THE call came out of the blue and caught me off guard.

Somehow, I heard myself signing up to 7am personal training sessions at Fifth Dimension Health Club at Ebley and there’s no turning back.

To be fair, the thought had been looming in my head as I am off to New Zealand this year and a couple of calls with my son out there have left me in no doubt we were definitely not envisaging the same trip at all.

Treking, hiking and climbing are words that seem to scattergun his conversations followed by a tantalising “don’t worry if you are not up to it, but it would be a shame to miss out on the best scenery...”

Well, that gauntlet has been well and truly laid down, so I am determined to be not only a few stone lighter, but fit as a butcher’s dog too by the time I set off.

Matt Collins is my personal trainer and is under strict instructions that I will not do running or jumping at that time of day.

I have chosen instead to work with weights, to build up my strength and naively, if I am honest, I thought it might be a little less energetic.

Not a bit of it.

After 40 minutes, I was out of breath and sweating.

It hadn’t felt like I was pushing myself too far, but it was clear I had just done a really good workout.

More surprisingly, I really enjoyed my first session and am looking forward to the next.