I rejoined the gym today. Its been a good 2, possibly 3 years since I went. A disgrace really as we are so lucky to have a small but perfectly formed ‘honesty’ gym in the town. Situated above the Victoria Hall, after your induction (to fulfill insurance requirements) you are given your own key and for the paltry sum of £12 per month you can come and go as you please.
My rebirth as a weight pushing geriatric (that’s how I felt) came as a result of son number one wanting to join and not being old enough (insurance requirements again) to attend on his own. I guess I should be grateful. Looking through the devils mirrors ( impossible to avoid as they covered the walls and all the equipment faced them) this short fat saggy old woman stared back at me with discomfort etched in her face wondering how it got so fat and saggy, old and more importantly, short…. Had I had some sort of body mass redistribution surgery in my sleep, taking inches off my height and smearing them liberally around my waist and chin?!
Anyway, i guess even the complex kit laid out in front of me could do nothing re the height issue – i did look for a rack as it did appear possible that such a medieval instrument of torture might be amongst the other weights and pullies, but no.
I started with a shower. i know – this is not the natural order of things. however as
a. a delay tactic and
b. a necessity having arrived not so fresh from dredging the chicken house,
I thought it the safest and most sensible option. I was, after all, there purely to chaperone my 15 year old. By the time I came out of the shower two muscular, 6ft+ , 20 something year old Adonis(es) had signed in.
what to do? Hide in the shower cubicle? Come out with a mop in hand and pretend to be the cleaner? Or brazen it out? I did. Resetting the machines from maximum load to ‘bag of sugar’ setting, draping a large towel around my shoulders and pulling at the bottom of my T-shirt in an attempt to hide the saggy bits, avoiding all eye contact , I waded in to “pump some iron”
But as is the way when two hulking Adonises are flexing their biceps I kept on sneaking a peek. They were happily oblivious to me – caught up in their own postulating, chatter and rap music.
I shall return regularly to the top floor of Vic Hall. I’ll sneak in at different times feeling sure to find a slot where I have the place to myself. That always was the draw of our little private gym in our little perfect town. I’ll work on my ‘ bat wings’ , ‘love handles’, low-slung buttocks and gravity challenged chest! I’ll rediscover my waist, redefine my curves and, whilst I’m unlikely to lose weight (or gain height), I should be able to find a stronger, shapelier me in time for Christmas and that bit of winter sun we’re about to book for February.
The gym is there for everyone. Jason – trying to regain his stamina and strengthen his knee after a year with a recurring injury; young Adonises building muscle ready to peacock in front of the girls; dieters, fitness fanatics or people like me – middle aged, shrinking in height and expanding in midriff women who look in the mirror expecting to see their 18 year old self and discover their mothers staring back at them! Its inevitable but we will retain the will to fight it!.