I do not, as a cursory glance at my doubtfully worthy physique will inform the reluctant viewer, maintain a relationship with fitness. Tending less towards Atlas and more towards globe, I came to the conclusion that I’d like to buy nicer shirts. This is going to entail complicated things that do not generally cross this journal’s lexicon. Words like exercise. Glutes. Treadmills. Gyms.
And so I discarded my black leather ankle boots in favour of white Nikes, booked a free trial session at my local mass market gym franchise and booked a large cup of detached irony with which I could sup upon while surrounded by dozens of fit bastards, silently judging and mocking my attempts to infiltrate this alien world.
A brief defence: This is for me. This isn’t an attempt to be slimmer to pull chicks, fit into societies norms or fashion, or a desire to uproot trees with my bare hands. It’s a desire for stairs to be less nemisissy, and to be able to play more flighty LARP characters. I don’t know why I feel the need to defend it, but I do.
Anyway, the first trick was to find the gym, which helpfully directed me to the wrong street. After a while breaking in my new trainers, I found the building, and prepared for the judgement of the fit.
I filled in a form that promised that I was neither dead or likely to be soon, that I was aiming to go to the gym for reasons as mentioned above, and that my favour colour of popsicle is lime. Etc. My guide showed me around the gym, here are the machines, there are the changing rooms, that’s the free DVD lending library, this is the spa, those are the tanning booths. She introduced me to a new scheme they’re playing with, where you get eight weeks membership for £50, but if you go 20 times in those eight weeks you get £20 back. A numbers game I’m fairly sure they’ll win in most cases. Then she handed me off to to a bloke with a startling resemblence to Russell Howard, I got changed into my adult P.E kit, and prepared to hate everything, ironically.
I was disappointed.
My surety that this be horrible, that I would hate every moment, that the entire universe would be standing outside awaiting my doom, remained unfulfilled. RobTheTrainer was nice, enthusiastic and encouraging, introduced me to how to make a treadmill work and not to accidentally reproduce OKGo videos, how to use all the terrifying and complex machines and systems in the weights area, and we went on a basic workout with all of them. 15 reps here, 10 there, a dozen squats, some lunges, now try the squats swinging this weight around, bit of a break, this is how this one works.
During bits I was finding walking hard, but then we concentrated elsewhere while my legs recovered. I eventually left a while later, in a somewhat confused “so there’s a good kind of pain” way, and fairly sure I’m going to try to take them up on their numbers game (Or maybe not, now I know how to use the machines the gym in my block of flats is less terrifying, so I may do some stuff there).
On the way home I attempted to put my workout into Fitocracy, failing to find about half the exercises I was looking for. Nevermind. Numbers go up anyway, and now I can compare against my friends. Incentive and a non-physical positive feedback loop helps my overly analytical brain. Numbers go up! (and, with any luck, one number goes down. Progress reports as they happen)