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Fitness first but don’t look in the mirrors

April 23, 2010

Fitness First sign

Monitors so no-one misses a second's worth of vital news

I’m now wondering where on earth the last four months have gone and feeling really panicked about whether I’ve trained enough.  Yes I feel fitter but that’s not a surprise as I realise I was doing very little in the scheme of things.  In my worst moments I envisage what it would be like to get up on the third day of the trek in a state of extreme exhaustion feeling that it was impossible to go on.  Only time will tell.  Fitness First offered a circuit training class to Gulf for Good challengers this Friday and I leapt at the chance.  Being inside (i.e. with air conditioning) it was not a crack of dawn start which gave me time to get up at a reasonable time, walk the dogs and have a leisurely breakfast.  Gulf for Good had set us another sneaky challenge – finding how to get there.  I hadn’t been into the Dubai International Financial Centre before and managed to park and find building 3, level 1 without the aid of a compass, but it was nip and tuck.

Dubai Financial and Investment Centre

DIFC - looking through the gate. The yellow thing is a sculpture.

DIFC is an oasis of gleaming glass and shining black marble.  I was astonished at the serried rows of equipment inside Fitness First – I can’t help but think of hamsters on a wheel – but our instructor Ellie was friendly and welcoming.  She did her best to put us at our ease noticing, I think, the frankly terrified looks on some of our faces.

Ellie, our instructor

Ellie, our Fitness First instructor

Reading about a circuit training class is probably only marginally less painful than doing one so I won’t bore you.  Suffice to say it was really hard work (especially trying to balance on the fitness ball – a new experience for me!) but really worthwhile.  I definitely felt like I had worked off most of the Stilton I have eaten this week (read more about this).  Ellie was very encouraging and devised some particularly inventive ways of getting us to throw our bodies into a variety of energetic and extraordinary postures.  She looked very elegant at all times and showed off immaculately sculpted biceps in the arm movements.  I had to turn away from the full length mirrors especially as, at one point, we looked like we were in Monty Python’s Ministry for Silly Walks.

Breifing at start of class

Ellie explaining what we are in for.

I should have left a Hansel and Gretel-like trail of crumbs back to my car as I was completely disoriented inside the gleaming building.  Although I might have been tempted to eat any crumbs.  I was absolutely ravenous and on my circuitous route back to my car passed by many cafes and restaurants.  I haven’t eaten a burger that wasn’t homemade for years but one place seemed to be calling to me!  I resisted, but only just.

Gourmet burger kitchen

Temptation - gourmet burger kitchen

It’s hard to believe in two weeks exactly I’ll be in Lebanon.  This fills me with excitement and trepidation.  Thanks to everyone who has helped me get this far in my training, motivation and fundraising.  All comments welcome.

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