I’ve Joined a Gym…

with 2 comments

With the realisation that I am getting increasingly unfit, today I took the step to joined the local council gym.

Now, a serious gym fan will turn their nose up at a local council gym.  As a general rule they are a lot less glamorous than some of the ‘chain’ gyms like Fitness First, Virgin Active, David Lloyd etc.  But they are cheaper to join, and so much more accessible for people like me.

Let me explain…

Four months ago a friend of mine joined her local Virgin Active gym at a cost of around £60 per month.  And aside from her induction she hasn’t set one foot into the gym (wasting £240 to date) – her reason being that she feels too fat.

Now, on face value this doesn’t make sense – you go to a gym to get fitter and lose weight surely?  But I understand her pain. 

A few years ago I joined a central London branch of Fitness First and after a couple of sessions I realised that the gym was full of people who really didn’t need to exercise.  Thin, toned, tight buttocked men and women everywhere – fake nails, fake tan, fake tits, and in the tiniest exercise-wear known to mankind.

I remember watching one woman stretching casually by a mirror in a pair of shorts that where no larger than a sticking plaster thinking “I do not belong here”

Knowledge of ‘how the machinary works’ seems to be innate with these people (it generally looks like torture equipment to me).  There are no elderly people in these gyms.  There are no people carrying an extra few pounds. 

And the changing rooms were even worse for me.  As I spent most of my time trying desperately to cover up every last inch of wobbly white flesh with my less than adequate towel there were women are wandering around stark naked, without a care the world.  Chatting and laughing…but then I suppose there are lots of things to chat and laugh about when you have the figure of Kate Moss.

Please don’t misunderstand me – there is nothing wrong with looking your very best.  But when I go to a gym I am a sweaty red faced mess 10 minutes into the session.  My thighs ripple when I run…my self esteem teeters on a knife edge at the best of times, so I don’t want to see perfectly sculpted figures of man and woman when I am looking my worst.  I want to see people like me – struggling to last 10 minutes on the treadmill…dripping with sweat…with no nail polish on their toes…and who have no idea how to use an exercise ball.

Yes, I understand that perhaps the reason why these glamorous specimens are still looking so glamorous is because they use a gym regularly.   But still:

I’m jealous and I don’t want to have to look at them

So I have joined my local council gym.  Its cheap and it’s cheerful.  The machines are a little more archaic than other gyms, and you can catch verrucas in the sauna, but it’s old people friendly, it’s fat people friendly, and it’s unfit-people friendly, and that’s good enough for me.


Written by Lores

June 25, 2009 at 5:12 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I’m a member of Virgin Active, and I love it! Except in January/February when our ‘benefactors’ all come, the people who generously subsidise our year round gyming with their New Year optimism.

    I think you are right to join the local council gym – people who aren’t serious, committed gym-fanatics should work up to it slowly, then join when they are confident enough to know that they aren’t wasting their money. But our local authority gym would cost me about the same as the (corporate) deal I get with VA, and isn’t as good, which just seems wrong.


    July 8, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    • haha – I like the way you refer to your ‘benefactors’ there is probably a lot of truth in that! 🙂

      Well, I can’t speak for VA, but I was bitterly disappointed with Fitness First – no swimming pool, always a queue for machines, and classes very difficult to get into. I don’t have any of these problems at the local council gym – there is even an outdoor lido for the nice weather (and its cheap as chips!)

      Although, I do have to say, in nice weather I do prefer to road run 🙂

      Thanks for your comment 🙂


      July 8, 2009 at 7:06 pm

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