It is 12:21pm on Friday 1st May, as I start this blog post, I am back from what I can only call a legendary session at Pav’s gym. (We were there from 9.30am until nearly midday and I was pushed to the limits of my capabilities.) Not only that but we saw a famous look alike and when I got back and switched on my mobile phone, I had a text from Nuffield. My own gym was closed due to an ‘overnight incident’ in the spa! You could not make this up if you tried.
I heard Em leave the house around 7am and I got up and switched on my phone, it was 7:58am precisely, we were on schedule, plus the sun was shining brightly through the window. Time to get up and get ready. I went next door to wake up Pav, giving him a time check. He commented too on how wonderful the weather was and it was time to get up.
I went downstairs, jumped on the laptop and put on the television. Meanwhile Pav was busy preparing breakfast. This was going to be very different from my usual bowl of Kellogg’s Start. We had a PHd Whey Chocolate Shake, followed by Jordan’s Porridge Oats with honey and brown sugar. It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. The shake was very sweet and not that thick and went down the hatch pretty well. The porridge was quite thick but still very sweet and edible. I was buzzing a little and ready to hit the gym. Pav meanwhile had to go the extra mile with his BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) tablets, mixed into a Lucozade Hydro Active drink.
I of course had to get online and update the status on both Facebook and Twitter, before visiting my regular blog haunts (for a double hit, as I had not read any from Thursday either!). It felt strange being on MSN on a week day and not being at work. However, eventually I dragged myself away from the screen, got my stuff together and we were off to Caversham. I was really buzzing (even before having a single drop of any of the shakes!). Originally the idea of a gym exchange had been a bit of a chore but now I was looking forward to it so much that it was going to become the highlight of the weekend. I was raring to go, punching the air in front of me and making manly grunting noises as you do (in the company of other men). I had played “Gonna Fly Now” several times from my blog to set the mood. I was all set.
The gym is in Caversham, a mile or so down the road. We parked in the blazing sunshine of the Waitrose car park and then took the stairs to the gym. (Why do all gyms have stairs somewhere in the equation?). Pav asked about the guest past and we went through to do the bureaucracy There is always form filling but not too much beyond the standard health questionnaire and address identification. Then I was issued with a seven day pass and we were off. Pav gave me a quick preview of the free weights room (we just walked passed it on the way to the changing room). I already had on my gear, so just dumped my holdall into a locker, grabbed my gloves, towel and programme card and we were off. First thing is first, the warm up.
We headed into the cardio room, which was quite small. Time for the weigh in. Ladies and gentlemen, the challenger, Terry “The Feather” Tegala weighs in at 64.5 kilograms. Meanwhile the current champion, undisputed lighter weight champion of the world, Pav, “The Beast” Khural weights in at 75.6kg (A 10.1kg difference) Then we headed up the tight steel grey spiral staircase up to the bikes and cross trainers. There were only two spin bikes free but as Pav walked around the corner, he noticed a cross trainer free with the bike next door free also. I jumped on the cross trainer and Pav jumped on the bike, however, I did a full ten minute work out while Pav did just five minutes but then he was going to be pumping some proper iron in a few minutes times. While Pav did some stretches, I finished off and then the real work could begin.
We headed through the door, down the stairs in the main corridor to the free weights room. It was completely dead. Even though it was legs, shoulders and abdominals day for me, I had to go on the bench press and show my true ten pound credentials. Rather than go into the details of the actual exercises and weights covered, I will just get those that are really interested to head over to Gyminee. Both of our respective locker rooms will have the details of the work outs completed on that day.
As we moved onto our second exercise (squats using the barbell) a big guy walked in. I noticed him and then Pav commented to me quietly, “Terry, Rocky is here”. Sure enough, he did look Rocky Balboa (although perhaps a little younger than the man himself from this most recent movie (Rocky VI). It made my day and all I had in my head was the Rocky theme and Eye Of The Tiger. A little while later Pav needed to use the bar and asked, “Have you finished with the bar mate?” His reply was, “No mate, but I think it’s finished with me!” We both broke out into fits of laughter. He had killed me officially and it was the highlight of the weekend so far.
A little Google search and I found a picture which perhaps closely resembles the Rocky look-alike we met in the gym. Although he was wider than he was tall and was loaded with some big guns (well cannons really).
That got me thinking, what did Stallone look like in his heyday. Could there have been a better action hero in the late 1970s to mid 1980s?
We completely lost track of time, it was 11:45am by the time we left the gym, we were well over schedule. Way over two hours in the gym when we had just scheduled an hour into the original master plan. We got back to the flat, showered and then I jumped online while Pav got the healthy lunch meal prepared. While Pav had been putting his new residents parking permit in the Rover, I received a text message. It was from my gym. It was closed due to an ‘overnight incident’. It was once again that time to update status on both Facebook and Twitter. Reena was online on MSN and surprised to see me appear online on the IM client (now that I am no longer able to access it during the working day). It was good to speak to her and confirm that she would be over late on Saturday evening to collect her laptops. However, the chat was brief, we were behind schedule, I had to have pasta and then hit the road. There was not much time left. So the gym exchange was over and I enjoyed every millisecond. Probably the best gym session I have undertaken in the eighteen month period I have been attending a fitness centre (of some description).
It was around 2pm by the time we left the house and walked into town. Clear blue skies and golden sunshine, this is the way that days off work should be and the perfect way to start the extended Bank Holiday Weekend. Pav called Em and she was on the train and would be arriving in around 2.35pm, so we decided to go The Three Guineas. (Although Pav had originally suggested The Oakford (our regular haunt) but it was a longer work (now we were in the station) and there were better seating options outside the Guineas. Eventually Em arrived and then we headed down to River’s Meadow.
Rather than go into the details of events at the Beer Festival. I will firstly take you back to my blog post from last year, I eventually got around to writing about the day albeit very briefly on Sunday 4th May. Or for a rather better photographic reminder you can check out the set over on FlickR. (Believe it or not I have uploaded some twenty albums since last May!). This year I left my camera at home, but Pav had his camera and took some great photographs and a very surprising video (taken at 8.30pm). To enjoy those delights you need to be either my friend or Pav’s on Facebook.
We got there around 3pm and with no queue walked straight in, the place was mobbed. Obviously with the weather so good, many people may have thrown a sickie, although that would have been a bit suspect so close to a long weekend and of course I could not condone such behaviour. We eventually bumped into Ben and Charlie, then saw the rest of the group and met up with them. It was good to see Foxy and as usual he was on form again.
We got back to the house sometime after midnight, and I remember finally going to bed around 1:44am, switching off the laptop and content in the thought that the weekend still had three full days to provide. However, as I left the house, looking forward to being back in Wycombe within the hour, my morning was literally smashed to little pieces. I opened the boot to put in my bag and then heard the sound of glass fragments hitting the pavement. Yes, my car had been broken into but nothing stolen, there was nothing worth stealing. The glove box was open but apart from that no real damage. I went back to the house and reluctantly knocked on the door to Pav and Em’s. I would have to disturb their Saturday morning lie in.
Obviously I did not exactly look streetwise cool driving back to Wycombe with a cardboard box taped to where my glass window should be, but I got back in one piece. I had to stop by at the BP Connect up the road, as I was driving on fumes as I usually do. It was around 3pm by the time the glass guy arrived and it was only with the help of a colleague and me providing a drill they got the job done. Then I spent the next two hours (from 4pm) washing the car and getting it clean. It was the first time she was being wash properly for a while. At 6pm, I came in exhausted and it was thirty minutes until the football. My weekend was about to get better, I just did not know what a football feast I was about to witness.