The personal trainers had removed most of the artefacts that I had brought in to customise my corner of the gym.
Now piled up higgledy-piggledy against the wall were the certificates and newspaper cuttings from my 10k races, the stereo tuner, the CD player, and the hessian Tesco shopping bag.
Two items, however, were nowhere to be seen. The small glue stick-sized piece of hollow plastic and the phial of balm had been confiscated on the grounds of their supposed ‘dubious purpose’. When I pointed out the names of the drug companies on the packaging of these two items, and explained their application in (1) easing my breathing and (2) treating eczema on my hands, the trainers hung their heads in shame.
By the time that TPR returned to my spot, drenched in sweat from half an hour of extreme exercise, I had won permission to restore each item to its rightful place.
The irony of all this was that TPR and I were gym gatecrashers. We relinquished our membership years ago and had no right to be there at all.