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The Finely Tuned Athlete

I broke a promise to myself that I never would, and joined a gym about six months ago.I made a schoolboy error right off the bat, in that I joined the same gym as a much-fitter friend of mine was already using, and went for a workout with him.As a warm-up, he decided to race me a kilometre on the rowing machines, on the highest possible setting. After a wheezing four and a half minutes, I ground to a halt in a distinctly silver-medal winning position.

As the less charitable would put it: I lost."How was that?" My friend asked brightly, looking no more than fractionally ruffled.Like a true man, I lied. "Yeah, not bad," I said, pretending it was no big deal as the room spun crazily around me and my blood pressure went somewhere north of lethal. Sweat had pooled on the floor around my machine, as had mercifully indistinguishable tears and blood.

Since then, things have improved somewhat (my best period in terms of overall satisfaction was when I damaged the ligaments in my knee and therefore didn't have to go for a while) but the trouble with things like this is that it's you'll never be as good as you want to be. You just have to do what you can.Today, however, I came up across something I couldn't ever hope to be good at.I was on an exercise bike, watching the wall-mounted TV, and "Countdown" was on.I can't do Countdown, and it makes me sulk. I can't play "Minesweeper" on a computer, either, but this is a separate and equally sore point.

Countdown, for those who don't know, is the mid-afternoon programme for students and elderly people who are trying to prove their brains aren't entirely turned to slush, yet. The basic premise is that two people you'd like to punch pick 9 random letters (asking for various numbers of vowels and consonants) and then try to make the longest word possible. I usually end up with "Cat.

" Or, once, "Dog.".Then at the half-way mark, there's a maths round where a contestant picks random numbers and then a computer sets a total.

The two smarmy types try to make the random numbers conform to the total. For example, if the random numbers were 10 and 5, they would have to try to make fifteen, and would do it by adding one to the other.Sadly, it's never this easy, and the above sum is at the outside edge of my mathematical talents.Then, after thirty seconds, the smug bastards tell you that they're within two places of the total, when you're still somewhere in the "+/- 100" bracket, and then Carol Vorderman, the show's quivering female lackey, comes out and solves it all with her mutant adding ability whilst simultaneously setting the cause of feminism back ten years every time she's ordered to put more letters up and simperingly complies.I might just be saying that because I'm bitter, to be fair.

I don't like being made to feel stupid, least of all by people in their twenties who wear cardigans, who seem to comprise a large percentage of the contestants. Today, whilst I was watching, the following letters came up: "GAIDORTSE.".

I may not have the precise order correct, but those were the letters. I know this because, whilst pedalling my exercise bike with increasing desperation, I frantically managed to create the following words:.GOAT.

(A horned, woolly animal.).GOATS. (More than one horned, woolly animal.).

GROAT. (A currency once used on the TV show Noel's House Party. I'm not sure it's really a word.

).GROATS. (I'm lying, this didn't occur to me at the time.).

GOAD. (To prod.).

GOADS. (I didn't think of this one, either.).STOAT.

(It's only since I've reviewed things on paper that I realise I didn't have enough Ts for this small, furry animal.).GREAT. (Very good. Not applicable here.).

?Time was by now well and truly up. The game was passed over to the first smarmy, cardigan wearing bastard. "ASTEROID," he said.?I got off the bike and went for a shower.

.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Luke_Haines.

By: Luke Haines


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