I have a shocking announcement to make: this morning…I went to the gym.
It’s so surreal for me to say that and not have it be a lie.
I’ve been a member for a while now. And I try to go at least 4 times a week. It’s just that I have missed the last 140 times I was supposed to go.
I go to that takes my money isn’t actually a gym. It’s a ‘ladies health club’. Just a little bit fancy.
The only difference between the ladies health club and a regular gym is the cliental. The ladies health club seems to be strictly for 50-year-old housewives competing to look younger than their daughters, and for old women who have nothing better to do than spend 2 hours a day on the cross-trainer and populate yoga classes. Obviously, you also get the oddballs like me who fall for the yearly gym
donation membership sale and buy a year long pass. But there are very few of us, and I hazard to say we very rarely go.
The moment I signed up for my membership, I immediately felt healthier, which I deemed ample reason for me not to actually ever go again. I now realize, I could have better spent my money by going to Thailand for a week and drinking my body weight in alcohol. It would have yielded the same result for the same price, been more fun and would save me having to lie every time someone sees my membership key chain.
Person seeing my keychain: “Oh, you’re a member at the Health Club, how often do you go? Don’t you just love body pump!?”
Me: “Ummmmm, I try to go four times a week. And yeah, body pump is just the greatest”. All whilst racking my brain to remember what the hell body pump is and trying to fathom how anyone can be so excited about it.
But I digress. I actually enjoyed myself this morning. It was a spiritual journey to the place that commits daylight robbery on my bank account every month. I went through my ‘program’ and confirmed for old times sake that I have absolutely no upper body strength and even less patience to sit and pedal a stationary bike. My favorite exercise however, was judging. And boy oh boy did I work up a sweat doing it. It’s amazing how much you can learn about human nature by just observing in a gym.
It becomes clear there are some unwritten rules in gyms, (and I’m guilty of all of them). Given they’re not listed next to the motivational posters I thought I’d do society a favor a list them here:
If you’re on the treadmill next to me the answer is yes, we’re racing.
Don’t bother denying it. We all do it, and we all know it’s true.
Luckily for me, today I had two older ladies on either side of me. And despite the fact I don’t know what body pump is and struggle to lift the weightlifting bar, I can run. It’s probably the only thing I can do. So really, the ladies didn’t stand much of chance. The fact they were both over 80 didn’t hurt either.
The number of reps you can do it directly proportional to the number of people you think are watching you.
The gym is one big show, and you’re there to impress people. If no ones watching me, I can’t be arsed lifting the dumbell 15 times. I do it twice and get bored. If I have an audience, then I’ve got people to impress and it’s a whole different ball game. “Yes little lady, look at me doing 20 sits up. In a row. Ow you’re still watching? Let me do another 20.”
Just judge. Everyone. Always.
That’s the aim of the game isn’t it? I’m going to go and judge the housewives in matching pink outfits grunting as they’re walking on the treadmill. They’re going to judge me in my Ramones t-shirt as I wonder aimlessly round the gym staring at equipment. Then we’re all going to go judge the professional weightlifter whose gender would be in question had she not been in a female only gym.
Calculating how much cake you can now eat guilt free is imperative.
Okay, maybe this ones just me, but as I peddled on my stationary bike today all I could think about was cake. This isn’t a big change from my normal thought pattern, but it was bloody good motivation to just keep peddling. For the record, I rounded up to 2 pieces of cake. It was my first day back and I figured rounding up will will serve as encouragement.
The inspirational quotes inspire you to puke.
Now obviously depending on who you are, you’re going to puke for different reasons. When I read “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” and “Life’s too short to be fat” I felt like puking at the thought of what our society values and the lengths people go to for ‘perfection’. For the record, chocolate tastes better than being skinny and life’s too short for self hatred and celery sticks.
Obviously, others may puke for different reasons upon reading such quotes but lets not go there. Regardless, there should be inspirational quotes about health and achieving goals, not weight loss and perfection. I’m going to write a letter to the manager.
At the end of the day though, I’m going to try and stick with this gym thing. I felt pretty good about going today (my muscles probably won’t be feeling the same tomorrow). And now I’ll have something to contribute as all my friends talk (in excruciating detail) about their gym programs.
I’m aiming to live a healthier and happier life and with that comes a healthy diet and exercise regime. Given it’s too cold and rainy to go running outside I have to make friends with the stationary bike. Besides, I still want to find out what the hell ‘body pump’ is.
I’ve got 5 weeks until I head off to Europe and undo all my hard work. But until then: challenge accepted.