Get fit in Dubai

Ross Brown needs to start getting fit. He just can’t seem to find the right moment

The Knowledge

As anyone who has come within a hundred metres of me over the past six months can attest, I’m getting married in September. I mention this fact, on average, three times a minute: my dad now pretends to be asleep as soon as I enter the room; the apartment security guard becomes engrossed in his paper as I pass; and the bus driver has, on at least six occasions, sped off before I can board. So this missive shall not, I promise, dwell on the impending change in my marital status. It is, however, relevant, as the unmentionable event is taking place on a small island, and my fiancée says if I don’t shed some weight real fast, there’s a real danger the venue may sink without trace.

So one day, very soon, I’m going to have to knuckle down and start exercising. Of course, until now I’ve been remarkably confident of a successful journey to ‘buffness’. There’s no rush – you simply can’t move in this city without witnessing fitness in action. On the beach just recently, for example, I nearly spilled my double-scoop vanilla ice cream as 20 weeping bootcamp students stumbled past, chased by a red-faced Australian instructor screaming,‘Get those knees up and stop vomiting, Daniels!’ The wonderfully quiet gym in my apartment appears to boast all the necessary equipment, although one machine – I’m unaware of its name – has a squeak so annoying I’m quite unable to read my book in there any longer. And you can’t fall over in this city without landing in a swimming pool, so numerous are their numbers.

Yes, obtaining a splendid physique should be a doddle. Except for one, ever-so-slight problem: it’s impossible to get fit in Dubai. In other countries, for example, fast food outlets have the decency to insist that you visit them. Here, a dispatch rider risks his life to bring you a burger, no matter what time of the day you call. Fridays are dedicated to 3,000-calorie brunches, and why walk across the road when, for Dhs10, a taxi will do the hard work for you?

It’s a deplorable state of affairs, compounded by the fact that Dubai also appears to excel in really comfy sofas (trust me, I know my sofas). But I shall not be beaten! The KO boxing gym at the Marina is now the proud owner of about 10 litres of Ross Brown sweat. The burger delivery man has been banished (he nearly died when I gave him a cuddle and whispered, ‘I’m sorry, it’s not you, it’s me’), and this morning I popped downstairs with a drop of oil and sorted out that squeak. Oh yes, I will get fit… right after brunch, this Friday.

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