I WAS in pain, for sure, but at least I had my log to keep me company. It was Sunday morning, a bright September Sunday morning when I could have been doing any number of other things, among them sleeping soundly or, at the very least, drinking tea and eating toast in bed while the radio burbled away gently in the background.
Instead, Mrs H and I had risen with the larks and set off for Haldon Forest, where we did an hour-and-a-half of circuit training, running and log-carrying.
I was in The Plank when the thought first occurred to me that I could easily have been somewhere else.
It would have been about 9.15am by then, and you might have been just catching up with the papers or preparing to watch some light and unchallenging Sunday morning television.
My breath came in grunts of pain, and beads of sweat dropped from the end of my nose on to the damp, fetid leaf mulch a few inches below.
My toes fought for grip in the slippery leaves, my elbows and forearms slid about a little in the slimy ooze.
The Plank in this instance isn't the amusing film starring Eric Sykes. This one is like a press-up, only you don't move.
Your toes, elbows and forearms keep you off the ground and you keep your back ramrod straight. You hold this position for a minute, or until your Kindly Fitness Instructor tells you that you can move.
When I say 'ramrod straight', that's the theory. In practice it isn't quite like that. Steve the Plumber, who does this kind of thing a lot and is quite good at it, looked up momentarily from his own pile of ooze and leaf mulch and tried to encourage me with a chirpy "Ramrod straight, Henders!"
I told him quite brusquely to go away, without using the words 'go' or 'away' at all.
Then our Kindly Fitness Instructor came and planted his foot in the small of my back and gently moved my spine and pelvis into a position that wasn't quite ramrod but wasn't far off straight.
I groaned gently and collapsed into the ooze and the mulch.
We were doing all this for fun and fitness, of course, in the latest of the Sunday morning Get Sweaty fitness sessions to be given the name of 'Beast' because it is a little longer and tougher than the rest.
It had all started so well, with some gentle stretching in the clearing which looks out over hundreds of square miles of South and East Devon countryside.
If you have never been to this particular spot, I recommend it thoroughly. You can stand and look out across a vista that stretches from the hills behind Dawlish on one side right along the coast and way past Exmouth, then inland to Exeter and the rolling countryside beyond.
It was lovely on Sunday. There was hardly a sound, and the smoke from a bonfire somewhere in the rough direction of Topsham wound gently into the air.
It was a shame to spoil the morning with extreme exercise.
But that's just what we did. A man walking a boxer dog stood and watched in wonder as we all lay face-down on the ground and stretched our arms out to do something called Obliques.
He just stood and stared, with a long strand of drool swinging gently from his mouth – the dog, that is, not the man.
We pressed on into the forest, pausing from our running now and then to perform some kind of fiendish exercise, such as a Para Squat. To do this, you stand with your feet slightly apart, then bend your knees and grab your ankles.
You then straighten your legs, still keeping hold of your ankles. Easy, isn't it? Do this about 30 times. Then 30 times more. Now do you feel like swearing at Steve the Plumber? I did, and I did.
Then came the logs.
We were more than half way through the session when our Kindly Fitness Instructor said that we were about to run through an area where there was a large quantity of chopped wood, and we should select a log and pick it up, as we would be needing it presently.
By some bizarre twist of fate I was running at the front of the pack when we arrived at the cut wood.
It was the only time all morning that I was anywhere near the front of the pack.
I selected a fairly substantial log from the hundreds strewn around the place, and picked it up.
It was, as they say, a schoolboy error. My enthusiasm to find a large and handsome log had run away with me. My companions had chosen slightly smaller logs, and their wisdom became apparent over the next half hour or so, as we ran with our logs and exercised while holding them aloft.
I could have hurled my lovely, lovely log into the far undergrowth and picked up a smaller, lighter one, but that's the kind of thing that just isn't done.
So I gritted my teeth and shouldered my log to run down forest tracks, held it aloft for weightlifting exercises and held it close for bicep curls.
Soon I was lurching rather than running, and holding it aloft with some difficulty.
But it was my log, and I was getting quite attached to it. I was almost disappointed when we got back to the car park and we had to say goodbye.
I was all for putting it in the back of the car, but Mrs H had already thrown her own log into the middle distance and said no. There were tears in my eyes as I tossed it Highland-style back in the rough direction whence it came.