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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.