I really do not enjoy the gym. To me it is just a necessary evil. I know I have to go because I have to get exercise in some form and exercise al fresco is not for me. (Yes I know everyone will not be staring at me when I run out in public but it still isn’t going to happen, I know how I judge people who run on the street!) To me the gym is just an evil place that steals your money each month and gives you no satisfaction (apart from this one time when I managed to run for a whole mile on the treadmill. That was a good day).
I’ve been trying to go regularly but this hasn’t been easy now that I’ve moved out. The gym was only 10 minutes away from the flat and obviously I have now moved so getting there requires a little more effort than I would like to give. Consequently I wonder why on earth I’m paying for it sometimes.
This gym is not a fancy place. It is a no frills gym. In other words, it’s owned by the Council.
The most exotic piece of equipment in there is probably the stepper, although this is closely followed by the cross trainer. Heady stuff. There is a work out space approximately 4 foot wide and deep to try and do some floor exercises on. More than 5 people in there at once and you start to feel uncomfortably close to sweaty strangers.
Knowing that I would be having a pretty stressful weekend my friend asked me if I wanted to go to her gym and use a free guest pass that she had.
Her gym is amazing.
If my gym is your typical old man pub then my friend’s gym is the uber trendy wine bar in town. Both are fine and both have their charms but this gym was swish.
It was enormous. The free weights floor area is the size of the whole of my gym. There are about eleventy billion treadmills (approximate figure).
But never mind the treadmills, all gyms have treadmills. This gym had far more exciting things. There was a rather special machine called a Tread Climber – it’s like a treadmill and a stepper combined into one. It was absolutely shattering but brilliant just because of its novelty factor. Although a word to the wise – do not attempt to talk and wildly gesticulate on one of these – it requires all your concentration or you will end up looking like an idiot and half falling off it.
And there was the Stairmaster/Stepmill. Basically a never ending escalator. Yes. Fine. It does the same thing as a stepper but who cares. This piece of equipment is way more fun than a boring old stepper. Plus you are ridiculously high up and can survey the entire gym from your vantage point (which is code for checking out the weights area which is where all the pretty boys are).
There were so many weight machines and resistance machines I couldn’t even tell you. There were things that looked like the most fun ever and things that looked like pieces of torture equipment. There were machines to twist and sculpt you and machines that I had trouble figuring out where you sat. There were Powerplates for goodness sake!
But none of this compared to the piece de resistance. It had a steam room and a pool and Jacuzzi.
Now my gym has a pool, I’ll be fair, but this pool is mostly filled with kids and old people and chavs and is not a relaxing experience in the slightest. This pool was an oasis of tranquillity, all dim lighting and wavy lines and twinkly lights and soft music. Sitting in the steam room and Jacuzzi after a workout session was a luxury I’ve never even dreamed of.
The changing rooms. Oh the changing rooms! I could write you a sonnet (except that I can’t do poems). Lovely mahoosive wooden lockers. Vanity tables with hairdryers. Fancy private cubicle showers with frosted fronts. Even a vending machine selling miniature shower gels and shampoos. I was beside myself.
And then the unthinkable happened.
We left the steam room and the Jacuzzi and went towards the showers. Now we all know I how I feel about public nakedness don’t we? (And if you weren’t sure there’s another post here about it)
So imagine my incredible discomfort when I not only had to deal with naked strangers but a naked friend. Seriously. Naked friends are not something I can handle. But before I knew where I was she had whipped her bikini off. I don’t know how but I actually didn’t see anything, I’m so atuned to avoiding these situations that I somehow managed to look every which way but at my naked friend. I jumped into the nearest shower and stood there contemplating my next move. I wanted to avoid any more naked contact. I decided the best thing was to make a dash for the nearest changing cubicle (one criticism of Super Gym – only about 4 private cubicles. Not good for nakedphobes like me).
Safely ensconced in my private cubicle I set about changing, trying to do it as slowly as possible to make sure that when I came out there would be no way I’d ever be able to tell you whether my friend has a Brazilian or not. I figured I’d left enough time and slowly came out.
To be faced with my friend. In pants. And nothing else. Drying her hair in the mirror.
I’d rather re-live my wardrobe falling apart a thousand times over than re-live this particular moment.
After a quick mumbling dash to go and get more water I came back to the changing rooms to discover, much to my happiness, a fully clothed friend.
May she always stay that way.
Although I don’t love Inferior Gym much (I was there the next day bemoaning it’s unflashiness) at least I can be sure that there will be no naked friends there and much as I love Super Gym, I think I’d enjoy it more without the constant fear of seeing friends without their clothes on.