The last time I ventured into a gym was during my university days. Well, it was really just the one day. And a gym induction. The tour alone was enough to give me a stitch and, needless to say, I am in no better shape today than I was two years ago.

Since then, I have graduated from the exercise regimes of walking across campus, to walking to the train station, to finally walking downstairs to my kitchen, as my daily commute has shortened in stages. (Next year I imagine I’ll be working in my sleep.)

Working from home provides me with almost no exercise at all and at 23, a quite worrying shortness of breath. So it seemed as good a time as any, perhaps even a crucial time, to join the gym.

And when I did, I met Kevin, my gym instructor, and possibly the most annoying guy I have ever met.

“So, you want to join the gym.”
“Yes. I want to join the gym.”
Without looking he reached for a clipboard under his desk, as per the drill, and grabbed a pen from behind his ear – clicking it more times than was necessary. “Right,” he said. “Let me walk you through the form.”
Although I wondered if there could be anything more difficult than my name, address and billing details, I nodded all the same.
“Okay. The first bit. It’s first name first…and then…is it second name?” He looked over at a framed picture of the gym founder as if for confirmation. “Yeah, second name.”
“First name, second name,” I confirmed. “Yep, got it.”
“Then address.” He looked to that section of the form and then to me. “Do you know your address?”
“Yep. Pretty sure I do.”

It continued like this until the second page and the section, ‘Your Exercise Goals.’
“Right. What sort of stuff do you want to do? Like, general fitness…” Then, looking in my direction, “bulk up?”
“Yeah, just general fitness really.”
“And bulk up probabl-“
“No. That’s fine. Just…general fitness.”
General fitness…” he repeated, jotting it down on the form, “…bulk up…
“Not bulk up.”
“Okay,” he said, clicking his pen shut. “So, a bit of cardiovascular this week. And next week…weights.”