Dad of Mrs Woog does Huffy Puffy!

Sometimes my Dad guest posts for me. Today is one of those days….


Few would be less qualified to write on this subject than I.

However, I have had an epiphany.

I am not writing this by means of boasting that at the ripe old age of 70 I have started going to the Gym. I am more acknowledging my stupidity in not having done so earlier in my life.
It is not worth speculating or worrying about whether I should have done it sooner. I am having a “red hot go” in the hope that I may avoid the chequered flag for a little longer.
How did this come about?

Well, basically common sense finally kicked in, but the catalysts involved my wife, some close friends, and the untimely deaths of some close acquaintances.

Another catalyst was my friendship with an international football coach, who had been welcomed into our circle of friends before returning to his homeland.

He and his wife sat me down and gave me a good talking to, supplied me with some excellent exercise clothing and shoes, and gave me a goodly supply of Personal Training vouchers.
They also introduced me to Idi Amin (see below).


This is Idi Amin – (not his real name)

Idi Amin is my personal trainer.

Those near and dear to him advise that he considers my rehabilitation his greatest career challenge to this point.

As such, he is unwilling to show his face or disclose his real name until certain of my physical characteristics have been modified, reduced, stretched, pummelled, poked, prodded, and generally tortured into submission in accordance with his brief.

In addition, between scheduled sessions I have to do route marches, reduce my alcohol intake, watch what I eat, and generally adopt the lifestyle of a Trappist Monk, whilst still winning the dispensation of occupying the marital home.

The real Idi Amin, who died at an age thought to be 78, was one of the most brutal military dictators to wield power in post-independence Africa.
He also possessed a kind of animal magnetism; a quality he used with sadistic skill in his dealings with people he wished to dominate (From his Obituary in The Guardian).

At this time I consider this identification of my personal trainer appropriate to some extent. His true identity will be revealed in the fullness of time.

Idi and I began our relationship on Valentine’s Day. We see each other twice a week, usually at 7 am.

On the subject of the gym, I must say that I harboured many preconceptions of such institutions.

Firstly, I had the impression that to join was expensive and that it was difficult to leave once one had signed up. Not so (at least with respect to the Gym which I have joined).
Secondly, the idea of sweating and puffing and panting before strangers who were by and large more physically attractive than yours truly did not appeal.

My daughter, refers to this physical exercise as the “Huffy Puffys”.

Close inspection of the various instruments of torture lurking around the premises is at first intimidating. Properly instructed in their use by Idi Amin, however, such instruments and devices can be adjusted to become almost enjoyable to even us old guys.

When I first commenced, Idi put me through the third degree about my general health, history, diet, medications etc. He also asked what I hoped to achieve by my attendance at this palace of physical proclivity.
We agreed that this was not to be an exercise in developing abs and preparing other contours suitable for admiring one’s self in the mirror and suitable for tattoos.

Rather our agreed mission was firstly the attainment of mobility (so that I was able to get in and out of cars, bend over and do up my shoes, and simple things like that, which are taken for granted until you become older), and secondly to lose a few inches from my abdomen (a formidable task indeed!)


This is Dave (his real name) and me. He has now consented to be photographed with me. His regime has been vindicated.


Dave has achieved the impossible. He has partly sculpted me.

The ancient Chinese Philosopher Lao-tzu wrote “A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”.

Our first steps have reduced my gut by 7 centimetres and my weight by 6 kilograms.

Not much, but I feel so much better and am actually enjoying the new regime.

My preconceptions about persons who go to the gym have disappeared. Most attendees are there for the best motives and mind their own business.

The benefits, which I feel, are freer movement and weight loss. These were my objectives. I shall keep going because I actually am now enjoying it.

Some things, which I have learned:
• Sitting is the new smoking;
• It doesn’t matter how much exercise you do, it’s what you eat which ultimately counts;
• Calories are not absorbed from the atmosphere;
• Take advice before embarking on using equipment – it is easy for the inexperienced to suffer injury if not properly instructed on the various pieces of equipment.

Congrats Dad!

Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.

How much do you move? Even if it just to the fridge?