I’ve come to the conclusion that fitness is a con. I mean what are we all trying to get fit for? There are people I know that stay fit for their own reasons, because they are boxers, because they are rugby players, because they are young and want to keep that tan, and half-moons under their foldy bits isn’t really a good look.
I’m not an athlete, not even a tanned adonise, but I am going to try my hand at this fitness lark. I have a Gym membership after all and quite honestly £35 to swim once a month is a tad OTT.
As judgemental as I am this morning and I’m feeling as though I have a right to whinge today because I can, I do admire the keep fitters. Not because I feel they work hard for the sake of their health and not because they look so good, trust me, some take it too far, but just because they have a hobby they enjoy. They do enjoy it I think. They ought to, the amount of money that passes through the keep fit industry would be enough to keep a 3rd World country in toilet paper for ever, although thinking about it we would then have to look after the countries that had been deforested to supply the toilet rolls and that would mean we would have to find another hobby or pastime the ‘civilised’ World had to give up. See judgemental.
Yesterday I trotted off to the Gym. Early Sunday morning workout I thought, nice and…. Where did they all come from? And I’m not talking Gym staff that get in before their shift. I’m talking everyone from the old buff weight lifter to the young girl in full face paint. I’m going to be so judgemental now, but I’m not ashamed of it. I was in shock, the older gentleman, (and I have to remember that I am approaching 60 and Mark has hit it and surpassed it) was wearing a pair of grubby white shorts. OK so what? He has probably trained in those most of his adult life, why should he buy the latest named kit just to get sweaty. I’ll tell you why, because the 50 year bonus of sweaty crotch odour was not pleasant. It definitely didn’t add to his personality. Top that off with the weight lifting belt that was pulling the back of said shorts into regions that had never had any lifting experience and you have the picture I am trying to paint. Don’t even mention his tights!
The Gym is a big place, bigger than the one I visited whilst I was away the other week. Seriously let’s hope that a Scot never visits the City Gym I went to, you couldn’t swing a cat, let alone a hammer. So finding another corner at my Gym wasn’t a problem.
I’m as much to blame as the young girl trying to keep her butt from sagging. I feed the industry. I have numerous tops and leggings for the Gym, several swim suits and bags. Although to be fair, I had to get a new Gym bag when my Sports Bra turned up. Couldn’t quite squeeze the scaffolding in. I have no intention of playing any sport, but I do find the extra umph provided by a well-fitting bra is a must when jogging on a treadmill. (Albeit for 60 seconds at a time)
Armed with a bag the size of a bank robbers tool kit and just as heavy I set off at 9:30 on a Sunday. The carpark was almost bare, the odd scattering of vehicles that I assumed belonged to the staff of the shops there about. And then there were children. Not just any children, excited children, children that looked as they were prepared to swim the channel.
Note to self: Check Gym timetable before leaving.
My excuse to forego a vigorous set of Gym machines was foiled, I am notyoung enough to be mistaken for a mother let alone a child learning to swim. So, the Gym it was.
There she was. All in black. Joggers that wouldn’t have looked out of place in an episode of Shameless, black t-shirt that had seen more concerts and beer than Gyms, and hair that had been thrown in a bun. She was perfect. Just what I expected to see on Sunday. A self-assured, no nonsense fit young lady. As I huffed and puffed and set the Gym machine weights to 5kg and 10kg, she pushed and pulled half a tonne of power weights around the floor. She out trapezed Tony Curtis and would have given Batman’s Robin a run for his money and never broke a sweat. She was friendly and chatted to others and when I asked her what her sport was she told me she didn’t have one. She just enjoyed staying fit. I got her name and I’ve now applied on her behalf for the World’s Strongest Woman Contest. Only joking, but if I had, she would wipe the floor with them all.
Finished with the gruelling routine of machines, cracking my personal best on the static cycle, I went into full yoga mode. An hour after starting I sat on the bench and realised that the people that tell you exercise is good for you are those that charge you money to do it.
I must have done something right. The lady in the café gave me a free bacon bap, because I looked as though I needed it. The lady in the Pet shop only charged me half price for the dog food, as she felt she couldn’t advise me on what to get. Then to top it off a kindly young woman let me jump the queue in the supermarket because I only had a bag of coffee. “You look like you need that.” She chuckled.
Grateful as I was of the kindness I was shown I started to notice a pattern. Old men holding doors open and young men making way for me in the shops. Quite honestly, if getting fit is going to make me look that bad that people feel sorry for me, I think I’ll go again. I think I am going to enjoy this fitness lark.