October 28, 2008

Today I joined the local gym. I’ve been feeling quite depressed and aimless recently, so I thought it might cheer me up, or at least get me out of the house. Working freelance has its benefits, but the downside is I’m never sure of my schedule and often find myself at home during the day, with everyone else working and nothing for me to do but pick my nose and slump into claustrophbic bouts of self-pity.

The last gym I joined was about 9 years ago and was crap. I only went once. It seemed to mostly be a pick-up joint for gay men.

Today was better. I joined and had an induction straight away and was shown all the exciting new machines. How they glittered and shone! I got a USB fob thing that I plug into the machines at the start of every session and it tells me what exercises I need to do and how many calories I’ve burnt. Sadly, it doesn’t make aggressive motivational statements flash up on the readouts of the exercise bike, but it’s quite good anyway. These things are probably commonplace in every gym in the country, but they’re new to me.

After the induction I decided to actually do some exercise. That’s when the stress began. Not because of the exercise, but because of the changing rooms. I hate changing rooms. They scare me. The gym changing room was being refurbished, so I had to use the swimming pool changing rooms. They bewildered me. There was a constant stream of kids to’ing and fro’ing and I couldn’t work out how to use the lockers. I finally managed to get myself in order, only to waste my sole 20p piece on a locker that didn’t work. I nipped out to the reception and got more change as some random man kept an eye on my clothes/keys/wallet. I felt like a small child, lost in a world of adults. To be fair, I feel like that quite often.  

The exercise itself was fine. I had headphones and watched Sky Sports News as I cycled along (Tony Adams was being unveiled as the new Pompey manager). I worked up a light sweat, which was quite literally what the doctor had ordered me to do.

After the exercise I wandered back to the changing rooms, knowing that I should take a shower but unwilling to do so because a) I’m not keen on getting naked in front of other men and b) having taken my clothes/towel out of the locker, there was nowhere to put them whilst you’re showering aside from leaving them in a heap or stashing them in an unlocked locker.

I showered when I got home. Maybe next time I’ll feel brave enough to have a shower.  It would make life easier, but I’ve never been very good at making anything in my life easier than it has to be.

My legs are now killing me. I blame the cross-trainer.


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