I used to be of the opinion that going to the gym would be good for me. I mean, seeing all those well toned people working out, how hard can it be? 4 years and a substantial chunk of my money later I was still waiting for the results to kick in. Believing that it was a lost hope and also convincing myself that I had a slow metabolism, I gave up!
Now, I haven’t been to a gym in a couple of years, but around this time of year I start to get a twinge of guilt – I’m sure we all get it. I mean, we’ve just consumed more food and drink in the space of 2 weeks than we will do at any other point in the year (other than 2 weeks in Cancun, but that’s another story!!).
I am sure there are millions of us out there who will be making a new year’s resolution this year to “get fit and healthy”. Unfortunately the gyms know this and they are ready to pounce and prey on our insecurities. They will lure you in with the promise of losing weight, toning muscle, building strength and getting that perfect body…pah! What they don’t tell you is that it requires a HUGE amount of will-power and free time!
Now, if you do succumb to the marketing hype and sign up then you will have to go through the indignity and humiliation of the physical assessment. Like a grumpy child you will be forced, I mean encouraged into doing things your body is just not designed to do and all this with an audience!
Then there are the people that you see at the gym. Accents may differ from region to region as they yell out their rep counts and the music selection may differ through the oversized headphones, but these same people seem to appear whatever gym you frequent:
- The Muscle – These guys are big, they have probably been working out since the moment they picked up their first rattle. Their clothes fit them like paint and the veins on their arms and legs look like an AA road map. Don’t ask these guys to spot you as they will probably just laugh.
- The Novice – These guys have not had their gym induction yet, and they are a danger to themselves and others around them. There is nothing truly scarier than these people who feel the need to invent their own exercises.
- The Screamer – Not usually the muscle guy but the guy that aspires to be like them, they grunt and groan at the top of their voice to let you know they’re there. Unfortunately they also look like they will suffer a heart attack, so stay away unless you want to give them mouth to mouth.
- The Teens – You will usually see them in a pack, circling the gym looking for prey and texting each other. Occasionally they may try out the equipment but that’sonly to compare text responses.
- The Too Personal Trainer – Ok, so you’ve taken the plunge and signed up for the gym and taken the bold step of getting a personal trainer to help you. These guys want to know everything about you but also want to share their life problems with you. Stay away from them – they will only distract you.
- The Glamorous Mum – For these ladies the gym is a social event. They will not be seen in regular gym attire – they will have coordinated outfits with their hair, nails and makeup all perfect. These ladies can usually be seen on weekday mornings after the school run and on Saturday mornings whilst little Johnny is having his swimming lesson.
- The Talker – These guys want to talk nonsense – they never ever shut up. Even when you are attempting your last 5 minutes they will feel the need to ask how you and your family are, how your job is going or where the best place to buy a snow shovel is. Your best bet is to avoid eye contact at all costs.
- The Narcissist – This is the person who, in the locker rooms, takes his/her clothes off slowly and deliberately, making sure everyone sees their bodies and curves. After a shower, they admire themselves in the mirror for prolonged periods of time. They check their newly upgraded bodies, their face, any new zits. Then they put on their well-ironed and well-folded clothes, also slowly and deliberately. Finally they pamper their hair and face and put on aftershave and whatever. It takes them more time to groom than it takes them to work out. To them, they’re the only people who exist in the gym.
No, no, I have had my fill of gyms and their utopian dreams. I will stick to my running and saving my money to spend on a nice weekend break, guilt-free of course. Although I might see if the hotel has a gym!