Is it safe to go back to the gym yet?!
Is it safe to go back to the gym yet?!
A long, long time ago I used to dread Thursday nights at the gym.
Because that was Boring Couples night.
The protagonists would dress up in gym gear (so far so good) – and sometimes they’d even use the equipment! But most of the time they’d just sit on it chatting.
The whole impression was that of a Cocktail Hour in Lycra.
Had any one of these wretched single units that comprised the whole entity of the Thursday night invasion at any one point thought for itself and formulated the dreaded New Year Resolution?
I’ll never know. But I’m pretty sure that now, yes right now* – years later at the very start of 2017 – gyms, keep-fit classes and the like across the UK will be simply bulging with the predictable influx of people who simply wouldn’t be interested at any other time.
I am fully expecting to be struck down in the most Karma-like way imaginable for what I’m about to say next.
But in January my aim is always to avoid these New Year Resolution types if at all possible – if only to protect my sanity.
Anyone who reads this blog knows fitness is one of my coping strategies, a way of controlling the bits of my body I’m no so keen on.
And those wobbly bits need tackling 365 days a year – they don’t just suddenly appear on New Year’s Day like a late delivery from Santa!Imagine then, what it’s like to suddenly have to compete for time/space in what’s often a very personal fight.
So let’s say you do normally do an evening class and you rock up as usual….
Welllll, in January suddenly you can’t because it’s full – OR you’ve wised-up to the fact that too many sets of flailing arms in a limited space where you’re all holding hand-weights is just a tad dangerous.
(Trust me I have experience of both – and I hope the latter stays back in the nineties!)
As already said, I expect to be sent blazing to Hell for my arguably uncharitable opinions regarding what almost feels like a fight for territory but if YOU exercise regularly here are some tips to handle the New Year Resolution brigade:
10 New Year’s Resolution-ers To Avoid At The Gym including “Smart phone dummies”, “wannabe fitness models”, my pet-hate “the couples” and the inevitable “temps” (though hopefully all these characters will be temporary!)
And then there’s Men’s Health’s Crowded Gym Survival Guide – maybe a bit more brutal than I’d be but then hey, I’m not a body-builder…
I have no problems with anyone wanting to get fit (and I’m pretty sure the vast majority are not stereotypical pains-in-the-backside) but, when it’s a significant amount of people at the same time, then – well, I’m just going to have to shut up, aren’t I?!
Remember that, for most, the keep fit good intentions are as seasonal – and as short-lived, as the Festive Period itself
Plan around it – go to the earlier, less popular classes. Do more solo running
Be philosophical – it’s not that bad
Remember the reason I started this blog in the first place – I broke my foot. It’s mended!
For any people trying to avoid the gym hoards in the Bronx, NY, there’s GoJimgo on Twitter – which states: “Know before you go. We tell you how many machines are available at your gym. In real time.”
I’d love to know if this can work in practice – or in the UK!
*”Now”? Yes now! There are gyms that open 24/7!
A man who inspired many people on FaceBook with his weight loss journey died earlier this morning.
Larry Evans, from St Louis, US, once weighed 800lbs (just over 57 stone) but his work-out videos on social media offered hope to many who, arguably, couldn’t be reached any other way.
His passing was confirmed by family on FaceBook. Subsequent press reports said Larry had died aged 40, and friends relatives confirmed he had been battling pneumonia.
Larry founded Let’s Shrink Obesity/Team Larry and charted his progress, and his exercise regime, via short videos. Some were watched as many as 27,837,900 times!
In doing this, his mission was to inspire everyone to GET UP, GET OUT & DO SOMETHING. He wanted to shrink obesity around the world – starting with himself.
Avoiding fad diets and weight-loss surgery, he managed to lose 11 stone over a two-year period through sensible diet and exercise alone.
All Larry asked was that nobody judge him.
And let’s remember him how, I imagine, he’d like to be remembered – working out!
“Not being able to run was an absolutely horrendous experience. I would drive past people running and burst into tears. I had dreams that I was able to run, and would wake up crying.”
Ashley was forced to take a YEAR off running due to injury – yet she’s still managed to smash her half marathon time. Read her post – there IS light at the end of the tunnel!
As many of you know, I ran the OC Half Marathon on Sunday.
Going into the race, I had set a pretty lofty goal for myself.
If you read my blog post last Thursday, you already know what I was scared sh*tless that I would not be able to achieve that goal.
I had done it once in my life.
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I am indebted to IronFat for this inspiring video – but it does handle my phobia of finishing last!
Basically it’s a call-to-arms to everyone who – like me – runs at the back of the pack.
Think about it – the winners have won, the elite runners will have got their breath back – but the focus is on the shufflers for whom the event is far from over.
In the voiceover, the American actress Rooney Mara points out that most searches for the word “marathon” will lead you to the fact that the first person to run the distance didn’t survive the experience!
Now I’ll be Googling this like crazy from now on because that’s the kind of gal I am, but meanwhile here’s the rest of the script:
“He died. And he was a runner.
“You are not a runner. You are especially not a marathon runner, but at the end of this – you will be.”
At this point the camera’s on the young woman right at the back. She’s out of puff, but she’s still going – and she’ll get there.
BTW the soundtrack is Aretha Franklin’s “Every Little Bit Hurts” – and at that stage of a marathon, it’s a pretty accurate assessment!
The guy who died? Pheidippides – who is said to have run from the town of Marathon to Athens to deliver news of a military victory against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.
Despite (I imagine) his military levels of fitness, had he specifically trained to run the distance?
Let’s face it, I don’t really think he’d really had a choice in the matter!
I wonder what he’d make of people who do?
As long as marathons exist people will run them – and the slowest ask only that there’s still a finish line at the end.
Good Luck to everyone in tomorrow’s London Marathon.
To everyone who’s side-lined through injury (or even illness), your “strong” is in there somewhere!