September 3: train alone

I was walking through the shopping centre next to Russell Square and I saw this gym out of the corner of my eye. It said ‘Train Alone’. And I thought that’s a clever marketing idea, the romance of the solitary trainer, pushing yourself to your limits. And I thought that’s the modern age, people alone with their headphones on their own regime. I was thinking of that film ‘Marathon Man’ from the 1970s and Dustin Hoffman running alone round the gritty streets of New York training for the marathon, with a line I remember from it that he had trained himself for pain and so was able to resist the torture he was put under later in the film. That’s right, I thought. I must get my running shoes out and beat a solitary path round the gritty South London streets again. I moved a little closer to the shop front of the gym to examine their original and off-beat strategy. It wasn’t ‘Train Alone’. It was ‘Never Train Alone’. Ah!

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