So I'm not at all sure how I've managed to get myself signed up for six weeks of a thrice-weekly state-of-the-art 'training camp' at uber-luxe gym, Equinox, on High Street Ken. It must have seemed like a jolly good idea at the time and now my main objective is surviving the experience.
It is something of an experiment: I'm curious to find out if exercise is as addictive as they say. I'm also interested to discover what might be accomplished in just six weeks - the programme has apparently worked marvels for many a high-profile US celeb, although I suspect they're probably in better shape than me to start with. It's certainly not for the faint-hearted. What it is, is highly-scientific: it's all metabolic cardio whatsit, designed for super-demanding Manhattanites and professional athletes. Fitness was never this sophisticated in the days of step-aerobics and I will confess to being a bit daunted by the prospect - everyone else in the class seemed awfully fit and lissome - I felt like a rescue donkey that's accidentally wandered into the Epsom Derby.
Fortunately, ETC requires determination rather than self-motivation: all you need to do is show up at 6.45 am, Monday, Wednesday & Friday, and do exactly what you're told. Or a version of what you're told, since there's no way on earth I can do two minutes of press-ups. Or even one press-up. At least not yet. I am planning to win the 'most improved' prize, or failing that, the prize for pluck.
Anyway, my lovely friend Henry and I are keeping an online diary to track our progress at harpersbazaar.co.uk: this is our first piece: http://www.harpersbazaar.co.uk/beauty-health/reviews/equinox-boot-camp-part-one