THE FLESH CRIES OUT
Bangkok, 21 June 2015
After years of bugging by our children, especially our daughter, and after watching a couple of our friends Go the Way of All Flesh or nearly so, my wife and I have committed to a serious training regime. Twice a week, a personal trainer turns up at our apartment block and in the very rudimentary gym which we have (it’s really just a common space where some exercise machines have been installed) he puts us through one hour of rigorous exercises. In addition, my wife goes to a gym every day for an hour, while I do (more or less, depending on my schedule) half an hour’s worth of exercises at home in the evening. We’ve been at it for three and a half months.
I don’t know, I feel that after a suitable period of shock at the beginning – we have, to be very, very frank, done bugger-all exercise for nigh on forty years – we should now be looking forward to going to our twice-weekly routine and feel happy after it
perhaps not as blissfully happy as this couple, but at least somewhat satisfied.
Yet it is not so. As we go down to the makeshift gym we feel like what those poor people in Singapore must feel like as they go to get 100 lashes for dropping chewing gum on the pavement or whatever, and the exercises themselves are still excruciating. We both feel like poor old Laocoön and his sons as we put our protesting bodies through the routines
while when we try to get up from a floor exercise we both look and feel like this dying Gaul
Understand me, I’m not hoping to look like Hercules by the end of all this
Something like this would do me very nicely
while my wife would be more than happy to end up looking like any of these three Graces
In fact, to be completely honest, I wouldn’t mind ending up looking like this as long as I was feeling good.
But I don’t feel good, I just feel like this at the end of the one hour
and continue to feel like this for the rest of the day.
Will it ever be different?
Herakles: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ad/Herakles_Farnese_MAN_Napoli_Inv6001_n01.jpg/250px-Herakles_Farnese_MAN_Napoli_Inv6001_n01.jpg (in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farnese_Hercules)
God: http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/culture_test/100ideasart_2.jpg (in http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/10/from-greek-sculpture-to-graffiti-100-ideas-that-changed-art/264165/)