Note: Apologies to faithful readers who have been visiting periodically in spite of my not having posted anything in almost a week. Work has been a little crazy and is expected to remain this way for another month at least. When you do a whole lot of writing and documentation work at office a- you don’t get any time to blog and b- there’s only so much one can write in a day!! Its hard to write all day and go home and write some more. Hope you guys understand. Oh and by the way, I am coming over to all your blogs to read/comment. Apologies done, now the new post!
Parul has been frequently writing about her experience in the gym and each time I have read one of her posts on this subject, I have smiled. Broadly. Not only because she can add a dose of humour to any situation, but also because I have found many similarities between our experiences. After having read and smiled, and read some more and smiled some more, I only thought it was fair to my gym and my dedicated gyming that I write a post on it.
First things first. Why in the world did I join a gym at all? Simply because I thought it would make for a healthier life style. Actually my mom thought that. I was just bored one weekend and decided to go with the flow. Going with the flow in my case involved walking to the near-by gym, paying the gymwala a handsome sum of money, getting all pumped up about the idea of leading a “healthier, happier” life and of course, buying the necessary gear. Watching all those fit looking people does play havoc with your mind, I tell ya. It makes you think you too can do it. Jokes apart, I changed my job a while ago and that had made my life more sedentary than it previously was. Something really needed to be done about my life style, else in a few months I would have started resembling a baby hippo. Propelled by that very real fear, I voluntarily made the required investment in my health.
Making an investment in one thing and nurturing and making it grown in quite another. The great enthusiasm with which the investment was made, died a quick, untimely death. Leaving home at 7.30 in the morning and coming home at the same time in the evening doesn’t give you much time or energy to go to the gym. At least, it doesn’t give me any. I am sure there are many enthu cutlets around who done mind coming after a long day and hitting the gym. I am just not one of them. So what finally happened to my great “investment in health”? Regularly goading by mommy dearest ensured that I did not entirely chuck the idea. I moved from being a “four times a week gymer” to a more convenient “four times a month gymer”. Weekdays are too busy and too tiring and something always comes up on weekends. So all I could manage was an hourly visit every once a week. I don’t know if it did my body any good but it sure made me feel like I have been doing something to keep in shape. Its all supposed to be in the mind anyway.
Even visiting the gym only once a week gives me ample opportunity to observe people there. And I can tell you this with absolute conviction, human beings are the most interesting subject you’ll ever find. I have ,in fact, observed analysed and categorised all the regular gymers. And what’s the point of scrutinising and analyzing people if you cant blog about them?? 😛 Let’s begin with the instructors. The gym has a handful of these very muscular men and women wearing tight, bright orange t-shirt. The kind that look like they had a 6-egg omelette in the morning and spent the rest of the day pumping iron. They are also the guys I generally like to stay away from. For an infrequent gymmer like me, its best to keep away from any personal trainer. If you are under their tutelage, they’ll make force you to come to gym after work. And they boss around too much. I learnt this lesson early on when one of the instructors -M would keep reminding me “to kal aap aa rahe ho? Nahi? To parson aana. Hafte main char baar to aana hi chahiye” As if I had no say in the matter. I dint want to tick him off so I’d give him non committal “hmm-s” and “dekhte hai-s“. He would also hover around me asking annoying questions like ” yeh dumbbells ka set 25 time karna” Ya, right , like I’m out of my mind or something. I can barely manage ten and he wants me to do 25. One week of this insanity and I realised its best to stay out of the way of these trainers and just do your own thing. That way you have the choice of doing something or nothing!
Instructors done, let’s bring on the interesting gymers. Loads of them around each unique/ strange/peculiar/fascinating in their own special way.
- The lady in pink- she is there every single time I visit the gym. All the clothes she wears have a hint of pink. Correction- a lot of pink. I’m still not sure why she comes to the gym. She spends more time talking on her cell phone than working out. May be the parents don’t approve of the boyfriend. I donno, we aren’t really friends and I’m only guessing. She also has the annoying habit of reaching for the exact same set of dumbbells that you are eying.
- The marathon runner- now this is one impressive guy. Fifty-ish with one of the fittest bodies I have seem. He loves to run on the treadmill and watching him is pure joy. Doesn’t huff. Doesn’t puff. Just comfortably runs along for as long as half and hour. In one word- inspiring.
- The over-enthusiast-strongly and earnestly believes that the faster you exercise the more muscle you’ll build and the fitter you’ll be. He can be a little distracting because of the hyper-activity he engages it- the treadmill sounds like its going to break down and the skipping rope sounds like its snap any moment. But other than that, generally a non-interfering and trouble free guy.
- The meter-watcher– the sole purpose of her visiting the gym is to pick up weights( I guess cardio is not her thing. She does it only because it completes the work out). And watch other people’ meters. She may be on the treadmill for 15 min.s but most of those 15 mins will be spent surreptitiously looking at the neighbour’s “calories burnt” dial. Extremely annoying but her regularity is noteworthy.
- Uniqueness is thy name– truly unique in his own way. He has been told by the doctor to switch off fans and ACs while in the gym and that’s exactly what he does. It may cause all others to feel faint because of the hot and humid weather, but that not his problem. He loves wearing psychedelic colour t-shirts. And insists on running right next to people doing their floor exercises. Mighty annoying for those laying flat on their backs waiting for his feet to hit their heads. Fun for him.
- The juvenile- this is not one person, rather a set of people. Almost all of them are new entrant to the gym. They all look under 18 and why they are in the gym at all is a mystery to me. Shouldn’t they be in the field, kicking ball, I wonder every time I see them. They tend to be kinda hurried in their approach to their work outs.
- The aunty- this is one super-interesting category. Great fun to watch from a distance. Not fun to gym along with at all. Members of this group tend to be on the other side of 40, talkative, extremely interested in what’s happening in everyone else’s life, not so interested in their own work outs and often on a weight reduction programme. Since they talk more and work out less, I don’t think they reduce too much but they have what can best be called “gymming friends” so they never miss visiting the gym a single day.
So that’s that. My list of fabulously interesting people I have the fortune to gym with. Better get my gym bag ready. After all tomorrow is Saturday and my weekly visit to the gym is due.