The vain objective of my gym membership is to hang on to what I have for as long as possible. Shortly after my 30th birthday celebrations, I visit what to me, does not seem anything less prison-like than the gym hall at school and go on to dutifully oblige my monthly membership fee three times a week; twice in the week and once at the weekend. After work, I am straight there; do not pass home, do not collect 200 calories. At the weekend, I crawl out of bed and into my sports bra and Adidas kit with the incentive of a luxurious bath followed by pancakes with maple syrup whilst watching Saturday morning TV upon my return (With Ant & Dec, back when barely any innuendo passed the UK TV duo’s lips).
A couple of years on, I discover that unlike the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas, cellulite really does exist and I duly increase my treadmill warm-up from five to ten minutes on a steeper climb, but I still barely break into a sweat whilst I do the rounds and get out of gym hell in 35 minutes flat. When I go on holiday, I torment myself four or five times in the weeks both preceding and following the vacation so as to not miss the thrice weekly target.
Other than the fact that I don’t like routine, I’m equally unimpressed with who I share this intimate space with.
I am not particular enthralled with the rugby player and poser body-builder types that appear to spend more time gossiping than actually working out yet still have arms the size of my waist.
I have never understood the women who come to do their sweaty work-outs perfectly made-up, looking like they have stepped out of a Christian Dior advert, wearing their expensive, fuchsia and lavender gym kits.
At the opposite end of the scale to the gym loathers are the gym addicts who cannot imagine not being in this sports zone every spare minute they have. They are often heard spouting numbers about; PBs (personal best), Uber Mag (food supplement) and Paula Radcliffe (Team GB marathon runner). It’s hard to tell them apart from the serial Marathon runners who are fixated about running for 26 miles whereas surely it’s easier to drive, take the train or stay at home. They inevitably visit daily, name checking every staff member and half of the other gym bodies. Even if they have run the marathon the previous day, they come in to gloat (and collect their sponsorship money) and start training for the next one.
When I turn forty, I celebrate by ceremoniously quitting the gym and then theme my birthday party ‘Letting It All Go’. I also let go of the youthful Radio 1 station for the grown-up Radio 2, swap boisterous bars for demure restaurants and the corporate world for becoming a freelancer. Whilst these choices have stood the test of time, my gym card has been swapped for cinema membership and I catch a movie every week. However, we can’t really call that exercise unless you count the muscles developing in my right arm from eating bucket-sized, sugary popcorn for 2 hours.
I have since sold my car and now walk everywhere which has resulted in almost no cellulite. Why didn’t I do this years ago?