Everyone has their own way of dealing with extraneous flesh and respiratory deterioration.
Some control their diet with the rigor of Reese Witherspoon and go for long walks, waving their arms around like angry spouses. (Which many of them appear to be.) Others staple their stomachs like a two-page letter from a lawyer. And there are those of us who go to gyms, where at least one can bike, read a book and laugh (inwardly, of course) at the progress of leotard design.
I choose to exercise at one of the amiable horse boxes in the stable of Crunch gyms.
This is not the poshest of venues. But I once had a naked encounter with a client in the changing room of one of the ritzier establishments and it was very uncomfortable discussing potential voiceovers while he dried his bottom with a towel that was significantly undersized for the task.
I tend to have fallen into the habit of exercising at the same time in the morning. And my brain has become scrambled by Crunch's insistence on playing the same music at the same time every day.
It's 10.31am. And here we have the Moody Blues whispering "Once upon a time...in your wil-ildest dreams.."It's 10.38am. The Crematorium of Music opens its gates again and Frampton Comes Alive, puts his mouth on that plastic tube then sings, helpfully: "I wonder how you're feeling, there's ringing in my ears.."
So after six months of this (tolerance is indolence), I asked the extremely nice lady on reception why they played the same music every day.
"Oh, it's satellite," she replied.
I don't know about you, but sometimes, when people say something that seems not quite right to me I have to pause and check whether my head needs servicing.
"Ah, satellite," I said, eventually. "Great...So, you must have hundreds of channels."
"Well, er, I don't know," she said, a little uncertainly. "But Corporate only allows us to play this one channel. The music does change. We have rap and Black-Eyed Peas.."
"But I don't get to hear those so often. I get Peter Bloody Frampton," I said, trying to arrange my mouth into a friendly expression. Then I added: " Every day. We all do."
She laughed, but it was the laugh that comes just before walking into the bus shelter head first.
"Look," I continued. "there's Caitlin on the bike. She's been reading the same page of Erik Larson's 'Devil in the White City' for three weeks. And over there is Dennis. He's told me the same story about his ex-girlfriend's obsession with Pixar animation and solo canoeing in her underwear for the last month. Won't you help him? Won't you help all of us?"
"I'm sorry," she replied. "It's corporate policy."
I staggered back to my bike, my head bouncing off my knees as I muttered, perhaps too loudly: "What chance do I have of getting into the next world if I can never understand this one?"
I sat down and pedaled with all the joy of a Cistercian monk at a debate.
The Antipodean band Crowded House joined me. They always do at 10.44am.
"Hey now, hey now," they soothed, "don't dream it's over.."