• Gemma Catherine Malak

The Diary of Jenny McFluff: The Workout


I’m currently splayed out on the floor like the redundant head of a mop. I’m sure this does not come as a surprise to you that I am in a less than flattering position, and it will be even less of a surprise when I tell you I was five and a half minutes into Joe Wicks’ HIIT workout.

Joe Flippin’ Wicks and his beardy charm has got me flat out on my back on my living room floor, and I wish that was as exciting as it sounds! I’m breathing heavier than a sex-deprived nympho at a dogging site (not that I’d know…or anything).

I’m exhausted!

Currently, the only benefit I’m finding here is the vague fantasy of Joe Wicks (who looks a bit like Jon Snow) stepping through the TV screen and telling me that we should stop all this nonsense and that he’d quite like to take me out for bacon butties and margaritas.

My fantasy is interrupted by George - my postman, tapping on the window and looking rather concerned. Bloody brilliant, I look like I’ve just been through the rinse cycle of my Hotpoint, and boob sweat—I have actual boob sweat.

F****ing marvellous.

I crawl over to the door, each underused muscle in my abdomen screaming at me like baby birds that wants chocolate covered pretzels, all the while I’m mentally promising them Jammy Dodgers and Baileys later if they will actually do their job and allow me to move.

“George” I declare as I open the door on all fours, trying to sound like I’m A-OK instead of doing an impression of a snail that’s about to expire. George is my kindly, albeit slightly pervy postman. He’s 65 if he’s a day and always manages to find an excuse to touch me—it’s actually quite ingenious (and wildly inappropriate) how as a postman, who is only supposed to push letters through the door manages to find excuses to get me to open it—like the time he thought he’d found my earring on the drive way but actually it was a milk bottle top. Granted, today he probably thought I was actually dying, so I’ll let him have this one.

“Genevieve, are you OK? Should I call an ambulance?” George asks aghast. Seriously, I’d laugh if I had the lung capacity but Joe Wicks’ star jumps rather finished me off. George insists on calling me Genevieve, even though all my mail says Jenny apart from one single letter from my mum who addressed it to Genevieve. Aside from George, she is the only person who still calls me Genevieve. To be honest, ‘McFluff’ is a questionable enough name (the origins of that one are for another time) and I do believe my mother was trying to make the best of a bad job by choosing a fancy first name, we were one step away from Sergei—thanks Christ I wasn’t born a boy!

“I’m fine thanks, just y’know resting on the floor.” I say, as casually as I can with the breath I have available.

“Here, let me help you up.” George offers, and before I can say ‘No’ he has a hand right near my sweaty armpit, and drags me up from the floor. Ha, that’ll teach you for being all touchy feely Mr. Postman! I see him discreetly wipe his hand on his coat, and I do a little internal snigger.

OMG even standing hurts. Joe Wicks, for f**k sake, I hereby end our relationship on the grounds that it is no good for me. No, don’t try to tempt me with your beard and beautiful curly hair—I am committed to blackforest gateau and that is that. Don’t cry Joe, what we had was special, I’ll never forget you…

“Genevieve?” George is staring at me, and I realise I went off on a fantasy tangent (again) and have in fact just been standing in the doorway like a tit in a trance while I mentally break up with Joe.

“Sorry, George. I’m good thanks, any mail?” I ask.

“Just this.” He hands me a flyer for pizza—it’s a sign! Why George is delivering a pizza flyer I’ll never know, he must have found it on my doorstep.

“Ah thanks George, must dash, I’ve got a yoga class to get to. Byeeeeee.” I shut the door before he keeps me there for an hour (like he did last week). I wish I was lying about the yoga class, but in fact, I have arranged to meet kale whip Karen and her Patchouli scented entourage there. Joe Wicks was just to get me in the mood…the mood for Doritos wasn’t the aim but God loves a tryer.

So, after I regain some semblance of normality after my exercise trauma, and consumed a much frowned upon Costa gingerbread latte with extra cream (don’t tell Karen), I arrive in my 40 quid yoga pants with my 80 quid yoga mat at trendy yoga venue that has a name that cannot be pronounced, and I’m sure even the proprietors don’t know what it means. No-one told me yoga was so bloody expensive!

I see Karen plus entourage and do the obligatory air kisses. There’s a heck of a lot of men sporting the ‘man bun’ in this place, most of which look like they have a better skin-care regime than I do. To be fair, this wouldn’t be difficult, I never moved past the Aapri apricot facial scrub movement of the 90s.

“Hi darling, would you like some turmeric tea?” Karen asks, showing me a flask which probably cost a bajillion pounds sterling. I don’t imagine anyone ‘liking' turmeric tea, it’s like saying ‘would you like some lettuce?’ Surely no-one would ‘like’ some lettuce, one just eats some lettuce at a restaurant if no chips are available.

“Oh, no thanks. I’m raring to get stuck in to the yoga!” I enthuse, I don’t know why these words are coming out of my mouth. I don’t mean a single one of them. I want to be on my sofa watching First Dates and guessing whether they want to see each other again.

As we enter the hot yoga room (no-one mentioned it was hot yoga) we all take our places on our extortionately priced mats. All I can see in front of me is a sea of man buns, and very tight yoga pants on some of the male species—I mean David Bowie in the Labyrinth scale of tight. Lord, their balls must feel like they’ve been vacuum packed!

F**k me, I’m sweating already and we haven’t even started. Am I the only person with actual breasts in this room? Most of these whipper snappers barely look out of their teens with boobs the size of Reece’s peanut butter cups, and here I am with boob sweat inducing blacmanges—‘A wazzo pair of jugs’ in the words of the great Rik Mayall, God rest his crude-joked soul.

Fabian - our instructor, enters the room with all the zest of Tony Robbins on speed. Buddha on a bicycle, this guy ain’t functioning on turmeric tea, I’ll tell you that.

He’s actually hi fiving everyone’s sweaty palms. Nothing like a bit of bacteria sharing to really get the community vibe going.

Fabian begins the routine, which is less like the gentle stretching I assumed would be happening and more like he’s giving my ex – Joe Wicks a run for his money. Dear lord, I am seeing some very intimate portions of some of these man-bun owners in downward facing dog.

The guy in front of me is wearing white lycra – WHITE! Whyyyyyyyyyyy? I can almost see into his anal cavity, which is really throwing me off the yoga vibe.

I am trying to keep up with the fast moves, this is ridiculous. Who invented this fresh hell? Speed induced Fabian’s toupee is flapping up and down like a baby seal trying to get its mother’s attention. This, so far, is the highlight of my hot yoga class. I wonder if the heat in the room has loosened the toupee adhesive? Do toupees have adhesive, or tape? Maybe I’ll ask the spirit of Richard Whitely…or I could just Google it, yeah, I’ll Google it.

“Now class, it’s ok to pass wind during yoga. Release the tension – it’s all part of the practise.”

With that statement, I suddenly hear farts coming from every direction. I’m in a hot room, with boob sweat, an instructor that really needs stronger adhesive for his toupee and a few downer pills, and now the room smells like fart. This makes this morning’s Joe Wick’s routine look like a little slice of heaven.

“Be at one with the movement.” Fabian tells the room. Which movement, the f****ing bowel movement? No thanks – I’m out!

I decide to leave before anyone follows through in tight lycra pants, because quite frankly, I can’t deal with that on any level.

I make a swift exit while Fabian is bouncing up and down like he’s on a horse and the toupee is waving at me. It doesn’t look like any yoga I’ve seen on the telly.

On the way home, I stop at Tesco express for some supplies: bottle of rioja, lasagne and mini lemon meringues. I f***ing love carbs, more than I love a room full of hot farts.

Netflix and food, here I come.

© 2020 Gemma Malak

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© 2020 Gemma Malak