Lockdown: Day 37

The area between our apartment block and the church has become a de-facto gym whilst the real things are unable to open. Every day there is a steady stream of fit looking young people taking turns to use the space. Some have just their bodies and their phone, which they keep looking at between burping, squatting and pressing. I presume they have some sort of exercise programme on there and they aren’t merely checking their social media.

One couple has clearly made a serious effort, lining up various bits of equipment, taking it in turns to use each. I watch, fascinated, as they lift and push, the best one being a long rope that they wrap around a bench and then shake each end alternately, a bit like a solo version of the skipping I used to do with friends when I was a child. Only they don’t skip into the ropes, just stand and, well, make waves. I’m always tempted to pop down and have a bit of a skip in there but I’m not sure they’d be too impressed. And it’s a long time since I did anything that requires such fitness and coordination so I’d probably end up flat on my face.

Another couple takes a laptop with them, presumably following some sort of video. It looks pretty full on and I’ve noticed he isn’t as fit as her. He positions himself slightly behind so I suspect she doesn’t notice when he pauses in the middle of a set, regrouping to do the last couple of repetitions. Mind you, she did notice the time he completely flaked out on the grass. Even I considered whether I should break my bubble and run down to offer assistance with CPR. As he rolled over onto his back I felt a thread of solidarity – he looked as red-faced as I do whenever I undertake anything more strenuous than getting out of a chair.

Most of it, although interesting viewing, looks far too much like hard work. I don’t know whether their exertions here give them a similar benefit as if they were in a gym, but I certainly need a sit down with a cup of tea and a muffin or piece of cake after they finish their routines. Unless it’s after five, in which case it’s something stronger.

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