I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that the postman seemed to have a smirk on his face when he rang the bell, because the mail order hand paddles that I had ordered wouldn’t fit through the letterbox. Perhaps that’s partly my fault for ordering them in a large size? But it did leave me wondering, whatever happened to the days of plain packaging? I think my real mistake though was that probably like half of the UK population (the male half that is) I had completely overlooked the fact that this week saw the premiere and the general release of the film version of 50 shades of Grey, when I was ordering these latest instruments of pain.
To set the record straight the paddles in question are my latest swim training aid, and after strapping them on and doing a quick few lengths I can definitely vouch for the fact that they can be described as instruments of torture as much as anything that Mr Grey has in his red room. The theory is that the paddles increase the resistance that you work against when stroking, leading to an improved workout and increased upper body strength. As I slipped into my (very public) turquoise pool of torture they certainly made my workout harder, not least because as you get to the end of the pool with two huge great discs attached to your fingers you have no way of gripping the poolside at the end of the length. As to whether they will have the desired effect I guess only time will tell. They certainly aren’t for everyday use but they will have a regular place in my schedule. All that leaves is for me to come up with my safe word. I’m pretty sure that it won’t be Ouch!