Where Do I Fit In?

by Andrew Foote

Chapter 9

Throughout this story real organisations and real people are mentioned by name. Their place in the tale is in the author's imagination. No thoughts, words or deeds attributed to those people or organisations are real, nor have they ever happened. This is a story! It's fiction. The people and organisations, even when they interact with the characters, are presented in an entirely imagined and fictitious manner, and no discourtesy is intended to them by the author nor by the web site.

Neither of us had paid much attention to how close we were. We were young and I suppose we just took it all for granted but there were times that, looking back on it now, were pretty weird.

Lucas has a slight……..no a great love of chocolate but back then we would be lounging around watching TV when for no good reason I'd get up, go into the kitchen and get a packet of chocolate biscuits for him.

For his part, although I was predominantly a coffee drinker, he'd go and make me a mug of tea just at the time I was thinking 'I'd kill for a cuppa!' Not only that, I take my coffee black, strong and without sugar but tea? Oh God! White with three please and the first time he did this, it was purely by chance but just the way I liked it. Explain that if you can.

This had, unknown to us, got other people busy looking for an explanation. Our hand touching and how it made such an impact on our performance had everyone around us baffled. We learned a little later that everyone assumed that our relationship was more than just a matter of being 'close friends' but that alone wasn't enough to explain away how we managed to almost know instinctively what the other was thinking at any given time.

Physical contact such as those brief moments when we touched hands was all it would take for us to connect mentally but it wasn't something we were conscious of and still we're not actually 'aware' of it as such, - it just happens.

Back then, the vid of the brick game was circulated around some of the leading scientists of the time. Psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, whateverists all had a bang at it but none were able to come up with a credible explanation.

There were those who wanted to carry out various tests and experiments on us but Dr Patterson was adamant, nothing was to be done until we were old enough to consent as adults in our own right. We were to be left alone to develop not just as athletes but also as individuals. Thank the Lord for the SCGB!

The issue of our education was always at the forefront of Lucas's and my parents mind. Well why not? They were only looking beyond any sporting achievements which then was an unknown quantity but Ashmead were really brilliant! They arranged for a disused chemistry lab, fire damaged (ho-hum-I-wonder-how-that-happened!) to be refurbished and we were allowed to use it during lunch breaks and after normal school hours to do our homework, sometimes joined by our friends but always it was a study environment with no other purpose other than to work which everyone who used it took seriously.

Mr Fairbairn sometimes checked that there was no monkeying around going on but as achievement levels rose and overall discipline improved, even he didn't bother that much after a while.

I was never going to be an academic masterpiece but my will to succeed in my sporting ambitions did carry over to my schooling so everyone seemed happy enough and neither Lucas or I ever saw a Sports Academy until Liam thought it time we progressed from a five to a ten metre table and that meant an hour's drive down to Bristol where there was an Olympic sized pool with all the facilities.

Standing on the edge of a five metre table is scary enough if you're not used to it. The diving pool below looks like it's the size of a matchbox and even though you know it's like 25 foot deep, still you feel that one small mistake will send you crashing into the side but double up on that? OMG! Matchbox? Try a postage stamp!

Liam was superb!

"This morning all I want is for you to get a feel for the increased height. No fancy work, just get yourselves up there, go off feet-first if you like, dive if you feel confident enough but just be happy up there. Let me know if you have problems then we can address them. Go and have some fun. Do what you want to do. This is all about experience, not training!"

We climbed the steps to the top table, we both hung back for a moment, 'Christ, this was high!' I thought but then we both looked at each other, walked to the edge and then with our eyes closed we linked our little fingers and reproduced that first ever formation swallow we'd done the day we first met.

We seemed to be airborne for ages but in fact it was only around four or five seconds.

We hit the water simultaneously with such speed I actually touched the bottom. Lucas reached out for me and we surfaced in each other's arms but this time when we climbed out, Liam was visibly emotional.

He had been joined by two really fit looking guys who I guessed were in their early 20's and as we walked up to them, all I heard was Liam saying "No, no! That is the first time those lads have ever set foot on a ten metre table let alone dived off one? Oh Shit! Now I've got my work cut out, this is all happening too quickly."

He turned to us.

"That was pretty impressive. So what went through you minds when you first got up there?"

"How really high it was and how small the pool looked from up there I guess."

"Then why didn't you just jump off? You didn't have to dive? Look I'm not telling you off, it's just I want to understand what went through your head. It didn't look as if you even discussed what you were going to do, you just did it!"

Lucas and I just looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders. The truth was, nothing got said up there, we just knew what we were going to do somehow so Lucas told him as much.

"We……..we just kinda instinctively knew what we were going to do, it isn't like we talked about it or anything? Now we come to think about it, it happens a lot. Do you think we're a couple of odd-balls?"

"Not in the slightest. You're two very special lads with……..with a unique talent but see what I mean? You just did it again! You didn't say 'Now I come to think about it', you said we! What made you say that?"

"I just knew what Andy was thinking is all."

"And were you Andy? Thinking the same thing?"

"Yeah, definitely. It happens all the time but mostly when we're training, also at home sometimes. It's sort of like telepathy almost, either that or we're just really close to each other."

"I wasn't going to bring that up but since you mention it, are you, really close I mean?"

We both blushed, our cheeks burning with embarrassment.

"Okay. It's alright you know? Let's not pursue that any further for now. Do you want to go back up there again?"

We both nodded our heads and headed off up the steps.

"I can't believe he asked us that Andy! Fuck, we've just outed ourselves to Liam! You can be sure as shit everyone on the team will know by the end of the day!"

"Yeah but…….."

"I know. Sorta feels good doesn't it!"

It was close on midday when we got back. It had been a good morning with Liam getting us to try twists and barrel rolls, not all the time successfully but we did passably okay given it was our first time diving from such a height.

My dad was about to get into his car as we walked up the driveway.

"So how was Bristol?"

"Lovely pool. Much the same as Christchurch, both swimming areas are Olympic size but their diving facilities are much better."

"In what way better?"

"Higher table than here. They've got a ten metre one whereas Christchurch is only five."

" Ten metres?? Did you actually go up there?"

"Well yes. That was the whole point in us going there!"

"But you didn't actually dive from it did you?"


"Oh God! Just thinking about it gives me vertigo! How did it go?"

"Oh okay. Some good, some not so good but nothing practice won't sort out. Liam seemed pleased enough."

"Maybe I can come and watch, get the hell scared out of me sometime!"

"Sure but please leave it a while. We'd like to show you when we're rather more polished than we are at the moment. Are we the only ones here Dad?"

"No. Jo's in her room with three of her friends planning a late summer barbeque. I stupidly offered her the use of the garden next Saturday night."

"Oh dear! This will all end in tears!"

"Be that as it may. Fortunately we're in Manchester at the theatre until Sunday afternoon so we'll be none the wiser. See you later boys."

Lunch had already been prepared for us so we ate it and being tired after the excitement of the morning we went up to our room and dozed on the bed.

By the time we woke, the house was quiet and making our way downstairs, I noticed that Jo's bedroom door was half open. She and her friends had gone and I made a mental note to thank her for being quiet.

We ate a light tea and jogged over to Christchurch for evening training, Tony and Alec were already there.

"We have a problem tonight boys. The gym's been double booked and there's a volleyball competition already underway We've spoken to Liam and he'll be here just as soon as he can but for the moment he asks if you could just do individual springboard stuff, maybe formations from the side of the diving pool then once he arrives, the table can be made accessible to you. The other thing is that tonight is an open pool. The staff didn't think to screen of the diving area so you might find you have an audience!"

We shrugged our shoulders which made Tony and Alec smile. Lucas answered.

"We can do that. Shame about the gym though. You guys had a wasted trip. Where's Peter?"

Tony looked at Lucas and then turned to me.

"I'll answer that in a minute but first, do you guys always do everything in step with each other? I mean even shrugging your shoulders seems like it's choreographed!"

"Oh please Sir……..Tony even! Everyone's been going on about this. We just don't know, neither do we do it deliberately!"

"Yeah okay. I apologise.

Right, in reverse order, we managed to contact Peter before he left so we told him about the situation and so he'll see you in the morning. No, we didn't have a wasted journey! We're eager to see how you're progressing. Liam was very enthusiastic when he called earlier so why don't you get changed and go to the pool. Sorry about this public swim that's going on. Nothing we could do about it I'm afraid."

We made our way poolside and were met by a familiar face, one of the morning attendants.

"Hi boys. I've opened the table for you but I understand you have to wait for Mr Coughlan to get here before using it."

"Thanks, he won't be too long. We'll just be using the springboards and pool for now. Hey? What are you doing here anyway? You're the early bird!"

"Still am but with kiddie number four just about to say hello to the world, I need the extra money! Have fun!"

We limbered up with twenty press-ups before doing a couple of widths of the diving pool.

Next we did some standard dives off the side then a few 'not so standard' before climbing up to the springboards.

It was here that we realised we had a problem. They were spaced, presumably for safety reasons, either side of the tables which meant our hand touching was impossible but we gave it a go anyway.

I guess for most onlookers, of which there were quite a few, they probably looked quite good but we had a different take on it. We knew we could do far better and so after three or four dives, we met poolside to figure out what we could do about it.

"They're passably okay but I miss the connection we normally have Andy. Any ideas?"

"Eye contact is all I can come up with. It works at home sometimes. We look at each other and know what we're about to say, how we feel about something? It's got to be worth a try hasn't it?"

"Yeah! Now you mention it, your right! That does happen, it happens a lot come to think of it! Well?"

Without answering, we both made a dash for our respective ladders and on reaching the back of the boards, we paused, looked into each other's eyes then closing them, concentrated and counted to three. We then ran down to the ends and executed a pike dive followed be two somersaults and a twist.

Entering the water at such velocity blocks all senses. You are totally unaware of anything around you but as we broke surface together it was pretty obvious it had been a 'good-un'!

The weird part of it was, we'd not discussed what we were going to do!

"Can we go and have a talk please? Something's bothering me."

"I know. Yes, let's go talk about it. That was weird to the point of scary."

"How……..I mean why? How could that happen? Okay the holding hands, well maybe I can sort of understand that but just looking at each other?

Oh come on? We did a complicated routine. We were standing what, twenty feet apart? So we met eyes but how the fuck did we both pick the same dive over the fifteen or so others we could've chosen! Lucas I'm really scared!"

"The power of the mind."

We both turned to see Liam standing in the doorway.

"Who knows what power is lying dormant in our heads, who can tell what we're capable of, any of us.

There are those who will grow up to be brilliant mathematicians, scientists, doctors, nurses, financial experts, wonderful carers to our elderly and infirm but it would seem that you have another special gift. You are already very fine athletes and you're only twelve years old. How much further you can go is not up to you, it's up to destiny but in my experience, both of you are future Olympians if you continue in the same vein.

I wasn't intending to mention it but after, and I'm sorry for eves-dropping, over hearing your conversation, I had to lay my cards on the table and be 100% honest with you. You boys have not only the ability to go to the top of your chosen sport, you have the potential to reach goals as yet unseen.

The other thing you must consider is this. How much pleasure will you be giving others when you perform? Two athletic, good looking, graceful lads giving everyone a taste of what's possible! That's what!

I'll ask Lauren to have a chat with you, this is her area of expertise. You're still very young to cope with all this pressure and so it's vitally important that you get the very best advice and help, not only in the pool or gym but also by way of mental preparation.

We're all very excited about your achievements to date but it's important that you receive a balanced education, a social life outside of training but still, we must keep you fit and up to the task.

So very much to do and yet so very, very young! I'm sorry. I really am."

Stunned doesn't begin to describe how we both felt. We hadn't even competed at club level yet and already Liam's talking about what??

"Olympians? But we've……..I mean how can that be possible?"

"I've been doing this job all of my working life and had the privilege to take boys such as yourselves from humble beginnings right to the top. I've seen plenty of talent over the years, some very artistic and capable young athletes have passed through my hands but never, ever have I witnessed two boys as gifted as you. You have achieved in a matter of months what would normally take years of dedication and hard graft and coupled with that, you seem to thrive on it. Look. All of us who work with you don't just turn up for the sessions then bugger off home afterwards. We spend hours designing your training schedule, discussing how best to proceed and just when we agree on a way forward, you kids are one step ahead of us.

Andy? You said that what happened up there on the springboards scared you yes? Well how you manage to communicate with each other is probably something we'll never fully understand but I don't believe it's something you should be scared of. Pick it up and run with it."

"Yes but it isn't like we can say that it's something either of us consciously do, it just happens. We can't say that we know what the other's thoughts are 'cos we don't, not for definite anyway, it's more like instinctive."

"Well just don't fight it or you might frighten it, whatever 'it' is away!"

That last comment of Liam's served to lighten our moods considerably and so at his suggestion we went ahead and did an evening of high board dives, this time with an audience. Liam finally asked us to go and get showered and changed then meet him in the office.

"You had a very appreciative audience tonight! How did you feel about performing in public?"

Lucas and I looked at each other before he replied for both of us.

"Didn't really notice to be honest. I think we were too busy concentrating to be aware of them."

"That's good because next week, Thursday I think Tony said, there's an inter-schools gala and while there's no diving competition, we want to organise a sort of interval midway through the proceedings and during this time we thought it would be a good idea for you to put on a display. It's important that you become used to a crowd of onlookers as it's the main reason that many very talented divers put in only a mediocre performance when actually their usual standard is much higher. A bit like stage fright. Would you be okay with that?"

"Sure. Why not. We'll give it a go won't we Andy?"

"Good. I'll put together a routine which we'll practice so any little flaws can be ironed out. Tomorrow night we'll finish early as I want Lauren to have a chat with you but you might want to warn your folks that you might not get home at your usual time."

The following evening it was business as usual with just one difference. Instead of our normal routine of fairly intense gymnastics it was a quick warm up and then directly to the pool where Liam was waiting for us, clip board in hand.

He explained what he thought was a good, varied routine and set about getting us to practice it.

"For now, I'll be reminding you which dive is the next but come the night you'll be on your own so try to remember the order of events. It shouldn't take too much doing as we start with some pretty straight forward stuff then gradually working up through some more spectacular dives to the finale. Do you want to know what that might be?"

We both nodded our heads.

"I really like your swallow. Not only is it so very graceful but you maintain body contact in the air right up until you do a couple of tumbles and a twist so what I was thinking of is taking that a step further. Same dive except instead of just linking your little fingers, to spread-eagle yourselves so your toes are touching so you appear more like a couple of sky divers, then break, do the tumbles and twist then into the water. What do you reckon?"

"Brilliant! How come we didn't think of that Lucas?"

He laughed!

"Because we're not a professional coach I guess! Superb idea though. Just imagine how it might look from down here. I can't ever remember seeing anything like that done before?"

Liam grinned.

"That's probably because it's never been done before! I thought of it last night. You two are almost exactly the same height so why not give it a try and if it works, try it out in front of a home crowd!"

"Really? Nobody's done it before?"

"No Andy. What did I say last night? You're capable of showing others routines and dives never before seen. I really, really want to take you to where you can be world champions and I assure you, I don't say that just to make you feel good. I mean it, you have the potential to be the best ever seen.

Now go and get changed. Lauren's here."

A two hour talk with her did wonders by way of allaying my concerns. How she phrased her questions, answered ours was very factual and understandable, we were both immediately put at ease.

"What I think we're looking at here is much the same sort of thing scientists and medics have found in dogs.

Some dogs have an ability to almost 'sniff out' a serious and life threatening disease in humans. They can't tell you as such but their increased attentiveness towards their owners becomes much more apparent and they've been known to flag problems even before the doctors know. Guide dogs for the blind. Much the same example although of course, they're trained but never the less, unbelievably perceptive and protective.

Now for the awkward bit. Awkward for all three of us I might add.

I……..err……..want to know about your personal lives.

You spend almost every waking hour together what with school, training and so on, how do you actually get on together? Arguments, fights? Disagreements or becoming fed up with each other's company?"

Lucas and I looked at each other. I nodded my head believing he was the better one to answer the unasked question.

"In short order, the answers are 'yes incredibly well, no, no, no and no'. Why don't you go right ahead and ask the one question that's bugging you Lauren? Don't piss around at the edges? You wanna know if we're in to each other don't you?"

"Well I……..I……..suppose I……..yes! Alright damn it! Are you? An item?"


"Wonderful!! No I really mean it! I mean everyone on the team watches you like hawk's, it's their job afterall but somewhere down the line we all expected to see cracks appearing but so far there aren't any! There has to be only one explanation. You err……..like each other a lot."

I chirped up.

"Actually Lauren, we love each other and no matter what your personal take on that might be, the fact remains, Lucas loves me and I love him in return. There's nothing 'dirty' about it but a feeling of completeness somehow.

I think that's enough on that subject please."

"Yes……..okay and thank you for being so upfront with me. It's okay you know? All this information is encrypted. No one but me can access it but all this background helps me to give an indication to your coaching team as to where you are mentally. The stronger you are, the harder they can push you. I'm happy to tell you, you are strong but please? Just one further question? Are either of you out to your parents?"

Lucas answered this time.

"Yes I am but Andy's not ready just yet."

Lauren looked at me.

"If when the time comes you feel you need support, call me. I can and will help you if you want but just take your time. It's more than likely that given how close you are to each other, they already have an idea but just remember, I'm being paid to look after you. I'm not a charity? If you need help then I'm on tap anytime of the day or night. You're hot property and there are so many people working behind the scenes willing both of you to succeed. Use us!!"

We walked out of the complex feeling, I don't know, dispirited? Our usual exuberance seemed to have deserted us somehow. We sat down on a wall and fell silent for a while then Lucas looked at me, tears streaming down his face.

"You were so brave and I was so proud of you. My God did you put her in her place! Cheeky bitch! Fancy asking such questions of us."

I put my arms around him and held him close. I didn't care who saw it, I was too upset at seeing him cry. Normally he was so upbeat, confidant in his approach, happy with his sexuality, crying was my preserve, not his?

"It's okay. It's done now, I just hope I wasn't rude. She's nice, they're all nice but……..I won't tolerate probing questions from her or anyone else come to that. I don't understand what difference it makes how close we are and even if that's the reason we can 'communicate' then so what? As if there isn't enough pressure on us already without forcing us to come out. So they have their suspicions. So what!"

Lucas had stopped crying. He looked up at me and grinned sheepishly.

"There's fire in that there belly of yours and no mistake! I've never seen you angry before. Remind me to put some distance between us if you ever get mad at me!"

"Like that's ever going to happen! Come on, let's get back. It's late and I bloody starving!"

Given what had gone down with Lauren, I decided that it was time I spoke to my parents. It seemed like the right thing to do given that two of my friends aka Loraine and Paul knew about Lucas and I, my sister knew and now our entire coaching team together with God only knows who else within the SCGB would now be firmly in the loop but each time the opportunity presented itself I could always find reasons not to.

Lucas was brilliant. He was always there in the background but true to his word, he never tried to persuade me one way or the other but then a couple of days later we were both in the lounge reading, my Mum and Dad had adjourned to the kitchen when I made up my mind to confront them. I laid my book open and pages down on the table, walked over to the patio doors and stared out into the darkness.

"I'll be with you Andy. Don't worry. Everything will be okay. What's the worst that can happen?"

I turned to see Lucas standing just behind me. I felt so calm! So in control!

"Thanks. I knew you would be. Shall we go?"

We walked the few steps towards the kitchen. In one respect I felt like the condemned man being lead to the gallows but on the other I put my faith in what others had told me when they found out like it was no big deal. Lucas sought my hand and gave it a squeeze.

"I love you. Just remember that."

We walked through into the kitchen. My Mum looked up from her jigsaw, my Dad put down his newspaper.

"What's all this then? Presenting a petition?"

"No Dad. I need to talk to both of you."

"I think you'd better sit down the pair of you before you fall down. You look awful."

We both took a seat, my prepared speech completely forgotten.

"Mum, Dad I……..I've got something to tell you, something you need to know, something you might not want to hear but……..but I can't go on living a lie. I……..I've got to be upfront with you. I'm…….."

I've never before seen my father in tears, not ever! But tonight he stood up, tears rolling down his face as he pulled me to my feet and cuddled me like I was a toddler. Lucas was also in tears and my Mum got up and held him close.

Dad continued to hug me as he calmed down.

"It's alright son. You don't have to torture yourself over this."

"Dad please let me finish what I've started? I'm gay. I love Lucas. No. More than that, I'm in love with Lucas!!"

"And so what's the breaking news? Did you think we hadn't noticed? I know you kid's think we're Jurassic but we notice you growing up, we see things about your interaction with each other, how unbelievably close you are, so happy in each other's company, vibrant and alive almost. It's okay, it really is! Actually I'm so very proud of you. To come and say this must have taken so much courage, so much guts and in truth? Had the situation been reversed I'm not sure whether I could've found the nerve to do what you've just done.

Lucas is a lovely boy. We both love him to bits and as such he's a welcome addition to the family."

He turned to my Mum.

"I think that this is the opportunity we've been waiting for. Do you want to grab four glasses? I'm going to pop the cork on that bottle of Krugg that's been floating about in the fridge since Christmas!"

The following morning, oh God did I feel good! Jogging to the pool was almost as if I was riding on air.

"See? I told ya it would be okay? Your rents are cool, even I didn't think they'd be so understanding and me? A welcome addition to the family? Does this mean I have to change my name to Pope?"

"No!" I laughed, "Just for now change it to Dickhead!"

"Lucas Dickhead. No, it doesn't work!"

"Fuck off!"

"Lucas Fuck-off Dickhead. A double barrelled name. Cool!!"

We really threw ourselves into training that morning. Our early morning floor routines went really well and our dives were rated in the eight to ten margin but we both knew there was no room to be complacent and that we still needed to keep our heads down and work at it.

We left the pool with Liam, Peter and Alec patting us on the back then Tony met us in the car park.

"Great performance! Simply breath-taking! Are you looking forward to next Thursday?"

"It'll be good experience Sir……..sorry Tony!"

"That's okay! There'll be a lot of kids there from Ashmead you know? Do a routine like you did this morning and you'll be local heroes!"

"I hope you don't think that's why we're doing it? It all started as a bit of a laugh, a way to while away the summer holidays. We never even thought we could achieve at it."

"Yes I realise that and I know it all started as an enjoyable way to spend your time but consider this. Everyone who shines in whatever walk of life started off from humble beginnings. World class footballers, they began as kids just kicking a ball around in the street with their mates. Famous artists started off as three or four year-olds just scribbling on a bit of paper this is why as a teacher, part of my job is to act as something of a talent spotter. In my case it's in a sporting environment, Mr Stewart as an arts teacher, Mr Johnson as a music teacher and so the list goes on. If a pupil shows promise in whatever subject we have a duty towards them, encourage them to make the most of themselves.

Now it's very rare to come across such huge talent such as yours. Maybe one in every ten thousand children at best therefore just so long as you are happy for us to work alongside you, our aim is to take you just as far as you can go and in everyone's estimation is that you have the capability to go right to the very top of your sport but here we have a problem.

With achievement comes notoriety. It can't be avoided. What you do as divers is very much a spectator sport unlike say being a top class swimmer. Of course we're all amazed at their incredible turn of speed through the water and we're interested in who came first, second and third but you can't say it's a beautiful thing to watch can you? Yours is however and there will be people who normally have little interest in sport will want to watch you perform because it's graceful, elegant, almost like watching a mid-air ballet.

Take Tom Daley. Brilliant solo diver, arguably still the best in the world but he and his partner never really succeeded in formation routines. Their timing was always a bit suspect and this was in part due to the fact that they were just dive partners and nothing more. I'm not saying they didn't get on well with each other, they did despite a couple of very well publicised tiffs, but the two of you have a very special bond, a relationship so close you could be identical twins and this is what sets you apart from the 'very good' to the exceptionally good.

There will be a lot of pressure on you if you succeed. You will be household names not only in this country but around the world. Lauren and her team will help you manage that pressure, there will be PR people to protect you from unwelcome attention especially during these formative years. Some local attention and interest won't be bad for you right now. You're not swell-headed so just go with it, enjoy it even!"

"Hmm. Lauren. I'm not so sure about her."

Tony grinned at us.

"Last night didn't go unnoticed. Whatever she said to you really, dare I say, pissed you off big time didn't it Andy?"

"And then some!"

"Okay but try and look at it this way. Whatever was said sparked something inside you didn't it? Normally you guys are very happy go lucky but this morning? The difference was there for all to see! It was as if you'd won a lottery jackpot! The shear energy you put in to everything you did, your laughter was infectious and honestly, I've never seen you so happy so whatever went down to rattle you did have a positive impact in the greater scheme of things. You might not like her methods but you have to admit they're effective!"

I pondered this last statement before replying.

"If you put it like that then yes it did. I finally got around to doing something I'd been putting off for ages and all because she'd made me angry and I guess a bit rebellious."

"Do you want to tell me about it?"

"I'd rather not if you don't mind. It'll all come out in the wash sooner or later but I'd feel more comfortable just biding my time."

"That's fine. I'm one of your fitness coaches not an agony aunt! Just one last thing. Don't dismiss Lauren as, I don't know, an interfering old busybody. She's very good at what she does. Everything she does is carefully designed to help you and while you might find her methods intrusive or down right impertinent at times, all she's doing is planting a seeds of ideas in your heads which consciously or subconsciously you will think on in a way that is beneficial to you in the long term."

"Thanks Tony. I'll try and remember that."

"Okay, I'm off. See you tonight and enjoy your day. Bye."

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