The Place of Public Shame

As London is that place where you can spend weeks without even crossing your flatmates, I ended up skipping Cilia’s sessions for another month. Clearly learning from my experience.

So April became May, temperature kept going up (with some major down, but, hello UK spring!) and parks started to be more and more packed with people. Especially on a Sunday.

Now, in the cold mist of January the only people populating Clissold Park are insane joggers and some brave dog walker. Plus, I was too focused on surviving to care.  

Imagine my horror when I walked into a park packed with parents with kids, teenagers hanging out with friends, group of friends pic-nic-ing and boozing on the grass, multiplied dog walkers. People, people everywhere. And in the middle, me doing sit ups on a ping pong table.  

I know I shouldn’t be so self-conscious, but, come on, you’ve seen the videos so far. And you can easily guess that a month lazying around didn’t do me any good.

Anyway, Dominic, Cilia’s massive boxing trainer, gave me a wise pet talk: “Nobody’s looking at you, anyway!”

So we started. Badly. The cardio part almost killed me. Cilia made me do this jump thingy, that looked almost like a dance routine. For a while, I felt pretty cool. Well, I wasn’t …


Once over, the cardio part left me slightly, let’s say, challenged…

Second part wasn’t as devastating, it looks like I’m putting on some muscles – must the tables/chairs carrying around at work that is giving me consistency.

We finished with sit ups on the ping pong table. Or, how I like to call them, public shaming.


Dominic was probably right, but I swear there were some kids giving really bad looks.


A very difficult beginning

I grew up in a very active and sporty environment. My father and brother are football fanatics, but don’t turn their nose up at anything that involves balls and competition. My mum used to be an athlete in her days, or so she claims. As long as I lived with them, I tried to keep up with all this exercise frenzy, even if in my own creative way.

Came the time to go to uni, I moved out of their house to start my new exciting, independent adult life. Being unsupervised, however, brought up my true, so far hidden, nature: when it comes to physical exercise, I’m a ridiculously lazy human being. Also, if ever confronted with the choice of going to the gym or to an aperitivo with my friends, or acquaintance even, there is no possible scenario, or parallel universe, in which I would choose the former.

Every now and then, I would try to join a gym or go for a run, which is by far one of the things I understand less on this planet, but no matter how conveniently close it was, I ended bailing all the time(to be honest, 70% of the population do that, so I’m in good company!). For quite a while, I considered partying a more than suitable form of physical exercise.

Of course, as you could assume, I hardly met people into exercising and the reasons behind it actually being a hobby always remained quite obscure to me.

Cilia and I became friends after a few minutes I stepped foot in the office. We bonded over gossiping and food, like all solid friendships do.

I had just moved to London and I was having such a hard time adjusting to the life here,  every evening I was so tired I couldn’t wait to throw myself into bed. Every evening after work Cilia would go to the gym: I was so impressed by her commitment, something I could only dream of. So when she said she was starting her PT training, that would occupy her weekends during 4 months, I was shocked!

I told her that I could never do that and that I would be the nightmare of every personal trainer that ever stepped foot on treading mill. Of course, Cilia being Cilia, she accepted the challenge and decide to start working with me. And I promised I would make an honest account of this crazy journey.