Awesome” said Phil this morning, taking his position on the static bike facing the rest of us.  We’d done nothing yet.  That’s the good thing about Phil, he’s a very positive fellow.

Lookin’ good, team!

I have been a regular at various gyms for two decades.  My favourite was ‘Slim Jim’s’, a slightly sleazy subterranean establishment in the City.  I used to go there daily for 45 minutes of pre-work work-out. It whiffed of hair-oil and embrocation.

One more gear! We’ve got it nailed, team!

It’s pretty boring, frankly, the gym.  In addition to Phil’s encouragement, I have to imagine myself returning to the boat in an inflatable with loved-ones on board, being blown in the wrong direction and having to row harder, harder … it’s a bit of a nightmare, to be honest.  Still, cumulatively I must have spent whole weeks of my life sweating away expending senseless energy.  So why do it?  I blame the pharmaceuticals industry.

..keep it up …nearly half way! …brill!”

When I was a banker I somehow slipped into a specialisation of advising pharma companies.  That’s when I started this gym habit – the more I knew about illnesses and the drugs that treat them, the more I wanted to avoid both.

Don’t get me wrong – pharmaceuticals are, well, awesome, and the industry should be seen as a great force for good, not as it is: a systemic evil positioned somewhere between tobacco and arms manufacture.  But prevention is better than cure, and cardio-vascular health is the best prevention. The day the rest of me dies they’ll have to beat my cardio-vascular system to death with a club.

ten seconds left – goin’ great..”

Except last month I gave nice Mr Lloyd the three months’ notice he requires from resigning members.  No point in paying for access to his lovely boring place if I’m at anchor in the Balearics, and life on-board is surely very healthy?

Not according to the delightful and experienced Jenkinses, whom we met recently owing to a remarkable coincidence of taste in boats and postcodes.  Liveaboard life is a cardio-vascular disaster, apparently.

Nearly there…”

So I’m doomed.  Decades of cardio-vascular effort are to be squandered.  Unless I take to rowing the inflatable, swept further and further from GUMA, Anne muttering her unimpressed encouragement from the stern.

Give yourself a round of applause!  Awesome!