Tall And True Short Reads
Both Sides of the Story – The Gym
Episode 30 (27 July 2021)
The Gym (England, 1993): “Come on, Winnie, push.” Winston arched his back and strained against the bar. “Push!” The muscles in Winston’s arms and chest burned. He closed his eyes, let out a primal roar and fully locked his arms. The weights rattled for a moment before Winston steadied the bar. “Yes!”
Both Sides of the Story – A Council Flat
Episode 30 (27 July 2021)
Both Sides of the Story is a collection of short stories from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. The collection consists of four self-contained vignettes and a fifth piece that ties together and resolves the threads from all five stories. The podcast version is presented in six instalments with an introductory episode.
Copyright notice: Both Sides of the Story song written by Phil Collins from the Both Sides album (1993).
Read Both Sides of the Story – The Gym: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/both-sides-of-the-story-the-gym
Podcast website: https://www.tallandtrueshortreads.com
Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads
Buy Robert’s short story collections online:
• Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Fairhead/e/B086HZ36NM
• Rakuten Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/author/robert-fairhead
I wrote Both Sides of the Story in 1994 for the Ian St James Awards. The inspiration for my story was the 1993 Phil Collins hit song of the same name.
As it is now, the news back then was full of stories about “bad people” for whom the general public (including me) felt little sympathy. However, after watching the Phil Collins Both Sides music video on MTV and its juxtaposed scenes of violence and backstories, I wondered if I could show both sides of the news in a short story.
Both Sides of the Story consists of four self-contained vignettes with a fifth piece to tie together and resolve the larger short story. The Gym, set in England in 1993, is the fourth vignette.
In 1994, the memory of Ben Johnson’s doping disgrace at the 1988 Seol Olympics was still fresh in our collective memory. And more athletes had fallen from grace at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, including Britain’s Jason Livingstone, nicknamed “Baby Ben”.
The Gym is not their story, nor that of any other athlete banned for doping. But it is an attempt to imagine why they might risk doping. Or, as Phil Collins would say, to see both sides of the story.
Thanks for listening to this episode of Tall And True Short Reads. You can read all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com.
The next episode and fifth piece from Both Sides of the Story, Bad News, will be released shortly. In the meantime, please check your podcast feed for earlier episodes and other short stories. And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. It helps other listeners find the podcast.
And please support this podcast by telling your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.
Podcast Theme and Sound Effects
Rattling weights: https://freesound.org/people/13GPanska_Lakota_Jan/sounds/378364/
Bottles chinking: https://freesound.org/people/LampEight/sounds/259671/
Sipping drink: https://freesound.org/people/bbrocer/sounds/382656/
Police siren: https://freesound.org/people/vlammenos/sounds/52906/
Podcast recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.
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