Monday, March 14, 2011

Gym bunny

Over the years I've been a member of various gyms but for the last five years I've been a stranger. Not that I haven't been 'keeping fit', just not been paying for the experience.

I gave up my gym membership after buying a dog and deciding that between running (without the dog in the early days of dog ownership - he was once a little puppy) and dog walking my fitness level would remain stable.

We moved to Germany and a friend convinced me to join her step class, then 2 years down the line another friend suggested a pilates class and that, plus the running and dog walking has been sufficient, the problem is that I'm fed up. The teacher of my step class drives me nuts with her constant inclusion of dance moves, we're forever 'cha cha-ing' or 'tango-ing' and twizzling and then there's stepping with our backs to both her and the mirror. I'm sure half the time she's the only one doing the right moves or any moves at all. So that class has to go.
My pilates teacher just bugs the hell out of me, she has an irritatingly false sounding laugh. It's taken Rebecca to stop going (because of a REALLY bad back) in order for the silly woman to get my name right (which I could understand if I had a tricky or foreign name but I don't, my name is as normal a German name (thanks M&D) as Eva Braun) and she has us forever 'painting circles' in the air with legs/feet held at various angles. Therefore I've decided to abandon both classes at Easter when we have to re-enrol and instead join the local gym, and what's more it'll be cheaper!

This week is apparently 'fitness week' at my local gym and so a friend has got me a free pass to try out the gym for seven days. I went today for the first time, bright and early, straight from dropping Jas at school.

I'd been warned that the place was huge, and it is. Weights and weight training machinery to the left of reception along with the changing rooms and (gulp) saunas and the aerobic machinery to the right along with the spinning studio (not a chance) and the class studio (where they do scary sounding stuff like Hot Iron 2 and Box Camp and FlexiFit* (no way José) but also Yoga and BodyFit both of which I shall have to try.)

I asked the lady at reception "where is everything?" and she pointed me in the direction of the changing rooms and told me how the lockers worked, well, she babbled something about a white pad, a card and the importance of remembering which locker you'd locked your stuff in...

Fortunately, because I was early, there was only me in the changing rooms and therefore no-one to witness the fact that it took me five minutes to work out how to lock the door to my locker.

Unfortunately, because I was early, there was no-one else in the changing rooms who I could ask to help me lock my locker...

Eventually I made it into the aerobic hanger (trust me, it's that big) where there must be 15 treadmills all lined up in front of a row of TV screens, the same number of cross trainers, maybe four step machines and some rowing machines and at least three types of bike.

As it was my first time there I hadn't taken my earphones or iPhone to listen to music/podcasts, I'd thought I'd use my time to be nosey, check out what was going on while exercising - shame there was no class on while I was there, that'll teach me to be so early. The TV's, even soundless, were quite a distraction though. There were seven of the 12 screens that were in my vision, two showing news, one weather, one shopping, two music and one a kind of morning magazine show. But it was the music/video channels that caught my eye and I really shall have to have my earphones with me next time. I'm more than used to MTV and the style of videos that accompany chart music but the stuff that was being aired at 830 this morning was verging on pornographic - quite why girls would choose to wear such teeny weeny skirts over pretty much non existant knickers whilst 'cleaning' an office is beyond me. Such impractical shoes too, and I'm quite, quite sure that feather dusters wouldn't find any dust where they were waving I said, next time I'm taking my headphones and I shall find out what the lyrics to the song are, I mean fair enough if it's all about cleaning some office and making the glass all sparkly - but somehow I doubt it!

Word for the day; crowded - crowded (not it's not a typo, just another bit of Denglish creeping into everyday use here.)

* involves the use of the 'flexibar' which I have previously discovered is as flexible under my useage as a titanium scaffolding pole.

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