You’re so unfamiliar with the gym, you call it James.

Gyms can be scary places, no? Everyone else seems like they know what casual running face to make on the treadmill and the acceptable amount of changing room eye contact that lets everyone know that you’re in the perfect middle ground between perve and prude.

One day – as I was frequenting my local gymnasium – my beady eye noted a new machine. Imagine my excitement.

It looked like it was for toning your abs and good abs can never be bad (unless you’ve got good abs ‘cos you’re always using your core, punching people in the face).

You’re so unfamiliar with the gym, you call it James.

It was this bad lad

Usually, if I’m not sure how to use a gym machine, I just let someone else go ahead of me – watch them (subtly) while I do some elegant lunges nearby – then casually use it afterwards like “Hells yeah I knew all along that bit is for your feet not your chin. I’m not a complete idiot. I was just being nice and letting you go first.”

No one seemed keen on the new machine – they must already have perfect abs – so I had no one to copy.

I climbed up onto the bit where it looked like you might put your knees but I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t completely confident it was your knees that were meant to go there at all. I spotted an instructor bloke in the posers’ corner so I caught his eye and beckoned him over, asking if he had time to help me.

He patiently explained the machine, helped get me in position and choose the right weight for my strength. He then stayed with me while I did a number of reps on each side. He seemed perfectly happy to help – and not rushing off to any other gym instructor duties – so I expanded my questions beyond just this one machine and started asking him a lot about general fitness.

“Why not get a free mini personal training session?!” I thought, smugly.

After I’d exhausted him of all his exercise expertise, he left to go back to his duties.

Only he DIDN’T go back to his duties, did he?

Oh NO. This isn’t a disaster blog for nothing.

He left and rejoined his mate a few feet away. “She WANTS me!” I heard him laugh.

He wasn’t a trainer at all. Course not. He was just wearing a t-shirt that was a distant cousin of the official instructors’ t-shirts.


I think I burnt about 650 calories in pure embarrassment as “instructor” boy and his friend kept looking over at me and laughing.

You're so unfamiliar with the gym, you call it James.

I’m in the lemon club with Liz

Since I’m a complete JOKE, seems fitting for me to finish with one:

I said to my trainer at the gym: “Can you teach me to do the splits?”

“How flexible are you?” he asked.

“I can’t come on Wednesdays.”

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