Well, knock me down and roll me through the mud sideways, chase me through a pitch black park and make me touch my arse with my elbow. They don’t call it military fitness for nothing: I felt like I’d fought a war.
Mum and I approached the local park last night with a mounting sense of dread. (I had found mother in her house, pre-British Military Fitness session, weakly and rather transparently clutching a hot water bottle to her stomach, having subconciouslysummoned up a “tummy ache” in anticipation of the torture that surely lay ahead). Nevertheless, like lambs to the overly-strenuous slaughter, we gave ourselves up to the zealous barking of our BMF instructor, who was as wide as he was tall, and all of it muscle.
It was very dark, and the ground was wet, but it kind of added to the fun as we were ordered to do sit-ups after press-ups after sit-ups after laps. In the mud. We dashed through the undergrowth and wrestled people we’d never met before (we were supposed to do that; we didn’t decide to mug passers-by in the park), jumped up and down and, somehow, enjoyed the whole thing greatly.
At one point I understood the phrase “legs turning to jelly”, when I stopped running and found that I couldn’t, in fact, stand up, let alone walk or run any more. I literally couldn’t feel my legs. But our stocky benign dictator in his military combats was soon up in my face, merrily yelling at me that if I didn’t jog on the spot when he was speaking, lifting each foot six inches off the floor, then the whole group would have to do press ups.
So, I’ve signed up. Am insane. And yet, these are all the things I’ve never thought I could do: running, press-ups, wrestling, team sports, being strong, being shouted at. And so it’s a challenge, and maybe soon I’ll be able to do them.
Also, as I said: am insane.