Here we all are again, all trying desperately to avoid eye contact. My knees bend and crack on the way down, on the way up they crack again. I seem to have developed old knees. Next to me the bloke in the yellow T-shirt mutters under his breath.
The minute passes and we move on clockwise to the intermediate steps. Red weights swing. For the many the swing counterpoints the step but as always my coordination nearly takes an eye out. The machines are easier.
On to the one that is a bit like rowing, only not on a river and not moving. Not so much fun really. I reflect on Dave’s advice. Maybe I should just stick to the bike on the lighter evenings……
Dammit I have just realised what he is up to. The bloke in the yellow T isn’t muttering to himself he is counting. And despite the fact that we are ‘non competitive in any way’ he is throwing down the gauntlet. What a cad. What a git.
Well I can go one better than that. My minute is up and with a clench of the fist I riposte with a clearly audible thirteen. Take that!
I catch him from the corner of my eye, he seems crestfallen.
More steps and the adrenaline rush seems to have improved my coordination. Step, swing, lower, step back. Faultless. I am one ahead and in tune with the rest of the room.
Unbelievable. The veins on his neck are pulsing and his breath catches but he is one ahead again.
So its step, swing, lower, step back again. At this rate I shall soon need new trousers for work. I am on fire!
On to the next machine, I pump out fifteen just before he gasps his own. A split second between us but it is my hand I think. Hah, and it’s the last, so he can’t make a comeback. Loser…LOSER….LOSER.
And then I notice that he has green weights rather than the red. He has been round the whole circuit with green weights….
I feel crushed. Defeated. Humbled. Despite his handicap there was no more than a gnats hair between us. He has stolen the moral victory.
As he swaggers down the corridor with a towel at a jaunty angle he mutters under his breath.
“Same time next week…..FATBOY.”