Sunday, 14 October 2012

Fat Woman and the eaten words

Fat Woman had recently had a run in with Sergeant PT, as recounted in Fat Woman and the disbelieving PT. To recap, Fat Woman had essentially beaten another personal trainer in rowing a kilometre. Sergeant PT then presented Fat Woman with the most blatant demonstration of fat prejudice that Fat Woman has encountered since school, insisting that this was simply not possible.

It wasn't the disbelief that got up Fat Woman's nose. Fat Woman could  forgive that, especially as she initially found it surprising herself. What really frosted Fat Woman's cookies was that Sergeant PT came up with reason after incredible explanation as to why Fat Woman was mistaken and she wasn't actually  faster at rowing 1km than a brand new female personal trainer.

Here are Sergeant PT's statements in chronological order:
  1. Sweet PT wasn't really trying.
  2. Sweet PT trained legs yesterday.
  3. Sweet PT used to row for sport
  4. The rowing machines in the gym are all calibrated differently.
Fat Woman refuted points one to three, but when Sergeant PT came up with the fourth point he had won the argument. There was no way that Fat Woman could do anything other than take Sergeant PT's word on the state of the gym equipment; after all, knowing all about the differences and idiosyncrasies of such things is part of his profession. Fat Woman is the"monkey see, monkey do" sort of gym goer, or rather "Personal Trainer say, Fat Woman do". So Fat Woman agreed that Sergeant PT could show her how to row "properly" the next day.

Having had time to let the whole affair sink in, Fat Woman finds Sergeant PT's assumption that she did not know how to row properly to be incredibly insulting, both to herself and to Personal Trainer with whom she has been working for nearly a year. The kind of cast-iron certainty displayed by Sergeant PT was an overt display of fat prejudice base on ignorance and lack of reasoning. Sergeant PT assumed that Fat Woman was not physically fit, despite knowing that Fat Woman has been training for the last year. Sergeant PT then assumed that Fat Woman didn't know how to row, had never been taught to row and would benefit from his tuition. Sergeant PT also assumed that Fat Woman was stupid enough not to know if someone was humouring her by not trying.

Fat Woman turned up to meet Sergeant PT in the gym the next day. Sergeant PT claimed that he sees everything but he based his assessment of Fat Woman's rowing style on her first pull, which is always too high. Still, Fat Woman enjoyed Sergeant PT showing her how to calibrate the rowing machine for a drag of 120. You pull on the bar, and then move the lever on the side up or down.

Fat Woman enjoyed it even more when Sergeant PT repeated the calibration on the next rowing machine to prove his point and the result was that the two machines had exactly the same settings. Sergeant PT explained that this was coincidence and that he knew some of the other machines would produce different results. Fat Woman nodded and smiled.

Sergeant PT showed Fat Woman how he thought she should row, and set her pace to be between 2 minutes 20 seconds and 2 minutes 30 seconds per 500m. Fat Woman was then told to row 5 kilometres. Fat Woman has rowed 5km before, although not under any time pressure, but had the distinct impression Sergeant PT was expecting her to cry or beg for mercy. Fat Woman was sorry to disappoint, but 5km of rowing is just a bit of cardio to her.

It's running that scares the bejeezus out of Fat Woman.

So Sergeant PT went off to train and Fat Woman rowed 5km. Fat Woman kept her pace around 2:20 for the first 2km, kept her pace under 2:30 for the next two kilometres and then got tired. The 5km row took Fat Woman 25 minutes and 45 seconds,

Fat Woman got up to get water and was summoned by Sergeant PT. Sergeant PT was walking on a treadmill whilst wearing a large rucksack. Fat Woman hopes that is not something Personal Trainer is going to make her do. Sergeant PT asked her time, and Fat Woman told him. Then Sergeant PT asked how old Fat Woman was. Fat Woman told him she was 35.

All Sergeant PT said then was: "That's not bad."

Fat Woman is delighted that she isn't doing badly for a woman her age. Fat Woman is also assuming that Sergeant PT also meant: "I'm sorry I was a prejudiced ass and thought you were both stupid and unfit."

Personal Trainer says that Sergeant PT has shocking rowing technique, that he would beat Sergeant PT at rowing any day and that Fat Woman should tell Sergeant PT this.

Fat Woman said to Personal Trainer that she might be a fat middle aged woman, but she is a fat middle aged woman from his training stable. Personal Trainer showed how pleased he was that Fat Woman was a credit to him and had made Sergeant PT eat his words by making Fat Woman do an utterly vicious circuit.

Fat Woman is sure that Sergeant PT is glad that words are zero calories.

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