I love being physical. It makes me smile. As I take a short break from boxing coaching, I can spend some time indulging in another pleasure. The world of the gym.
Throughout my adult life I have sought out these spaces, felt the excitement of that first walk through the doors, checked out the changing room beef shamelessly and then gone to work.
My journey has taken me across the spectrum. The low tech gritty gym with its clanging of metal and faded mirrors. The architectural gem. The studio space with its lycra-clad girlies and cheesy pop music to kill the middle aged ladies and send them scurrying for coffee and cake. The luxury oasis of blue tiled pools and shiny machines. The hotel gym, where hungover businessmen plead with their stomachs. I love them all.
Working out is like a massage from the inside. Put away that stupid phone, switch off the music and choose your pleasure. Don't talk to me, the world is banished. I sweat like a pig, grunt like a pig and I love it. What? bench-pressing isn't a form of masturbation? I've seen you, mirror men, kissing your biceps and strutting your butts. That "this-old-thing" t-shirt is fooling nobody...
Boxing (news coming soon) has changed my workout. Metal bars? What a bore. Machines? No way. Get me back to old days. Give me mats, punch bags, wall bars, elastic bands, kettle bells and slam balls. Give me a big old tyre and a heavy wooden club. Give me ropes. Give me a smooth wooden floor with battered tape markers and the smell of old rubber.
I will always travel the world in search of that experience. It is the high point of every holiday, and the part I remember most. London is full of them - hooray for diversity. Some are awesome. Some are rare and wonderful. Some are from the future and others from the past.
I've done it all. I've broken every code. Raise your hand if you understand my strange fetish...