Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Personal Trainer

It began innocently, as these things do. But looking back at that beginning now, knowing the suffering and pain that was to come, that innocence is unimaginable. Like a forgotten Eden, forever lost, as so many of us have been, since that innocent beginning.

‘Physical exercise is good’; an unassailable truism. And so our team willingly submitted to the regime. Weekly at lunchtime we would exercise under Mark’s direction. It was as simple as that, as innocent as that. So the compulsory, regimented, exercises began, under our new Personal Trainer (‘El Persodente’). If we had only known the road down which that simple, innocent agreement would bring us; a road of terrible pain, a road of wretched suffering, a road around Farm Cove and Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair.

As the weeks passed Mark’s gentle encouragement gave way to demands that we improve our times. Mark, or ‘Che Cahill’ as he insisted we call him, became a brutal disciplinarian. Each outing was more challenging, more arduous than the last. Che branded all objections as descent and they were mercilessly crushed.

The objectives were inhuman. It was only a matter of time before the effort would overcome one of us. Aziz was first to succumb; Poor, gentle Aziz. The demands of our leader were simply too much for him. He always lagged the rest of us. With our support he persevered. But one day we looked back, and Aziz was no longer there. What became of him? Did Che execute him? Did he die of sheer exhaustion? Was he sitting at his desk trying to polish off a bug during his lunch break? Who knows? Who could know?

Undaunted, the Personal Trainer commended our loss as a sign. He declared it ‘Year Zero’, and pressed us to, and beyond, the limit.

Words can not describe the horror that Tuesday lunchtimes (or Wednesday if it rains or whatever on Tuesday) now hold for us. The agony is monstrous, but dread of our leader’s capricious temper and fear of his wrath keep us running.


Tenwit said...

Yea, people known as "El Persodente" should best be avoided. That way lies much wailing and stubbing of toes.

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