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Thursday, 8 December 2011


Each month a sum of cash finds its way from my bank account to my local gym’s bank account. The is an arrangement that has been going on for some years now and both of us abjectly lack any valid desire to change this set up. Even though most times, my money sees more of my gym than I do.

The reason I never change this arrangement is due to one word. Summer. Ok, make that two words. Summer and bikinis.

Which is how I found myself back in the gym around mid October. When I walk in the door for the first time, I noticed the staff had changed from last year. The last lot probably finished uni and got real jobs as public servants or stand up comedians.

They greet me with enforced joviality and care. Really they’re thinking, oh crikey here comes another one that we need to forklift onto the treadmill.

“Good morning,” they beam, all fake white teeth and spray on tans. “Is this your first visit?”

“No,” I dourly reply, “but the last time I came, you were still being breastfed.”

I am fortunate in that my gym has a pool. A decent one at that – 25 metres long and eight lanes wide. Think Olympic and halve it. Twice a week, I join the aqua aerobics class. I love this class. At 46, I’m the youngest. They think I’m their adopted grandchild. Last week they brought me bags of lollies and told me to make them last till the end of the week. The week before, one of them gave me a dollar and told me to put it towards something I was saving up for.

Get the picture?

I like aqua aerobics. You can work really really hard if that’s your mood. Or you can just splash about a bit and have a giggle with Dot and Pam, the two oldies who hang around the end of the pool pretending to work out but in reality hoping to pick up. Seriously, Dot has her eye on Alf, but Alf, as can be typical of men at times, has no idea she’s interested. Who needs Bold And The Beautiful?

After a week or two in the pool, I realised I needed to add diversity to my exercise program if I was going to make it into this year’s Bikini Olympics. Mmmm, I thought, what other group exercise can I do?

Definitely not Body Attack or Body Combat. No way. Not only is there all that unsightly jumping and running (I’ve got boobs, for goodness sake) but if you miss a step, the rest of the class trips, you feel like a bozo, and everyone immediately knows you’re both unfit and unco.

Which is how I ended up in a class called Spin. It has nothing to do with darning. Which is good. This one time I tried to sew up a hem, but ended up sewing my finger to it, so I now get qualified people to do my mending.

In a Spin class you hoist yourself onto this new age stationary bicycle and pretty much move the pedals around and around for 45 minutes. Wherein you get off, fall over, and crawl on your belly to your car.

Spin has two very endearing features. First of all, you do it in the dark. Or as close to dark as possible. You wouldn’t even have sex in this sort of light. I think they make it dark so that we keep our senses alert. Which staves off the boredom of pedalling around and around for 45 minutes.

It also means that if you slacken off a bit, no one can see. Not even the instructor.

The second endearing feature is the little knob in the centre of the bike that increases tension thereby making your workout harder.

You turn this little knob to the right and suddenly it’s like you’re riding your bike up Mount Everest after a heavy snowfall. Turn it to the left, and it’s like you’re riding your bike along Santa Monica Pier with George Clooney catching your tail wind.

And much as I try to keep that knob turned to the right, it all gets a bit much for me, and I have to knock off Everest and go back to Clooney.

And because it’s dark, nobody knows. Yesterday, while pedalling away, and trying to shift my mind away from the glaring monotony of pedal, pedal, pedal by thinking of interesting things, such as the players in the 1975 Australian cricket team, I had a thought.

What a relief that all our knobs don’t carry sensors, with massive reporting boards on the balls of the room. Imagine every time you knocked it back a few degrees, a bulb would flash or a siren would go off. The instructor would position her headset and shout, “Bron, gear it up, no slacking off” and I, of course, would immediately arrange to change my name. And my gym.

Tomorrow is Body Pump. I hear that has nothing to do with sex. Apparently it’s about weights. Heave-ho then...

1 comment:

  1. I so love the gym! I so miss not going...I have tried the spin class only once - it was with the hottest male instructor in the gym, and he worked us hard!
    I got off the spin bike and was wondering if I was ever going to walk again - I sweated that much that I looked like I wet myself :)
    I love step and bodypump..and body jam, and pilates!
    So miss the gym :)
    PS - good luck tomorrow!