QUICK word association game for you, pads - brakes; ropes - boats; tyres - car; prowler - strange person stalking about at night.

Fair enough, the last one is more than one word but that’s splitting hairs when I tell you what it actually is, at least in my new world.

A prowler is a triangle piece of metal that you load weights onto and push and pull at different speeds, for a full body work out.

Ropes are ‘Battle Ropes’ and they’re heavy and when you thrash them about in different directions, they really work your core.

Tyres are those you’d attach to a car but can be lifted and pushed over (more core) and pads, in my recent experience, are worn on the hands of Mike and punched. Mike is a bit of a man-mountain, hyphenated which fits with the one-word-game and meant entirely as a compliment (and because he is).

This was my education when I decided to support a wonderful woman I know called Lisa who has just set up Phoenix Personal Training and runs it from the Pro Fitness gym on Penarth Road. I enlisted my friend Sue and we rocked up there on Sunday morning.

Sue had invested in new gym gear, so she meant business and I had eaten some oats and chia seeds that morning so I was up for it and intending to be on it, too.

I can jog 5km in a reasonable(ish) time, swim a mile and still speak during the last length and know one end of a kettle-bell from the other, so approaching the gym didn’t feel daunting, until I stepped inside to be faced with boxing bags and all sorts of unfamiliar paraphernalia. Then I got nervous.

But, Lisa talked so passionately about functional training and fitness then Mike, her mentor and trainer, put us through our warm up paces and very quickly, any trepidation ebbed away. They explained very clearly and carefully the correct technique and what we would achieve from the use of the different equipment then set us away on a circuit of eleven stations doing three rounds of twenty seconds work, ten seconds rest then move on.

I was brought up with boxing, am practically word-perfect on the ‘Rocky 2’ script and have stood solemnly before Joe Louis’s grave in Washington DC. So, I was curious how it would feel to don a pair of gloves and hit the pads. Exhausting and exhilarating it turns out.

Indeed, they are two words I would use to describe the whole experience. Lisa and Mike were encouraging and enthusiastic, knowledgeable and supportive. I’m just back from my second session and buzzing. I want to skip like the man I spied in the corner, push that loaded prowler with pride and leap on and off the highest box and with Lisa as my trainer.

I’m starting to believe that one day soon, I can and I will.