This man is kneeling between my legs

Session 3. Friday 18 February. 19:30. Kate’s house. I’ve been looking forward to my ‘session’ with Patrick all day, performing a couple of kicks and punches in the office for good measure. This is our third session, the second being last Saturday morning when Patrick had shown us some new moves – upper cuts, knee jabs (nice for targeting groins) and a third one where you swing one leg around and whack it into someone’s side. Nice.

Sessions have been relocated to Kate’s house due to the over-excitement of ‘Dottie the Rottie’ at the first session, and the fact that Kate’s front room is slightly larger than mine and furniture free. It also doesn’t have any carpet.

As usual, things begin with Patrick taping our hands. I say that it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to tape our mouths shut too as it might stop us moaning so much! Patrick doesn’t laugh. He tells us he’s had a bad day so we promise not to make it any worse by moaning. This lasts about three minutes. We begin the warm up with some mini circuits at the end of which we’re already knackered, and then it’s boxing gloves on. As I mentioned last week, boxing gloves are a huge handicap – you can’t pick up a glass of water, can’t wipe the sweat from the your face and you definitely can’t pick your knickers out of your bum. Which is where mine are. Rule number one, don’t wear a G-string when exercising. The string bit slides up your crack and gets wedged there. I’ve never understood how or why since my arse is huge, but it happens. And I’ve got big red gloves on, so there it stays. It’s torture.

We start the proper work-out with pyramid punching: seven jabs, seven curls and seven upper-cuts, then eight of each, then nine, then ten. Patrick’s bad day is becoming apparent – he pushes us to the extreme. I notice that he’s watching me in a slightly mystified way. He asks if I’ve been practising, as not only has my technique improved but I’m hitting much harder as well. No practising, I say, but it could be down to the fact that with every punch I imagine I’m hitting people I don’t like. That’s for not buying me a Valentine’s card. That’s for blowing me out last Friday. That’s for not reading the report I spend hours on. And that’s just because I feel like it (woman’s prerogative). A scary thought pops into my head – if I can be this aggressive when normal, what am I going to be like with PMT?

We’re stomping around Kate’s front room, kicking, punching, and jumping. We’re making a right racket. We wonder what the neighbours think, feel guilty for about a second, and then just carry on.

We finish the boxing and do some press ups (girlie ones, obviously) and sit-ups. As we’re lying on the floor, Kate notices a corner of the ceiling that she clearly forgot to paint. She’s embarrassed. I obviously take the Mickey. Well, what are best friends for?

We’re almost at the end of the session. Patrick suggests some deep stretches. This involves me lying on my back, left leg flat on the floor, right leg resting on Patrick’s left shoulder. Yes, the man is kneeling between my legs. I’ve worked up such a sweat during the work out that I’m convinced I must stink like a rotting cod, and the thought of spreading my legs doesn’t appeal, but he won’t take ‘No’ for an answer.

He gets me to push down on his shoulder with my right leg, alternating between 40% and 80% effort. It’s painful at 40%, so 80% is unbearable. But this is nothing compared to the pain when he tries to put my leg behind my neck. And nowhere near as agonising as the second stretch. This sees me still lying on my back, knees bent, soles of my feet together (can you picture it?) and Patrick trying to push my knees down so they touch the floor, something they’re not designed to do. It is more excruciating than anything I have ever experienced; yet it isn’t my main concern. No. All I can think about is whether the Coronation chicken sandwich I ate at lunchtime is building up in my stomach and likely to escape in an almighty fart. Right in Patrick’s face.

Patrick finally leaves and we arrange to see him again next week.

I can barely move, yet I am exhilarated. Kickboxing, I feel, is definitely something I was born to do. Call it fate. Call it destiny if you like. But either way, call me a cab – there’s no way I can walk home.