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Tuesday, 18 May 2010


It is well documented that for every mile that you jog, you add one minute to your life. This enables you, at age 85, to spend an additional five months in a nursing home at $5,000 per month.

That’s ok by me. I don't jog, it makes the ice jump right out of my glass. In fact, I don’t exercise much at all. Exercise wouldn’t be a problem for me if I had a different body to do it with. And if God meant us to touch our toes, he would have put them further up our body. If it wasn’t for car parks, I don’t think I’d walk at all.

Books on exercise sell by the thousands. And there's a reason for this. It's a lot easier to read than it is to exercise.

But I know I need to exercise. So I got together with some girlfriends to lament my platitudes over a restorative plate of gnocchi boscaiola (extra cream in the sauce thanks), garlic bread (double serve, do you mind?), house red (actually we'll just get a bottle, much easier), and lattes (do you do them in a mug?)

Jane started. "I've got to exercise. I rang up yesterday to hire a treadmill. Great idea, doncha think? I was going to put it right in front of the television. That way I can watch The Biggest Loser and exercise! The one I saw advertised even had a drink holder. I don't think it was for a wine glass, I think it was for a bottle of water, but you can't be too sure. I'll get them to confirm that.

"Anyway, get this, I rang them up, and they don't have any left. None. No exercise bikes either. No cross trainers, whatever the hell that is, a float for the Mardi Gras in Sydney perhaps? I could get a fitball but I'd have to inflate it myself," she said as she drew back on her cigarette.

Collective panic set in around the table. Clearly we weren't the only ones desperately seeking absolution for our orange-peel thighs. The questions started. Did she ring other hire places? Were they out of stock too? What about going on a waiting list? How much are they to buy? Have you checked eBay?

"What if we join a gym?" I ventured, adding yet more Parmesan to my meal whilst deliberating whether I'd have caramel or butterscotch sauce on my sticky date pudding. "You know, ask for a corporate membership, government levy discount, personal trainers, stuff like that? Thanks doll, I'd love some more red."

Sounded fab, except for one problem - commitment. I can't commit to a dinner service pattern. Or a long distance mobile phone carrier. Or a man. How am I supposed to commit to a gym?

Gyms across Australia make their annual budget from women like me. They join a gym, sign up for a year and elect the premium membership package.

Then they forget to go. Forget that the key factor is actually visiting the establishment and moving about in some form on the equipment. These people are known as gym-donors. The bread and full-fat butter of the gym industry. They hand over money without setting foot in the place. They keep the wheels turning but never get on the bike.

"I know, we'll just go walking. It's free, it's available 24/7, and we can go for as long or as short as we want." Sighs could collectively be heard. Easy solution to a complex problem.

Ok," I said, feeling very zealous and motivated. "We'll start tomorrow at lunch time. We'll meet outside my building at 12 and walk around the City Gardens."

"Lunch tomorrow's no good for me," said one of the group. "I'm meeting my mother for coffee."

"And I've got a meeting that will go till 2," said another.

"No worries," I said, steadfastly holding on to a mental picture of me in togs once winter was over. "What about after work?"

I'm meeting someone for drinks."

"I've got to pick up the kids early

And so it goes.

I can't say for sure whether that walking group will ever convene, or if any of us will ever get to that gym, but I can say one thing for sure. Come this time next year, we'll still be talking about it. How do I know? I've already booked the table and asked the restaurant to open a bottle of red.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely hilarious... this is my story too. I now have a trainer who expects me to turn up twice a week. If it wasn't for him... I would NEVER exercise. I make sure he 'smashes' me... but I must admit, on those days I have 2 wines with my cheese.. as I deserve it! A-M xx