Friday, 31 December 2010

Getting acquainted with gym life and the rowing machine

I've been going to the gym in order to recover from a broken ankle and ligament damage.  I decided that if I could build up my strength in a safe, controlled environment, then I couldn't really go far wrong, could I? This strategy appears to be working quite well, and it's opened up a whole new world for me in the process.

The world of the gym and its' inhabitants, our motives for wanting to become (and stay) fit, is an ideal opportunity to study people's idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, and as such, are a source of huge interest.  The things I've witnessed have made me giggle, wince and be shocked and disgusted in pretty equal measure.

People's behaviour, lack of inhibition and strange parenting techniques will all be included in future blogs, so please stick with me if you are at all interested - hopefully they will make you laugh and possibly remind you of someone you know, or something that you may have experienced in a similar situation.

During one session at the gym, not long after I joined, I noticed a lady about to use one of the rowing machines.  I was watching her technique, to get some tips for when I went on it.  She started her workout, and seemed to be struggling whilst trying to get to grips with the exercise, and was huffing and puffing away, when she had to stop for a well-deserved rest.  Just then, a rather large, well built young man sat down at the rowing machine next to her and proceeded to use the machine like he'd been born rowing for Oxbridge.  He made it look so easy, was incredibly fluid and was hardly breaking a sweat - and I swear at one stage he was rowing with just his little fingers - he really did make it look so natural.  I knew the lady was watching him, perhaps slightly envious of his technique.  She tried to restart her exercise, but clearly felt a little self-conscious next to this adonis, and then she gave up and crawled away, red-faced.  I could identify with how she was feeling, but I have respect for her because she gave it a go and if she carries on, she'll do absolutely fine.  Me, on the other hand ....  well, I've tried that machine a good few times, and I can only do it for 90 seconds tops, then I get so knackered, I feel I have to go lie down for a few hours, drink tea and eat lots of chocolate to get over the trauma that is ... keeping myself fit.