instructor smiles at me and he thinks I’m smiling back, but with my big teeth even a grimace looks like a smile.
We move, we pump, we grind and I try not to look at the clock, but I do every few minutes. The lentil feta salad and calamari tentacles from last night at Mo’s are finding their way back; I have to distract myself from the dance moves. Ooops I’ve forgotten to bring water… I should leave, surely they won’t notice. I wait a little and notice that Mrs Biltong Stick in front of me has a tattoo, it’s turned green. Note to self: no tattoo’s over 60, blue mixed with yellow (from the sun) makes green, a scorpion with age can look like a lobster.
We’re doing the best part now, stretching and relaxation, I’m even smiling for real. Mrs Biltong turns kindly to commend me and I admit inwardly that it would be great to be that fit at her age. Another couple comes to chat and actually I’m starting to like the look of the Indigo I can see in the pants reflecting back at me. I go and put the weights back and my eye catches someone’s scrawl on a white board, written there is:
You R stronger than you believe
Plato is never far, I take the pocket of wisdom and smirk off feeling quite proud of myself. Walking down the stairs I lose my balance a little and hold on to the railing, yslaaaik exercise can be dangerous.

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