In other news, I joined a gym this week and MY WORD do I feel good for it. I mean, sure, my thighs hurt so much on Friday afternoon that I feared I may never bend again, and my legs move in such a peculiar way when I’m on the cross trainer that I look like Kermit the Frog, but my heart hasn’t beaten this fast since Peter Andre released Mysterious Girl, so I can only assume I’m doing myself some good.
I’m the type of gym-goer that long term members hate, and here’s why:
1. I joined in January. This means that whilst I am full of good intentions now, they are very likely to have departed by the time the clocks go forward.
2. One of my favourite things about going to the gym is that it’s an excuse to go shopping. I purchased a pair of running-trousery-things (a technical term only us sporty types understand) on the sole basis that they have a luminous pink stripe on them. I had to buy new trainers because, unless I take-up basketball, my Converse ones are not really going to cut it (though, as you can see, they would match my new running trousers perfectly).
3. I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. I have to ask for help before I use any piece of machinery, including the changing room lockers.
4. I cough and splutter whilst swimming, which is extremely distracting for other people in the pool.
5. I smile at other people in the gym. You’re not supposed to smile in the gym.
But a girl’s got to start somewhere.
I realised at the end of last year that as much as I enjoy eating lard and staying completely still for days at a time, I have to start doing some exercise. The sofa will feel all the softer and the Cadbury’s Boosts will taste all the sweeter if I have actually bothered to move at some point during the day.
I’ve taken baby steps to ease myself in; I started off in the pool where I know exactly what I’m doing (spluttering my way up and down until my arms feel like they’re going to come off) and then slowly but surely into the actual gym bit where all the scary bikes, treadmills and weights live.
One thing I’m delighted to discover is that – despite my excellently coordinated attire – absolutely nobody looks at me at all. I had feared that my trips to the gym would simply provide free physical comedy for all the other members to watch. I imagined one lifting a toned hand from their exercise bike to point at me whilst I floundered on the cross trainer, whilst the other switched the video camera they’d attached to their sweatband on to score £250 from You’ve Been Framed when I inevitably fell off into a pool of my own sweat. But it’s not like that at all. And I haven’t fallen off anything…yet. *touches every piece of wood in the house*
As is usually the case, the only person who gives a damn what I look like is me, and even I’m losing interest. Now that I’m actually going with a view to getting fit, rather than just because they have hair straighteners in the changing room, looking bad is the least of my worries; I’m just trying to survive without perspiring my way into hospital.
And though it’s very early days, I do feel better for it, partly because of the exercise I’m doing, and partly because I no longer feel guilty for spending my entire life sitting down. This is progress my friends, so let’s see how long it lasts.
And, don’t worry, I’m not going to try and tell you to do the same thing. Chances are you already do exercise regularly like a good human being and despise people like me who only take it up because it’s January. Or otherwise you dodge it altogether in favour of the settee and a box set, in which case, I’ll see you in the spring.