My eyes creak open and the world spins. My wrist throbs with a dull pain, born of over-punching.
After showering, we stalk the streets with one thing on our minds: feats of strength.
There is only one problem…the night before. A bottle of vodka and fifteen litres of beer may not have been the best preparation for a day of power.
We do not feel strong.
Punching machine. My nemesis. Prepare to feel the wrath of 900 newtons.
Shockingly, the record has been reset to a mere 650 newtons! Matt is the first to crush it with 850. He is the strongest man in Poland! I step up and deliver 880 newtons. I am now the strongest man in Poland! Simon, huge and furious, crushes the bag – flying past the machine with the sheer force of the blow.
He batters his way to 956 newtons. We are staggered. He is, by far, the strongest man in Poland.
But I am yet to break 900. This will not do. Punch after punch hammers the machine. My wrist screams. I can feel the tendons twisting with every strike. I must break 900. I must. If only I knew how to punch…
Simon offers advice. I can feel myself punching harder, but time and time again, I am denied. Matt too is having a bad day.
Eventually, I take a few steps back and hurl myself at it in desperation. The numbers rocket upwards. 600 comes in a second, then 700 appears before I can blink. 800 flashes past…850…880…890…897 (my record)…898…899…
The numbers freeze. 899. One newton away. The exact force of a cock-slap to the face. One…pissing…newton.
Pain is forgotten, as is the value of the Polish zloti. I sink every penny I have into the machine…until there is nothing left. Nothing.
Eventually, my companions drag me from the punching game. I go quietly, but my mind races with technique alterations. More in the legs, throw back the hips…must…punch…harder…
We head for the fitness centre and water park. Lifting and slides will calm us.
What’s this? No gym?! Why would a man slide when he can’t lift things beforehand? I yearn to punch the woman square in her gymless face. More legs, more hips…twist the arm… Right there in the face….
There is nothing for it. We must find a gym or we will implode.
Hours are lost, seeking a gym. We stop for cakes. More hours are lost. Eventually, we find one in a hotel.
Suddenly and without warning, the gym is full. Every man is enormous. Turns out we’re not the strongest men in Poland. Not by a long way.
Even so, we perform well, given our week-long binge.
Dinner is spaghetti and chicken that we cook ourselves. Alas we ruin it, but are too famished to care. We drink another bottle of vodka, but limit our beers to a mere gallon. After all, we have to leave for Krakow in the morning.