Wednesday, 31 August 2011
It would be fair to say that I have a love hate relationship with the gym. I hate having to organise myself in the morning to go, hate having to exercise, but when I get there and once I start, I do enjoy it. This on\off relationship has been going on more than 20 years now and I still can’t bring myself to walk away from it. Before you think that I am a gym bunny, believe me I’m not. If anything I would be the antithesis of a gym bunny. I don’t have the latest hi-tech gear, I do like to get hot and sweaty and I don’t feel the necessity to wear makeup and have my hair looking good to work out.
But the strange thing is that since having kids it has become my place to escape to. Sounds silly I admit, of all the places you can choose to escape from the kids (and Mr P and his bloody Sports Talk and Sky Sports) you wouldn’t think that the gym would come far up on the list...
Why you may ask? Well it is where every couple of days I get a full hour to switch off from everything else going on. That’s a full hour where I don’t need to talk to anyone, I can listen to what I want to listen to, I can clear my head and “think”. Think, do you remember doing that? I don’t mean “think” as what should we have for dinner, the kids need new school clothes, what to get little Johnny for his birthday. I mean “think”, that strange thing I used to do with my mind before it got cluttered with the daily grind of parenting.
It’s an hour where in my mind I can think “how would I solve world peace”, “what shall I blog about” even daydream “do I really need those Christian Louboutin shoes”, “How would I spend my lotto millions”. Okay perhaps those last two are fantasising a bit but that's the thing, my mind is free to wander and think all these weird and wonderful things while I plod along on the treadmill.
An hour where I can people watch and try to slot them into one of 3 groups, the baggy t-shirters, the pretentious and serious gym goers. Checking out whose boobs are real, wondering what possess the woman in front of me to wear a leopard print outfit and of course checking out the hot and sweaty men in the weights area. All in that precious hour. If I don’t feel like exercising then I can have a quiet coffee in the cafe all by myself. The benefits of exercising can only come second to this me time.
Of course the fact that the gym also has a crèche where I can off load the kids for an hour or so a day has totally nothing to do with it! Really it hasn’t.....