<p><span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”>&quot;I figured you guys might be able to give me some pointers. I need to shape up. Fast.&quot;</span><br /><span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”>   &quot;You looking to lose weight, or do you want increased strength and flexibility as well?&quot;</span><span style=”font-size: 13px; font-family: Helvetica;”><br />   &quot;I just want to look good naked.&quot;</span><span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”><br /></span></p><p style=”text-align: right; font-family: Helvetica;”>From the movie <a href=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0169547/&#8221; target=”_blank”>American Beauty</a>.</p><p style=”text-align: right;”></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”>With 200 days to go now, and given my last post, I thought I'd aim for something lighter as I soldier on with training and balancing all this madness with my everyday life.</span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”>Today, I decided to complete my 10km run on a treadmill at my work gym. Running indoors, I find, is a lot more difficult. It's boring as hell, there are no variations to the ground below you and, most importantly, you're being watched.</span><br /><span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”></span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-family: Helvetica, Verdana, sans-serif;”>Gyms are fascinating. With the numerous forms of sport out there from tennis to swimming, rugby to basketball, it's probably the form of working out that's the most popular amongst the masses. There are a number of reasons for this: a) it's usually right next door, if not at the work place, and therefore easily accessible, b) you can do it on your own, c) a personal trainer can be involved to motivate you and, most importantly, d) it's not just about being healthy, it's about looking good. Looking good is important, this is emphasised by the fact that the walls of a gym are usually covered with mirrors and gym goers intermittently stop to stare at themselves. Just about shy of &quot;kissing their guns&quot;.</span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-family: Helvetica, Verdana, sans-serif;”>About 4km into my run, I begin to sweat profusely, or as a friend puts it: &quot;I'm raining&quot;. Not a pretty sight. At this point, a colleague walks up to me to discuss an opportunity at work. A little frazzled, a little smelly and very much &quot;in the zone&quot;, I tried as much as possible to follow his every word and appear interested. You're sweaty, I'm sweaty, you're staring at me as you talk, I'm self conscious of the fact that I make a funny squinting face when I run, as indicated by the reflection in front of me: please go away and let's talk about this later.</span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-family: Helvetica, Verdana, sans-serif;”>As I completed the set, I was reminded of the scene above in American Beauty. From gay culture to the testosterone induced free-weighters, we are all there for the same reason. Now time to go to the locker room and stare at myself changing, like peacocks during mating season, with a chest puffed out and feathers out on full display.</span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-family: Helvetica, Verdana, sans-serif;”>But this only lasts for a brief moment as the evening rush hour is in getting into full swing and the chamber is occupied by other people, snapping me out of my trance. They will have to wait in vain for their moment to come, maybe next week if they are early enough.</span></p><p></p><p><span style=”font-size: 13px; font-family: Helvetica;”></span><span style=”font-size: 13px; font-family: Helvetica;”></span></p>