Fit For Nothing
“Can't I just wear my trackies?” I whined eyeing up the outfit on the kitchen table.
“No you can't,” Mum stated, “the council paid out good money for this stuff for today, the least you can do is humour them.”
“But nothing young lady, now get changed, we have to be in the square in thirty minutes.”
Its all right for her, she won't be wearing what amounts to underwear in front of half the town. With a sigh I grabbed the outfit and stomped up to my room.
I checked myself in the mirror, well maybe not exactly my choice of colour but I guess I look a bit of a fox! Not that I want to but the crop top and running knickers do look pretty good on me. I pulled on the socks they supplied, what's with the poms? Then padded back downstairs.
“Come on Kiddo, we'll have to run to get there.”
I dragged my runners out of the cupboard and cursed the pom poms on the socks when they got caught inside as I put them on. Mum was already at the door waiting so I just grabbed my sunnies and with a sigh headed outside.
Boy do I feel exposed, it might be warm and sunny this afternoon but I'm not used to having so much of me open to the elements. My top, well its really a sports bra barely reaches the bottom of my ribs and the knickers, well you've seen the runners at the Olympics and stuff so you get some idea of how little they cover.
“Und hier ist die Weinkönigin, Gaby Bond die ersten Läuferin am das Neue Dernau Weinberg Tauglichkeitweg!”
I joined the MC, forcing a smile to my face, and gave a little girly wave.
“So Gaby, we know you are quite sporty, are you looking forward to using the fitness way?”
“Of course, fitness is very important for everyone's well being and this new facility will hopefully encourage more people to participate.”
There was a round of polite applause.
“Thank you Gaby, well its time for us to officially open the Dernau Weinberg Tauglichkeitweg, Herr Fischer, if you please.”
“Danke Michael,” the Mayor of our little town raised the town flag, “on your marks, get set, go!” he dropped the flag and there was a surge of townsfolk keen to try out the new facility.
I was carried along in the crowd for a short way before I managed to break out. Running isn't really my thing and I was soon trailing the keen runners.
“There you are.” Con panted.
“Yeah.” I agreed as Mum, Anna, Steff and Con joined me.
“Nice speech.” Anna advised.
I made a gagging noise.
Further conversation was prevented as the path we were following broke into the vineyards and started zigzagging up the hillside. I must admit that after one zig and one zag I was reduced to walking pace, not that many people were actually running up this bit. We broke out onto one of the vineyard contour lanes where the first exercise apparatus was enjoying its first use. There was a bit of a queue so my group concentrated on getting our breath back after the climb.
“Nice outfit Gabs.” Steff mentioned.
I looked enviously at her shorts and t-shirt.
“The council supplied it.” Mum mentioned.
“It's a bit revealing.” I pointed out as I tried to get the knickers a bit more comfortable.
“Come on, its our turn.” Con gently shoved us forward.
The first station was straightforward, step-ups and for the sake of appearances we each did a set of ten. I'm glad we weren't doing more as even with the tight sports bra my boobs, well I guess everyone's, were soon jiggling out of control.
One down, nine to go. We set off again, at least this stretch was pretty much flat as it snaked along the hillside and it wasn't long before we arrived at the second stop. This was causing some laughter in the group in front of us and we soon discovered why.
These fitness routes are designed to not just give you a workout physically but to some extent mentally as well. This apparatus was aimed at the latter, a snaking set of balance bars, some level and others sloping up and down. The laughter was in response to the antics of people trying to cross the course. I'm sure with practice its not too difficult but lets face it, how many people walk up and down logs regularly?
Our wait was shorter this time, just as well really as despite the weather I was starting to feel a little chill in this skimpy outfit.
“Come on Gab's, its easy.” Con enthused moments before she lost her balance, landing in an undignified heap in the wood chips.
“So you're just checking the quality of the chippings?” Steff chuckled.
“Well it's very important to get it right.” Con giggled picking bits of wood out of her hair.
“Here goes nothing!” Mum announced as she gingerly started her own traverse.
“Go on Mum.”
It was slow and not pretty but Mum completed the course to a rousing cheer.
My turn. Shitza, its more difficult than it looks. I nearly ran across the first log, hmm, maybe that's easier than going slow like Mum. I tried the same tactic on the next section and only just stopped myself running off the end.
“Go on kiddo!” Mum enthused.
I should have taken more note but my over confidence got the better of me and I set off on the third timber which whilst not steep, dropped about half a metre along its length. Of course this accelerated me more than I expected so that even I could see I wasn't gonna stop in time and nor did I.
“Nice landing!” Anna allowed as I picked myself up.
“Flippin' chippings!” I complained trying to fish a lump of wood out of my cleavage.
Anna managed a clean traverse but gob a lot didn't get as far as me.
“Looks like Steff's buying afterwards.” Mum giggled.
We set off at more of a walk than a run towards the next station. The route scissored back on itself on a switchback trail, which took us to a spot nearly vertically above the previous stop. There was no queue this time, so in the spirit of things we got straight into the step ups at this stop. Things got a bit competitive as we could all do this one together and after a manic minute we were all panting and gasping for breath.
“Come on girls.” Mum encouraged as she prepared to set off.
Anyone who says girls aren't competitive should see my friends when faced with an ‘old' woman besting them. Hmm, things started to get serious from there on, as everyone seemed determined that Mum didn't show them up. We wound our way through the vines stopping to attempt chin ups, press ups, sit ups and any other sort of up you can think of!
After all the up it was time to head back to town, slightly more directly but without the very steep hillside we started on.
“Last one back buys the ice cream.” I challenged after the last stop, a sort of monkey swing thing, you know, those ladder things you hang from.
“You're on Gaby Bond.” Anna agreed.
“Dre-ew.” Con groaned.
I'm hardly the world's greatest runner but I fancied my chances against my friends.
“ Und hier ist ihre Weinkönigin!” the MC enthused as I led our little band back into the town square.
I was a bit taken aback by the enthusiastic reception, I thought they'd have all gone home by now. I thought it churlish not to wave back, the break in concentration however allowed both Anna and Steffi to pass me in a last desperate lunge for the line. I stopped and assumed the classic hands on knees stance to get my breath back.
“Fraulein Bond? Gertrude Schmidt, Rhein Abend , can we get a few words?”
“Er sure, I guess.”
It was only then I spotted the telly camera and man with a stick hovering behind Gertie. Of course everyone knows Gertie Schmidt, back home we used to watch BBC Look North just because of the presenters, Harry Gration especially and Paul wotsisname who does the weather, here it's Gertie on Rhein Abend .
She turned to the camera,
“Its not just the older residents that are being encouraged to use the trail, even the local Weinkönigin Gaby Bondt has been running the course today,” she turned to me before continuing, “so Gaby, we saw you and your friends at the finish, you seemed to enjoy the trail?”
“Er yeah, it was good fun.”
“So do you think you will use the Tauglichkeitweg in future?”
I tried to think of the right thing to say.
“Hopefully, I think it's a real asset to the town to have this facility on our doorsteps and I'm sure that, by today's evidence, it will be well used.”
“You're Mutter ran with your group?”
“For those of you who haven't made the connection, Gaby's mother is the Rennradfahrerin Jenny Bond of Apollinaris.” Gertie told her camera. “We have heard Gaby, that you are following in your mothers wheel tracks?”
“Kind of I guess, I've a long way to go though.”
“A little birdie tells us you have won a few races already.”
“A couple,” I admitted, “mostly local stuff.”
“Well we wish you the best Gaby, thanks for talking with us.”
I stood rooted to the spot.
“You okay?” Con enquired.
“That was Gertie Schmidt.”
“We saw.” Steff noted from behind me.
“I'm gonna be on the telly.”
“Well cool.” Anna mentioned.
Cool in theory but if you happen to be a boy that everyone thinks is a girl and you are wearing nothing but a sports bra and running knickers…
“Everyone will see me!” I squeaked.
“Well not everyone.” Steff stated.
“But look how I'm dressed!”
“Cute.” Con giggled.
“Well it is.”
“Here you go girls.” Mum announced brandishing a double brace of double scoop ice creams.
“So what's Gertie up to?”
“She interviewed Gabs.” Steff supplied.
“Whoa! You'll be getting more coverage than me kiddo.”
“But everyone will see me like this Mum.”
“Hmm, yes I can see that might be a problem, you're hair's a right mess.”
“Can we go home, please?”
“You coming to Anna's later Gab's?” Steff asked around her ice.
“See ya Gab's, Frau Bond.”
to be continued....
Maddy Bell 10.09.09 © 2009