The Dreaded Gym

11 Aug

After a long winter of baggy jumpers, leggings and warm snugly coats, the sun arrived. With a bang for me, to be honest, as I had decided on an early summer trip to America, leaving behind the chilly climes of my homeland for something a little more favourable. So when I got home, feeling decidedly pale in my bikini amongst the bronze, size 0 goddesses of California, I decided, for the first time since my dearest friend and I joined the gym, and then didn’t go, that a change was needed.

“And with the winds, blow the seeds of change”. The winds, it seems, being my snap decision to go back to my education. In America. No no, I don’t do anything by halves. So, with the gently cattle prod style persuasion of my friend Char, I registered for the gym.

What is it about the gym that makes even the most confident of people quake in their boots? What voodoo magic does it use that makes you feel that you are indeed the most unhealthy specimen they will have ever seen?
I would like to point out at this point that my forays into exercise have been minimal. At fifteen, my friend Row and I decided we would embrace exercise, and cycle a few miles to do a spot of goat bothering at the local pet / farm shop. It was optimistic at best, and would have taken us a good forty minutes to get there by bicycle. Needless to say, we cycled round the corner to the shop, purchased picnic and carried on. A flat tyre was discovered a further ten seconds along, so we up heeled and pushed the bikes home, eating the picnic in front of the TV.

She eased me in gently, and we have been frequenting classes together. My face of concentration has been tense to say the least, as I have the rhythm of a 17-year-old boy in a night club, which was only compounded by the fact an older lady told me to smile and look like I was enjoying it. I resisted the urge to tell her to do one.

But then I had to have a one on one session with an instructor, which is where I realised the doom of the actual gym. I was first offered my appointment with the muscley –est, toned man in the place. Intimidating much? I instead opted for the nice girl, and the appointment went by with little fuss. But when told I needed to do x amount of time on each piece of equipment, I realised why I will struggle to be successful at exercise. I strongly object to being told what to do, a bad trait that i seem to be able to manage anywhere BUT the gym, and I am lazy. These two, hand in hand, are lethal.

I am yet to discover what it is that makes you feel like the centre of attention. Yes, I am out of shape, sweating and finding it difficult, but I hardly go to the training ground of the gods. There are bellies, flabby bits and too – tight –trousers all over the show, yet I feel uncomfortable and nervous in such a public viewpoint.

Like a voice from above, the answer has dawned on me. Nothing will ever make me feel any different, but thank goodness for human nature. Everyone feels like that! So gaze will remain firmly in the distance, never meeting the eyes of everyone else doing the same, and calm will remain. Phew.


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