Rekindling romance at the gym
How do you keep a relationship going down the years when your kids, who were the glue that held it all together, are teenagers with one foot out the door?
The options aren’t great. There’s Saturday nights spent swigging wine in spirit-crushing silence while an “unhappy compromise” film rented from the Sky Store grinds to its unsatisfactory conclusion.
There’s horrific swingers parties attended by grim middle-aged couples whose relationship sell-by date expired around the turn of the Millennium, I’d imagine.
Or you could jointly embark on a gruelling exercise regime that would bring an Olympian to their knees.
Guess which one me and the boss picked, and it doesn’t involve pampas grass in the front garden or car keys in a bowl?
If it’s Sunday, Tuesday or Wednesday, then it must be spin class. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, spin is basically pedalling an exercise bike with adjustable resistance as fast as you can for 45 minutes to the beat of some “bangin’ choons” while an instructor does their finest Full Metal Jacket impression.
If you’re doing it right, your liver dissolves into tiny particles and you sweat it out through your eyeballs. If you’re not, don’t worry, the instructor will be the first to let you know.
Maybe it’s the booming 90s techno, maybe it’s exhaustion, but spinning gives you occasional moments of euphoria you last felt before you got married and had kids.
Then there’s Pilates, which for anyone with a glass back like me and the boss, is basically medicine.
Fifty-five minutes of glorious core-strengthening stretching with chill-out rainforest music tinkling away in the background. It is as wonderful as it sounds.
The class is enjoyable enough but once it’s over the feeling of being an inch taller and your lower back feeling like someone’s taken out all your vertebrae, squeezed them gently between their thumb and forefinger and then sprinkled them with fairy dust before expertly placing them back into position is literally the best time you can have clothed and sober.
It’s taken us 23 years but at last we share a common interest that doesn’t revolve around bringing up children, walking the dog in the rain or watching hours of mindless telly as the nights draw in. So far so good