I have gone insane. Not for the first time, you could say, although on this occasion retrieving my sanity shouldn’t involve medication, a course of counselling and a hundred-weight bar of Dairy Milk. The husband and I have embarked on an eight week DVD-based fitness programme which is appropriately entitled Insanity. There’s no link, because this isn’t a review, so if you want to find out more about it you’ll just have to Google it.
The brain-child of a deranged fitness fantatic, the programme involves forty minutes of high intensity cardio work six days a week for sixty days. Yes, that’s sixty days. Eight whole weeks. Two months. If that in itself isn’t sufficient to be classed as insane, each session sees you jumping around like a loon while Shaun T yells motivating commands such as “keep it up y’all!” I am a mother of three – my idea of insanity is to splash out on a second latte before going home to tackle the ironing.
All the participants of Shaun T’s sessions are impossibly toned. The girls wear minuscule shorts and cropped tops and somehow manage to look sexy whilst pouring with sweat and doing jumping jacks. I made the mistake of glancing in the mirror at this point; I had a vein throbbing in my temple and looked as though I were fending off a bee attack.
One of the women, nicknamed The Machine by Shaun T (and presumably not The Bread Machine, which I suspect would be my own moniker) even finds the wherewithal to lick her lips seductively at the camera as it pans past her in pursuit of ever more perfect torsos. I find myself torn between simultaneously wanting to be her, and wanting to hurl something at the television.
At some stage during the session the men will take off their t-shirts, ostensibly because “damn, it’s gettin’ hot in here!” but actually in order to show we pathetic lard-arses at home what could be achieved if we laid off the Ginsters in pursuit of the body beautiful. Biceps the size of my not insignificant thighs and stomachs so defined and taut it’s as though they’ve been sculpted from stone. At this stage I’m usually completing the exercises with a look of desperation on my face, eyes fixed on the count-down clock in the corner of the screen, which tells me I still have ten minutes to go of this agony.
As the session finishes, Shaun T and his harem of super-fit men and women leap about the screen high-fiving each other and pretending to be exhausted (“Man! That felt good, didn’t it?”) while the husband and I collapse on the floor, limbs jerking occasionally in a post-exercise spasmodic cramp like fish out of water. Insanity.