#PushPlay (Part 1)

My friend challenged me to write a short romance – thriller based on women trying to motivate each other to workout by posting their daily workouts on Facebook. 

Challenge accepted. It\’s not edited so forgive my typos pls. 
Avila dragged her feet to the bedroom and flopped onto her bed. She hugged her fluffy pillow and sighed blissfully. She\’d coached all her kids on their home-based learning, did most of the housework and prepared meals for everyone. She was exhausted, and the sun hadn\’t even set.
Her mobile phone vibrated on the nightstand. She picked it up to check the message. It was a Facebook notification to let her know she\’d been tagged in her friend\’s post. 
Avila groaned and placed the phone back onto the nightstand. She already knew what the post was going to be about. 
Her group of friends had embarked on this peer motivation exercise program. By posting what they had completed for the day and tagging each other, they hoped it would spur each other on to workout during this lockdown period. It felt like a good idea at that time. Avila was tired of feeling sluggish, out of shape and unattractive, yet she couldn\’t bring herself to keep up with the regime. She\’d be very motivated on one day, then create excuses for herself the next.
She kept up with her friends for the first week, posting what they did on Facebook. Slowly, the novelty of the idea had worn out. It\’d turned into a form of stress now. She had the excuse of having her period for the last three days, but not anymore. Cursing inwardly, she scrolled through the hundreds of workout videos on Youtube to see which one she wanted to do today.
Nothing interest her. Maybe she should try those paid apps like her friends. The workouts were progressive and guided, not haphazard like hers. Some of them even came with meal plans to assist in the weight loss. 
She scrolled through the list of apps and one of them stood out. It had a personalised workout plan which consisted of a variety of workouts, an individual coach and a meal plan. It came with a one-month-trial period which allowed her to cancel anytime. It looked good, even had high ratings from the users, so she downloaded it. 
Feeling excited, she opened up the app and got started. She entered her credit card details for registration purposes, then did a lifestyle survey where she keyed in her latest weight, desired weight, exercise and food preferences. Then, she waited for the app to match a coach for her. 
Ping! You\’ve got a match! the app announced. She swiped left to see the profile of the coach that was matched to her. 
Holy *&(^#$*&^#$
It was a smouldering hot, muscular guy with an Italian name – Gabriele DiMatteo. No wonder her friends were motivated to workout. With a guy like this she\’d be motivated to workout every day too. She clicked \’accept\’ and held her breath to see what happened next.
A message popped up. 
\”Hello Avila! I\’m Gabriele! We matched up and I\’ll be guiding you on your workout for the next four weeks. After that, you may decide if you want to continue with me or you\’d like to try out another coach.\”
Avila wondered if Gabriele was really as hot as his actual photo. She let her imagination run a little wild as she replied him. \”Pleased to \’meet\’ you! Can\’t wait to get started!\”
\”Shall we begin? Or would you like to arrange another time that\’s more suitable for you?\”
\”We can start.\”
\”Ok. I\’m going to send you my warm up video. After that, we\’ll proceed to some cardio exercises. Then we slow down for cooling down. At any point of time, if you feel unwell or uncomfortable with the exercise, just send me a text. I\’ll modify it.\”
She gave him a \’thumbs up\’.
Gabriele\’s handsome face appeared on the screen. \”Hello.\” He waved. \”We\’ll start with some basic Rhumba moves. Follow me.\” 
A slow rhythm came on and Gabriele started swaying his hips. \”We\’ll start with basic hip movement. Come, darling, sway with me.\” 
Avila grinned and swayed with him. She knew it was a pre-recorded video which hundreds of others in the program had watched, but still, it was nice to think of it as personal. It definitely helped that he was eye candy. 
The hour passed quickly, and Avila enjoyed her workout tremendously. 
\”How was it?\” Gabriele asked.
\”Wonderful! I had a great workout!\”
\”That\’s good. What are you having for dinner?\”
Oh! Right, he was supposed to monitor her meal plan too. Suddenly feeling very conscious, she wanted to make up some healthy sounding meal, but she decided to be honest. After all, it was the only way the coaching sessions could be effective.
\”Some rice, veg stir-fry, steamed fish and soup.\”
\”Sounds wonderful! Let me work out the portions for you. Give me a min.\” 
Wow, he\’d even work out her food portions! A minute later, a video message came. Avila clicked to play.
\”Hello, Avila,\” greeted Gabriele in his baritone voice. \”Here\’s the portion you should be having.\” The camera panned down to his plate. It showed some food props and he explained the layout to her. Then, he lifted the camera back to his face. \”I\’ll be sending you my meditation clip for today. Play it just before you sleep.\” He gave her a cheeky wink and flashed a deep dimple on his cheek. \”Hopefully, you\’ll have sweet dreams of me tonight.\”
Avila laughed and sent him a text. \”Will do! Thank you!\”
Gabriele sent her a summary of the workout she did today so that she could share her achievement on Facebook. She clicked it happily and tagged her friends. She was already looking forward to the next workout. 

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