My trainer makes me a narcissist

Around my third week of training at the gym, Eric made me do push-ups, which went very well until he asked me to look in the mirror.

“Look in the mirror,” he said. “Check out your toned arms.”

I don’t have a photo of me doing push-ups so here’s a photo of me doing lunges, instead.

Sheylara at the gym

I said, “I can’t. I’m channelling all my efforts into not fainting from exhaustion.”

“Hahaha,” he said, “You’re doing good. Just look straight in the mirror and admire your rippling muscles.”

I tried to say something clever but I was at the same time struggling with the push-ups, so I could only manage a weak hiss like a deflating balloon.

Sheylara at the gym

While that was going on, Eric continued to make approving sounds at my muscles, which were, at that point, screaming for mercy.

“Don’t have lah,” I huffed weakly, “My arms look the same as always.”

“Okay, you’re done,” he said, “Stand up and flex in the mirror.”

I did what he said.

“See??!” he exclaimed triumphantly as I flexed into the mirror.

Sheylara at the gym

“Okay, fine,” I conceded. “It’s a little bigger than usual. Stop making me a narcissist.”

But Eric is apparently very pleased with the way my arms are shaping up.

The next time we had a photoshoot, he had our photographer snap lots of photos of my arms.

Sheylara at the gym

Sheylara at the gym

I don’t really see any cause for celebration because I have never been in the habit of scrutinising my arms, so I can’t tell the difference.

But Eric works me very hard every session so I suppose there must be some kind of improvement.

There’s always a lot of laughter during our sessions (mostly from me). I know it’s very bad to laugh when training but I can’t help it. I will laugh involuntarily when my muscles start burning. I think it’s an automatic stress-relieving response.

Sheylara at the gym

Also, Eric is always trying to trick me into doing more reps, which I find very funny, so that makes me laugh doubly hard.

We were doing lunges and he was doing them with me to give me some extra motivation.

I hate lunges with a vengeance.

Sheylara at the gym

For the first set, I can do maybe 20 and then I’m ready to order a wheelchair.

Seeing Eric do them with such inconceivable ease, I asked him, “How many can you do?”

He said, “Ooooh, is that a challenge?”

I rolled my eyes and tried not to collapse.

He continued, “Let’s compete. See who stops first.”

That was when I burst out laughing uncontrollably because it was such a ridiculous competition.

Sheylara at the gym

I demanded that he give me a 500 handicap but he didn’t bite.

In the end, because we’re always bantering, we end up not counting, so I always end up doing more, I’m sure.

Sometimes he will purposely miscount and I will protest and then he will say, “Oh, did I count wrong? I’m sorry, let’s start again.”

And then he would start from one.

Sheylara at the gym

Sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

When that happens, I guess the only safe thing to do is to be a narcissist.

Sheylara at the gym