The days when cruise ships had a handful of bar bells and a four times round the pool jogging track as exercise are long since past. Nowadays, the modern, contemporary resorts on the ocean are as full of ways to stay fit as get fat.
It’s quite exhausting sometimes, just watching that lycra clad, headband wearing phalanx of fitness fans as they get into their literal stride. Gyms these days look more like high tech hospital wards. And, of course, there are spa menus and light eating options that suck in their tummies and sneer at all the sumptuous gluttony taking place elsewhere, These days, there truly is something for everyone.
Just consider the items in those modern floating gyms of today; treadmills, bar bells, and all the rest of that infernal stuff, and you’ll realise that it constitutes a longer menu than lunch at the Ritz. For the modern fitness fanatic, there are so many forms of self inflicted torture on offer that it must sometimes seem hard to know where to begin.
These days, health and fitness has even moved outside. On my recent Carnival Breeze cruise, I was astonished to see a battalion of exercise bikes and treadmills outside, on the upper decks. Fortunately, all of the loungers and couches on board face away from these, so your joy ride need not descend into a guilt trip. Good job, too.
But long before that, the jogging and power walking fraternity were a fact of life on ships at sea. No one surpasses me in my admiration for these devoted souls.
So often, I have cheered you on from my perch in a hot tub as you clump manically around the decks, clad in lustrous shades of clotted purple lurex. Yours is a pure and noble pursuit; I’m sure the water in your sweat stained plastic bottles tastes as sweet and pure as fine wine. I sit there, mulling fretfully over my second (third?) margarita, and tell myself that I, too, would like to be fit like that one day, as well.
And that is the moment when life usually gifts me a metaphorical slap across the face with an impossibly large, wet haddock, and tells me to snap out of it. Such moments are seminal in our progress through life. In fact, I would recommend that both Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus undergo a similar, profound bout of haddock slapping at the earliest possible opportunity, and for however long it takes. Yet I digress.
I fear that fitness and I are ships that passed in the night a long time ago. When one has already hit the iceberg, no amount of rearranging the deck chairs will make a difference. And while my body is, indeed, a temple, sadly that temple is the Acropolis. And so it goes.
I will always eschew fitness for the comfortable cocoon of potential fatness. Your feeble cardio-vascular regimes cannot match the rich lustre of my chateaubriand, young Jedi. And, if you really wanted to get me in the gym on a regular basis, it wouldn’t be too difficult.
Simpy install a few decent hammocks, and a small martini bar. Nothing too obvious. But will you? Oh, no….
You want to keep your sweaty, steamy temples to the Spanish Inquisition to yourselves, don’t you? That’s cool. Message received. As you were……
Ho hum, back to the hot tub, then. Did someone say ‘Strawberry Daiquiri’?
Ooh. Don’t mind if I do…..