Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Views From The Gym

Views From The Gym - A Scot in North Wales

After a few days of eating and drinking all the wrong things (we're on holiday and my parents are visiting from Scotland), I was left feeling a bit guilty about abandoning my exercise regime.   

In order to attempt to rectify this, I opted to pay a visit to Les' local gym in Barmouth. He was there, too, obviously.  I'm way too socially awkward to do something like that on my own, because who knows what dangers lie in wait for me in the few miles between my house and the leisure centre if I go alone?  Best not even thinking about it tbh.

Anyway, I've been in a few gyms in my time and largely dislike being stuck in a room full of Lycra clad men and women who look like they live on a diet of cardboard and black coffee. 'Cake', I'm fairly sure, isn't even a word that's on their radar. Now, I'm a big fan of eating, drinking and generally being merry, so my figure in Lycra is a very different prospect to your average gym bunny's.  

Views From The Gym
what do these things even do?
I prefer to do my exercising at home on the bike or running along the quiet country roads of Dyffryn where no one pays any attention to me. Also: there are dogs on my running route, so it's not all torturous.  Puppies aren't even allowed in the gym with their humans, so this further reinforces my opinion that it's a pretty bleak place at the best of times.  

Barmouth gym, as it turns out, has a very eclectic mix of patrons and was not at all what I was expecting.   For one, there are older gents in beach shorts having a gentle workout; older ladies walking on the treadmills; bandana clad, tattooed covered muscle men in  sleeveless t-shirts;  a local Doctor and, on this misty and miserable morning; the local Doctor's fiancĂ©.   

Everyone knows the local Dr, so I spend a fair bit of my time entirely convinced that they're thinking: 'That Dr Tam's partner should really come with him more often...' Or something equally judgemental.  What they're actually doing is what I'm doing: being absolutely knackered and desperately hoping the clock on my exercise bike will spin round faster so I can go home.  Why are workouts always the longest part of every day?? 

Anyway, the hope is that, by going to the gym, I have eradicated the possibility of deciding I'll stop my cycling for a minute and nip to the loo; feel the immediate desire to go downstairs for water; decided I absolutely *must* watch  a new episode of Homeland and run off to find my iPad, or jog two measly miles because, who's there to judge me if I don't??*

Views From The Gym
The Treadmill Line of Doom

I was bang on in my assessment as I felt compelled to make sure I was busy for the entire 2 hours I had to be there.   I started off on the bike for 30 mins and spent my time writing a part of this blog.   After that, I realised I might have to utilise the other half of my body and had to jump on the treadmill.   

I ended up on the running machine alongside Heavily Tattooed Man, who was jogging along happily, pretending the space in front of him was a punchbag, watching himself Air Box (I'm sure that must be a thing).  I was slightly alarmed by this, but also quite jealous that the guy obviously was completely unconcerned about what everyone might have been thinking.  I admire that.  I still totally judged him for it, though.  I later decided that he must be an outdoor worker or in the army.  He almost definitely works somewhere he might be able to shout at people.  

On some new fangled contraption on my other side was an overweight man who was putting in some serious effort on something that was completely alien to me. He was also singing quite loudly along to the music on his iPod.  I'm unsure as to what he was listening to, but it was clearly helping him get through his sets, so it was fine by me.  His occupation, I decided, was working in the local Co-op.   Maybe on the tills, but definitely somewhere he spent a lot of time sitting down.  Also: he works shifts because he was in the gym on a Tuesday morning.  I'm a regular Miss Marple, me.  

Views From The Gym
I draw the line at this nonsense.
As I stared into the mirror in front of the treadmill, wondering what I was doing with my life and telling myself that if I just stopped eating so much crap I wouldn't even have to work out, I turned my attention to the older guy making his way around the weights machines.   

He looked about 60ish and was fighting fit.  He wasn't really the type of person I expected to see in the gym, but he was in there for the entire duration I was there. And that, as you know, was a long, long time.  Dressed in beach shorts and a t-shirt, he looked like an awesome Grampa and one that would probably be full of fun and able to chase his grandkids around.  Everyone needs a Grampa like that, in my opinion.   Fit Grampa is retired, lives locally, and spends a lot of time in his garden, chasing small people.  

The only other patron in the gym that morning was Les.   He seemed to spend a lot of his time smiling encouragingly at me from across the room and probably hoping I wouldn't pitch a fit after an hour and demand to be taken home because OMG EXERCISE!.  I know what he does for a living, so I didn't bother thinking about that too much.

Views From The Gym
Who invented gyms, anyway?
Before I left the gym, and started wondering if I would actually be able to walk to the car, I considered what the other users thought of me.  

Did they think I was one of these people who show up for a couple of sessions and then never goes back? (I am that woman); were they thinking I looked like a Civil Servant who eats too many crisps and drinks too much wine (also me), or did they actually spend their workout time concentrating on what they were doing and not giving a toss about the odd woman listening to the really loud country music and constantly sneaking sideways glances at them?  

I'm hoping it was the latter.  I don't want to find myself included in some random blog post about going to the gym, do I? 

Suz x

*Apart from me, of course.