I’ve joined the gym!!!
I know what you’re thinking, so what do you want, a medal? But I’m actually allergic to exercise. I’ve been diagnosed… By myself, to be fair. However, I did a lot of research on the internet before diagnosing myself and although there aren’t any verified cases of Exercisus Allegicus, I feel quite strongly that there should be.
I’ve joined the
hellish world of keep fit gym because I’m overweight and flabby and probably on the verge of a heart attack, due to my love of chips and cake. Having recently turned 42 and only (just) able to fit into my rather hideous stretch Tesco jeans, and no other article of clothing that I own, I decided enough was enough. I felt like my bottom was walking five paces behind me, it had gotten so big: almost like a separate entity. Ergo, I’ve overhauled my diet (reluctantly and between bouts of weeping as I gaze longingly at chocolate bars) and begun an exercise regime. Another motivating factor is that I’m off on holiday in a couple of weeks and the thought of subjecting the general public to the shocking sight of me in a swimming costume fills me with horror. I’m beginning to see the benefit of a Burkini.
So for the past few weeks I’ve been forcing myself to visit my local
torture chamber leisure centre in order to participate in various classes and gym sessions. It’s horrific. Truly horrific. So far I’ve tried Zumba (which is not a fun dance class set to latin american music. I mean it is a dance class set to latin american music, but it ain’t fun), Hoola Hoop Fitness (whirling a circular piece of plastic around your waist for an hour while listening to hardcore techno, ain’t fun), Dance Atomic (please refer back to Zumba) and Cyclone (an original form of torment, which involves pedalling on a static exercise bike as hard as you can surrounded by sweaty, almost hysterical, competitive sporty types that give exercise a bad name. I repeat: it ain’t bloody fun.) In reality, I didn’t complete Cyclone, because I genuinely thought I was going to die. I could feel the smug looks of my fellow idiots cyclists as I beat a hasty retreat. Well, slowly staggered out of the exit whilst hyperventilating.
Deciding that exercise classes are not for me, I determined to stick to the gym where I can work out at my own pace. It’s not much better. I feel like I’ve entered some secret club where in order to be accepted, you have to be:
b) Already fit
d) In full makeup
f) Comfortable posing in front of a mirror
h) Able to maintain your dignity
Unfortunately, I am none of these things. I mean I know I’m not old, not at all. But compared to the other
twats gym goers: I’m old. I find exercising really embarrassing. It feels like being in a room full of people, completely naked. I feel exposed: vulnerable. And there’s something faintly ridiculous about a bunch of people, running next to each other on treadmills, not actually going anywhere. Plus working out brings out the worst in me. It makes me cross and out of breath and sweaty and smelly and tired and most of all red in the face. (There’s no ‘buzz’ of adrenaline, just a fierce buzzing in my head that makes me feel like I might have a brain tumour.) Training at the gym plays havoc with my rosacea. While my skin is normally a light shade of beetroot, exercise makes it puce. My face pulsates and stings and resembles a swollen raspberry, ready to burst like a fruit bomb. I’ve tried lots of things to combat this distressing dilemma. Water spray that I keep in the fridge, a mini fan, a cold, damp towel around my neck, drinking copious amounts of icy water. Nothing works. And trying to carry round all these accoutrements from gym machine to gym machine is a logistical nightmare. I walk around clutching this useless baggage, swearing under my breath, wishing I was at home with a box of doughnuts.
Then there’s the changing rooms: Slimy, wet floors: gross; showers that drip lukewarm water, trying to squeeze my gym bag, which contains 50,000 items, into a tiny locker and catching sight of my crimson countenance in the myriad of mirrors. Going to the gym is a kind of torment. Still, I have lost half a stone; my Tesco jeans are beginning to feel baggy and my bottom is only walking two paces behind me now rather than five. The red face is still a problem, but when, eventually, I’ve got the body of Elle McPherson (hahahahahahahahahahahahaha), a scarlet complexion will seem a small price to pay.