Thursday, 13 January 2011
Actually I’m rather chuffed. A new gym has opened, literally two minutes from my front door and I have been studiously ignoring it; pretending it doesn’t exist; that the people marching down the lane in trainers and day-glo sweatshirts just have dodgy fashion sense.
It’s a bit mad really cos at heart I’m an uber gym-bunny. I caught the bug when I was staying in the States with my brother. He signed me up for his local gym, a spit and sawdust place where I was the only one not on steroids. I think I was also the only woman – but, hey, who knows? Anyhow, I loved it. The big guys were lovely – they’d coax me to one final muscle-tearing rep and send me flying when they high-fived me.
Back in London I joined a smart gym in Covent Garden with my friend Nicky. The guys there would probably have headbutted you it meant they go on the stepper first. But hey, whatever...we got so fit I even had one of those thong up the backside leotards. Nicky used it as her happy hunting ground for meeting cute guys (the naughty minx even had sex on the sunbed with one of them) but my Celtic skin with its tendency to go puce on extreme exertion rather scuppered my chances. I’ve probably already told you about the guy who chatted me up at a party one evening and then didn’t recognise me on the StairMaster the next day, with my day-glo face and sweat pouring down my nose.
Down to Somerset and more gyms followed, each one smaller and less fancy than the last. Then the council opened what is apparently the UK’s first ‘rural gym’. It’s housed in the old parish rooms hall and, while not remotely large or flash, it is smart and clean and has all you need for a seriously good workout: bikes, treadmills, cross-trainers, rowers plus a comprehensive range of weight machines. At £17 a month, it’s also ridiculously cheap in comparison to most places. So how insane was it that I hadn’t been?
Then, I dunno, something switched in my head. I marched down the road, swept through the door, signed on the dotted line.
I’ve lost a fair bit of weight and I need to firm up, to get strong again. Actually I hadn’t realised quite how MUCH weight I’d lost until Trish, the gym trainer, got me on the scales. 30 pounds. Sheesh.
‘How long has it taken you to lose that?’ she asked.
‘Ummm.’ I looked sheepish. ‘Since November maybe.’
‘Beginning of November?’
Why am I so sodding extreme?
She measured my fat, my body mass index, my peak flow, my fitness level.
‘It’s not going to be pretty,’ I warned her. ‘I’ve lost my edge.’
‘Average,’ she said. ‘You’re not as bad as you thought you’d be.’
Hmm. No, I’m not. In fact, in this context, average is just perfect.
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