There is a new notice on the backs of the doors at my health club. I know you like me to keep you in touch with these things, so I took careful note.
least, I took careful note of the big letters. I was about to launch myself into the swimming pool so I was not wearing my glasses, which meant I couldn't read all the small print. What I could make out, despite my chronic short-sightedness,
were the letters: "PT with TLC."
I spent the next half-hour, while swimming aimlessly up and down the pool, trying to guess what the letters stood for. It was a very good thing I had something
to entertain my brain. For some reason, instead of the usual relentlessly cheerful beat of chart-toppers, powering out over the sound system, someone in charge had chosen to broadcast the kind of soulful music which usually accompanies
a relaxing massage. You know the kind I mean, it's usually called something like "Serenity" or "Birdsong" or "Dreams of Devon".
As regular readers know, I am an extremely
slow swimmer at the best of times. The accompaniment of the soporific music brought me almost to a standstill. Out of the corner of one eye, I could just about make out the hazy figure of the lifeguard, standing up every few minutes to check
if I was actually still moving. And, therefore, still alive, I presume.
At least my brain was active even if my body had slowed to something well below a snail pace. Try as I might, however,
the best interpretation of "PT with TLC" I could come up with was "Party Tea with Tasty Looking Cupcakes." I know, I know, not particularly likely in a health club but at least I tried. I have always said that, when I finally
go to meet my Maker, I would like inscribed on my gravestone the words: "She Tried Hard." Mr B says he will be sure to remember this. He has written it down on a Post-It note somewhere to make sure he doesn't forget: "She Was Very Trying."
Once I had reunited myself with my specs, I was able to read the notice properly. What it was actually offering me was a "Personal Trainer with Tender Loving Care." Now, there's a thought. Personal
trainers, by my understanding, are generally employed by the rich and famous to help them maintain a sleek, well-toned and healthy figure and so fit to grace the pages of the tabloids and OK magazine. Personal trainers, furthermore, are hard
taskmasters, working to a well-defined programme of torture designed to stretch every muscle and strain every sinew. They like to turn their charges into Triathlon competitors or Marathon runners. None of this sounds like Tender Loving Care to
What I need from a Personal Trainer is a lot of understanding. Encouragement. And most of all, a complete lack of any spark of ambition to turn me into a Super Athlete. Or any
kind of athlete.
Anyone for Party Tea with Tasty Looking Cupcakes?