An Experience in Body Conditioning – By @EdzaiSoper

An Experience in Body Conditioning

One technique Marc has encouraged us to practice during our time at the SCA is dot collecting. This is where you actively look for various things that you would not normally do in the hope of stumbling across random sparks of inspiration. Whether this be popping on chat roulette or having a sit down meal with that random guy at the pub whose always smiling at you; whatever it takes to experience something out of your comfort zone that can transpire into the next lemon. 

I accidentally stumbled across one of these dots when I signed up to a body conditioning class at Brixton Rec called ‘Pump Up’. Accidentally in that it wasn’t meant to be a dot but turned out to be a massive one in the shape and form of the angry trainer in charge of the session. I would describe him as an amalgamation of Terry Crews and the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket. 

A bit of back story: leading up to the SCA I was in pristine physical condition for someone who eats what he wants and drinks above the government guided daily amount. However since starting (three weeks ago) I haven’t been able to squeeze in even a minute of physical exertion. So in a panic I signed up to this mysterious Pump Up class. 

On arrival I was greeted by, let’s just call him Terry Jacket. He explained to me where my station was and that he likes to shout. No more instruction needed apparently. So I went to my spot alongside an array of compatriots, mostly mid to late aged mums but a few old gramps in there as well. Then it started. 

Heavy Drum and Bass filled the sports hall and a sea of people in unison started working out. Terry Jacket at the front leading the parade, screaming undecipherable encouragement to us all. I couldn’t believe how in sync everybody was. It felt more like a dystopian dance troop than anything else. As time went on this suspicion grew, Terry was in fact dancing and minus the weights so was everybody else. 

Anyway all of this resulted in me, though still trying to dance through it, uncontrollably laughing. This displeased Terry Jacket and he called me out: “ARE YOU CRYING OR LAUGHING?!”. “Suffering” I replied which seemed to appease him for now. I collected myself and managed a further half an hour before TJ announced that the next section would be weighted rainbows. 

The Drum and Bass was cranked up and everyone started doing what I can only describe the Can Can on steroids. Again in perfect unison. Oh no. 

This time the laughter was audible. It must have been funny because I wasn’t sharing this moment with anyone. It was just me alone, with my mania. TJ was on me in a flash and went so far as to turn off the music. Unfortunately I am very prone to crying of laughter and through the tears I apologised profusely and just said I would leave. So I did. Walked outta there. 

At the time I was still in shock from what I had witnessed however when the dust settled it became clear that I had been through a strange form of public humiliation. 

I will not be going back and thus will have to find another way to get a physical sweat into my week to accompany the mental one going on at school. That said, for those of you missing your mid week club fix and would just like a dance, I highly recommend Pump Up with the man himself TJ. A firm dot collected.

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