Monday, 9 May 2011

Broke a machine, then tried the others

Two weeks ago, I managed to break the exercise bike.  But, to be fair, I've noticed springs and bits of machines spread across the floor for weeks (wasn't me), so I don't feel particularly guilty.

This particular instance, I was on my favourite exercise bike, and was pedalling away quite happily, listening to my MP3 player and watching "Shaun the Sheep" on the TV.  God, I love that programme.  All of a sudden, the machine went 'bang' and then the lights went out on it, and I had to stop because I'd lost my power (my oomph, you know?)  Or perhaps it's 'get up and go' had 'got up and gone' (know that feeling very well).  It turned out that the heart monitor/cardiovascular device wire had got caught round the pedals and I'd carried on cycling when clearly I shouldn't have.  Bugger.  Mind you, it's been fixed again now, and I can't see any loose springs rolling about on the floor anymore, so maybe that work experience guy got more experience than he bargained for after all.

Well anyway, after my cycling got cut short, I decided to go on the other type of leg bike - it doesn't have a backrest, which I thought I'd be ok with, but I couldn't even get on the bike - far too high for my dwarfish frame.  So I had to give it a miss.  B******s, being discriminated against by a bike, now.  What's the world coming to?

After I gave up with that particular fight, I went to the back of the gym to see if the cross-trainers on the back row had been switched on today (they hadn't).  Swore loudly, then went on the treadmill for 20 minutes, then went on the rowing machine.  Jesus, that is such hard work - I try to pace myself, but I'm still knackered after 90 seconds.  It's uncomfortable to get your feet into, much less row the f*****g thing as well.  It's like that joke about the woman who's trying to conceive and goes to the doctor about her concerns.  The doctor runs through the checklist and asks the woman if she's looking after herself, taking rest, eating good food, etc, then finally, exasperated with not being able to pinpoint the problem, asks her if she's having sex.  "Give me a break,"she says,"I can't be expected to remember everything!"  Well, that's how I feel about the rowing machine.  The footholders are too high for me - I can't reach the rowing bar, because my fat just won't let me, then I get out of breath too quickly, there's no backrest (an absolute must-have) and I feel f*****g uncomfortable all the time I'm doing it (rowing).  It's a real s**t form of exercise, and next time I think I'll give it a miss and go back on the exercise bike and hope I don't get the lead caught up in the pedal again.

Turn all the machines on, yeah?

Got a bit adventurous last week, peeps - I decided to go on the cross-trainer and start to try to get rid of my belly overhang.  It looks horrible.  My feet are tired of living in the dark, so it's time I brought them back into the light and let them grow naturally.  Or so I hoped ....

The cross-trainers at the back of the gym have arm bits that move, whereas the cross-trainers in the middle of the floor only have the feet bits that move.  Henceforth, I decided, in my infinite wisdom, that the ones at the back were for me.  Except none of them were turned on.  I've noticed this for the last 3 weeks or so, all of a sudden, the gym has gone on cost-cutting measures, which include the machines on the back row.  If I could pin down a member of staff, I'd ask them why this phenomenon is occurring, except they all avoid me like the plague.  Perhaps it could be because I've complained about the service I get, )or maybe they read this blog - oh sh*t).

Anyway, after much swearing, I went on the ones where the arms don't move, and got a bit of a shock at how hard it is.  I started off quite well, then got really knackered and had to put the machine back down to effort level one, and still felt like death when I got off it.  I lasted 15 minutes, but it was a close-run thing.  Tired out bird - fell into a coma when I got home, and I think I'm only just coming out of it now.  Never mind, there's always tomorrow ......!!!!!!

I used to be keen, until the world crushed my spirit (Homer J Simpson)

This was a good few weeks ago, I'm afraid.  On one of my visits to the gym, I was greeted by a work experience chap - very very sweet, enthusiastic and eager to please.  Knew straight away he was new - cynical sod that I am.  You just know with some people though, don't you?  I do, anyway.

He was very polite, very efficient and was zooming around the gym like an excited puppy.  All in all, he was there for about 2 or 3 weeks, and in all that time, the staff gave him all the sh*tty jobs to do, like cleaning the tables in the cafe, sweeping the floors and having to wipe down all the machines.  What complete b******s, like I ever see them doing that.  What on earth is that teaching someone about how the place runs and what it takes to manage the staff, etc.  He was genuinely interested in the company, and that's the best experience they could give him?  What crap.

I wonder if he'll come back and get a full time job there - chances of that are slim, I think.

Oops - has it really been that long? Sorry xxx

Sorry I've not blogged for a while - lots of challenges.  Been poorly, then a bit more poorly, then slightly less poorly, then absolutely knackered.  Still, I've managed to get to the gym, but just not as often as I would like.  Mind you, last week when I went, I got a lovely eyeful of one bloke doing something he probably wishes no one else had seen.  Let me explain ....

I was on the treadmill, and happened to glance over at the meathead's corner (or the part where all the muscly male bodybuilders all congregate to flex their muscles and pull on bits of wire with really heavy weights attached - very odd).  There's a mirror that goes the whole length of the wall, presumably so they can admire themselves in their various bodybuilding poses and think to themselves what very fine, sexy young men they are, with wonderful physiques.  Pity there's not one nearer me, but anyway, I digress.

I was trying to speed up a bit on the treadmill before the old leg burn kicked in, and something caught my eye, so I turned to look towards steroid corner, and I was just in time to see a gentleman pull on this bit of wire with his left arm, whilst simultaneously scratching his butt with his right arm.  Completely nonchalant, and blissfully unaware that everyone on the treadmills, bicycles and cross-trainers had a wonderful view.  Marvellous.  I wouldn't mind, but it was obviously a bit of a stubborn wedgie, so he had to go back for a further rummage about, which thrilled his audience.  Nice move, mate, but I don't think the ladies will go for it in a big way - nobody likes a man with crabs (or worse) - not a good mating signal, is it?  Mind you, he had excellent co-ordination.  If I'd have done that, I'd have had to stop the machine first, 'cos there's no way I could have kept my balance!!!!!  Made a right pratt of myself, no doubt.  Full marks for style, anyway, if not creative content.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Come to this gym, exercise, and they help you find a job as well!!!!

Whilst on one of my numerous workouts, my gaze fell on the noticeboard.  There was a poster up, advertising a class, with the date/time printed on it.  Underneath the headline, there was a caption saying "It's good for your CV".  Brilliant, I thought - if I go to this one, they'll help me put my curriculum vitae together and then I'll be far more employable.  This is amazing - exercising and improving my job prospects in one.

I was absolutely delighted with this, and rushed off after my session to tell my lovely young man of my exciting discovery.  He looked at me sympathetically, (but I think there was pity there too), and told me that CV, this instance, means cardiovascular.  What a t*thead I am.  There is a moral to this - if you think something's too good to be true, then it probably is.

Thought it was only girls that did that

On a recent visit to the gym, I noticed that there was a lot of newcomers - must be that time of year.  Whilst I was biking in energetic fashion, I was aware of a lot of girly chatter behind me.  Lo and behold, upon closer inspection, a matching pair of twins were on adjacent treadmills.  Both decked out in exactly the same fitness gear, both roughly the same size (extra large), with both exactly the same annoying, loud, whiny voice.  Bizarre, though not totally unexpected.

I blocked out this incessant background noise and carried on with my workout.  I finished on the exercise bike and was swopping over to the arm bike, when I became aware that there were two young men who had taken the earlier 'twins' spot on the treadmills, both going for it, vocally.  F**k me, I thought, those women sure did lose weight fast - maybe I'm on the wrong programme.  Oh no, it became clear that a new gruesome twosome had taken their place and were carrying on the fine tradition of sticking to each other like superglue, talking complete bollocks at the tops of their voices and glancing round nervously, but excitedly, hoovering the place for any attention they could find.  Marvellous, like I said - thought it was only women that did that sort of thing - how wrong am I?

Odd Woman Alert

There's a woman that comes in to the gym sometimes when I'm in.  She's a little lady, I think about 60 or so.  She has some odd habits that I find quite fascinating.  She comes into the gym area with massive headphones on, and a plastic carrier bag from a well-known local wine shop, with things in it (not necessarily wine though, you understand?)  She starts off on the mats in the far corner, then goes on the treadmill, then hops onto the exercise bike, whips a book out of her wine bag, cranks her headphones up to maximum (believe me, I've heard the 'music' she plays), gets comfortable on the bike, and starts reading and listening to her headphones whilst she's exercising.  She also puts the bag on the bike, so no one nicks it.

Lovely lady, don't get me wrong, just slightly eccentric.  She sits like that for about 25 minutes or so, and you can tell she's really enjoying the book, and is completely immersed in the story.  It just looks so odd, like a wino's crept in the place and is looking for a comfy place to sit for a few hours.  Everyone else is pumping iron and is totally focused on their workouts, but this lady seems far more interested in the latest Catherine Cookson.  Like I say, really odd.

An different way to use an arm bike

One day last week, when I was at the gym, a chap got on the arm bike next to me.  Quite a regular occurrence, I know, but there was something odd about this one (as I said, quite a regular occurrence).  I was merrily tootling along with my regime, and he decided to crank his machine up to effort level 10 (an overhwelming milestone, in my book) and really go for it - for about 3 minutes.  He then stopped for a rest break and clutched his left shoulder, like he'd pulled a muscle.  Poor sod, I thought - that must have really hurt.  I thought he'd quit and scamper off in agony, screaming for an ice bag (I would have, y'see) to put on his shoulder, but bless him, he bravely carried on, just using his right arm.

Now then, I'm no expert, but how do you work an arm bike with just one arm?  What muscle are you going to build up if the machine is only being worked on one side of it?  I've tried it that way and it doesn't seem particularly effective.  Not that I was trying to be clever, you understand - I was probably too tired to carry on with the workout, but wasn't quite ready to admit defeat.  Anyway, this chap carried on like that for another 5 minutes, then looked at me as if to say, 'man, this is tiring work', then got off the bike, didn't bother cleaning it, and went on the rowing machine.  Odd, really.

Check Facebook - pervert alert

Went to the gym over the weekend, and felt quite sorry for a lady in the changing rooms.  She was in the area that backs onto the fire exit door, and whilst she was getting changed (and therefore, completely starkers), someone opened the door from the outside and spied on her.  Understandably she was very upset about it (really don't blame her - that's completely out of order) and called the Manager in, who was alerted by the alarms going off anyway.

When the lady explained what had happened, the female Manager just said, "oh well, check Facebook tonight and see if you're on it", which I thought was really f*****g charming, considering the state the woman was in, and obviously embarrassed, upset and angry (quite rightly so, in my book.  I would have called the police).  There's a car washing business outside the gym in the car park, and my money is on one of them trying to be funny (and failing dismally).  The member of staff was perhaps trying to cheer the woman up, but it didn't look like it was working.

I went back to the gym the next day to exercise again, and when I wandered in the changing rooms, I got met with a full frontal naked lady (didn't really want to), who was in roughly the same spot as the lady had been the day before.  I was just about to warn her about what had happened the day before, but she gave me the most awful sneery look (I am still perhaps, slightly, overweight, you see) and glared at me, so in the end, I didn't bother to warn her.  Petty, I know, but there's no need for me to be treated like that.  At least I'm trying to get back into shape.  More than lots of other people do.

Bit surprised that no signs have been put up to warn people about what happened, and quite surprised to see the same member of staff there, acting in the same manner.  People in the changing rooms have no idea what's gone on, and they should be warned.  Perverts should have their willies chopped off and their hands as well.  G******s, all of them (perverts, that is - not people in general).

That looks heavy!

Whilst at the gym today, I was aware there was a hell of a lot of banging going on behind me.  Are there workmen in today, wondered I.  No, it turns out there's an exercise class going on in the corner, and it involves sea mines.  Allow me to explain further ....

Someone announced over the tannoy that a Core Exercise class was shortly about to start.  Obviously I avoid these things like the plague, being fit enough already.  I only go here to top up my physique, as I'm sure you are all aware by now.  Anyway, I digress....

I saw the mats being pushed together and strange voices instructing the class what to do.  Then all of a sudden, I saw one of the instructors pick up a large metal-looking ball, attached to a chain, with a metal handpull on it.  He then laid down on his back and started swinging it from side to side, across his body, for a good few minutes.  Made one hell of a bang every time it hit the floor, believe me.  F**k that, I thought - looks well bloody painful.  What the hell do you want to put yourself through all that for?  I wondered, happily content on my little bike.  Why don't you just settle down with a nice cup of tea and block of chocolate, like what I do?  Perhaps I'm missing the point.  Anyway, it definitely did look like a sea mine from where I was sitting (feverishly exercising too, I may add).  People are weird.

Found some funny lumps in my legs - bit scared - could they be ...... muscles?

Little bit excited today, peeps.  I felt very energetic this afternoon, and so decided, in my wisdom, to trot off to the gym and cash in on my new lease of life.  I have to, because I never know how long it's going to last these days, y'see!!!  Anyway, off I went with purpose.

Got to the gym, pole vaulted over the entrance barriers (in my imagination), sprinted (?) down to the changing rooms and got ready to exercise.  Came out into the gym area and went to the arm bike, of which I have lately become fond/obsessive.  Started my rather impressive exercise regime, and was absurdly pleased with myself for being able to do 3km without having to stop for a rest.  Believe me, it's progress.  Had a quick swig of water and did another 3km (OMG - am SO on a roll today), and had a little rest break again, thinking that there's nothing to this fitness lark after all.

I next accomplished two lots of 2km arm rotations, then decided to 'hop' off that machine and onto the exercise bicycle for a 10km ride.  Bugger me, I thought, I could take on a whole rugby team today and not feel the effects!!!!  What ho!  Started on the bicycle and surpassed my expectations for the first 2km, then decided to increase the effort level to 3 - bad move.  Only lasted for a minute before I had to accept defeat and reduce it to 2 again - soddit.  Determined, however, to remain philosophical about my shortcomings, I took my mind off things by watching one of the TV screens.  Oh joy - Shaun the Sheep was on (really like that).  This is a children's programme made by the creators of Wallace & Gromit, and I really admire the way it's all put together.  The characterisation is superb, and the storylines are really beautiful to watch.

At one point, I burst out laughing at what was going on on the screen, totally forgetting that I was in a public place.  All of a sudden, I noticed that it had gone really quiet behind me, so I took a sneaky peek to see what was happening - four men were looking at me oddly, so I guess my laughter must have been louder than I was intending.  Never mind, thought I - I'll explain myself.  I just pointed at the screen and said "Shaun the Sheep's on - it's very good, you know!"  and left it at that.  They still looked at me like I was a member of Care in the Community, which, oddly enough, I'm absolutely ok with.  Anyway, I finished my exercise session with no more incidents, and got changed, and came home.

In the car on the way home, I suddenly looked down at my legs and thought that they had changed a little.  I had a quick feel (wasn't sure if I'd accidentally got my knickers halfway down my trousers, as I do sometimes do that, you know) and was surprised to find a bit of a lump there.  Immediately the hypochondriac in me demanded to know what was wrong with me this time, and I checked the other leg, to make sure I hadn't got twin problems - I had!!  There was another lump in that one, too.  God, this is serious, I thought.  I asked my lovely young man to have a feel and tell me what he thought the problem was.  After concluding his investigation (took longer than I would expect if I'd gone to the doctors), he told me there was a very good chance that I was getting fitter and developing muscle.  Jesus - I've never had any of those and I'm 41 (nearly).  Bloody hell, what are the chances of that happening??!!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Welcome to Swamplands

Went to the gym at the beginning of the week.  Wasn't going to to go at first, because I didn't want to run the changing rooms gauntlet - wasn't in the mood to be (a) flashed at (b) pushed off the bench (c) glared at/shoulder charged and (d) feel the urge to stick my foot out and trip up some badly behaved child (accidentally, of course).

My partner talked me into going, so I did (subservient soul that I am).  Got into the changing rooms and was pleasantly surprised to find them almost deserted.  With this in mind, I developed a new lease of life, whipped my shoes off, put my trainers on, and scampered excitedly into the gym to start my regime.

Got on the exercise bike and worked on my 10 km journey.  At the side of me is the arm bike, which was occupied by a well-developed, but sadly, ugly meathead.  He was busy comparing his performance to mine (which I wasn't bothered by - it's a side effect of gyms, I think), and was sneering at me regularly to reinforce the fact that he was fit and I, erm .... wasn't.  I prefer to do it the slow way, minus steroids, but hey, that's just me.

He ended his marathon stint on the arm bike, swaggered off it, sweating like a pig (or indeed, one of the locals), and disappeared in the direction of the hygiene wipes.  Yippee, I thought, maybe this one has a social conscience and will undoubtedly come back with some wipes and sort his man puddles out.  Not so, I'm afraid - he wandered past the hygiene wipes and went for a drink at the tap instead.  Not even to fill a bottle, but to actually put his mouth over the tap, practically sucked it, like a baby goat, then came back, walked straight past the arm bike, wandered all the way down, and got on the rowing machine.  F*****g marvellous, I thought.  Note to self, make sure I wipe the machine down before I use it.  You could even see sweat marks and fibre marks from his vest which were showing up on the seat.  How the f**k can you just leave the equipment in that mess?  It's f*****g disgusting and there's absolutely no reason why.  Do they honestly not realise that that's how bacterial infections spread?

I wipe the machine down before I use it and after I've used it now - I've seen too many bad habits from people not to.  It's truly awful what they consider to be polite practice.  I wouldn't mind, but there's signs up everywhere, asking you to wipe the machines down after use, and there's even stickers on the machines, lest you forget.  But this a******e obviously can't read either.

Did my bike run, got off, wiped it, then wiped the arm bike, and amazed myself with my strength, stamina and willpower.  All in all, I did 10 km on that one too.  Take that, bingo wings, I thought.  Soon you will be ... no more.  Hopefully.  Wiped that one down afterwards too, then trotted off to the changing rooms, feeling invigorated and hopefully, slimmer.

Opened the door to the changing rooms and bang, down went my mood.  Got faced with puddles everywhere, horrific sweaty smells, and the family from chavsville staring at me with open hatred, sitting on the bench that I use.  Oh b******s, here we go.  I counted the number of puddles - 5 in total.  And absolutely no effort being made to mop any of them up - amazing parenting, guys - well done.

I decided to just grab my rucksack, put my towel in it and get the hell out.  I seriously didn't like the look of this lot - two youngish boys and 3 girls, together with a not so yummy mummy - all glaring at me, hostile, aggressive, moody and .... not to be messed with.  So I didn't.  Instead, I put my rucksack on the bench behind the ginger one (or should I say, the gingerest one), who promptly turned round and gave me the evils for 'sharing' his bench.  I duly stared him out - f**k that, I thought, you're only 6 and I am 41 - a grown up!!!  So I held his gaze, and then he either gave up or got bored and spotted a new target, so I won - yippee!!  You see, I am grown up.  Anyway, got the hell out of there as fast as I could, and on my way through reception, all of a sudden, a wheeled chair came zooming out of one of the rooms the staff use, complete with a member of staff on it.  I think they were having a competition to see who could get in and out of the door on the chair fast enough.  Honestly, I thought, there's only me that tries to act even half my age.  Not that I'm jealous at all, you see ..........

Saturday, 12 February 2011


It seems the laydees are developing a new way of opening up hostilities in the changing rooms.  The trick is to keep the locker doors open so they can either smack you in the face, or you have to do the limbo if you want to get past.  It's fabulous, really.  The number of ways that people can p**s you clean off, pretend it's all your fault that they have no manners, whilst all the while treating you like s**t without actually uttering a spoken word so they don't get themselves into a corner.  F*****g marvellous.  Wish I had the manners of pigs like this lot do.

Anyway, after managing to duck countless doors, I bravely fought my way out of the zoo enclosure and commenced my workout.  This time, I am pleased to say, I surpassed myself on the arm bike - I actually got up to 10 km (a personal best).  My bingo wings aren't disappearing any, but they must surely know by now that I don't want to see them as much as I used to.  Think I'm about to get the buggers on the run, though.

Whilst I was on the exercise bike (legs), I couldn't help but see through the window into the swimming pool.  There were two large, old gentlemen preening by the side of the pool, and at first glance, I thought I could see budgie smugglers, but upon closer inspection, the offending articles were no more than baggy shorts that were just the right size for them - just looked a little tight on their extra large bodies.  Mind you, I can't talk - can't even swim, so they were already a vast improvement on yours truly.  I tried to learn how to swim at school, but one day I nearly drowned, and the teacher did absolutely f**k all to help me, so I've got a bit of a phobia about that sort of thing now.  So, good luck to anyone that can swim, say I.

It's funny actually, because when me and my brothers and sisters were young, we used to go to the seaside for holidays, and there is video footage of my brother coming out of the sea, and it looks like his trunks are about to slide down, and there's a hilarious bit of film where he's trying to pull them up, just as a big wave comes crashing down on him from behind.  If he hadn't have hoiked them up at that particular time, he would have lost them for good - they'd have reappeared next to a rusty old bike that was so prevalent on northern beaches in the seventies.  God bless Blighty - it never fails to raise a smile!!!!!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

I wasn't playing with myself just for the sheer hell of it, you know!!

Went to the gym yesterday, and was determined not to look at anyone's intimate bits, if you catch my drift. However, upon entering the changing rooms to dump my bag and change into my trainers, I got met with not one, but two arses mooning at me in the face!!  Couldn't honestly believe my good intentions hadn't just been ruined, so much as absolutely smashed into a million pieces.  Mind you, I couldn't help but think that you could have parked a bike in one of them, without spilling a drop of coffee.  Jesus, it was big.

After fervently trying not to look anymore, I scuttled off to the exercise machines in double quick time.  Got on the exercise bike, started the programme up, and settled into the seat, but then had to get off it pretty sharpish - bit of an underwear emergency.  In other words, I'd given myself a bike wedgie, which needed immediate remedial action.  My underwear had somehow twisted itself round a bit, so that when I sat down, it was in danger of cutting off my circulation.  I got off and tried to rearrange myself discreetly, except you can't actually be discreet when you've got your hands down your trousers, fiddling with your underwear, trying to free your wedgie, can you?

I got back on the bike, started again, to find I'd still not mended the problem, and so had to get off again.  This I did, and carried out the same trouble-shooting procedure, still trying to maintain my composure, but inwardly screaming with the pain.  Think I got it that time, sat back down on the bike and started again.  Oh joy - that sorted it, and I started my exercise in earnest.  After 30 seconds or so, I turned round, sure I could feel someone's eyes on me, and lo and behold, there was a youngish man on one of the bikes behind me, chuckling away, looking straight at me.  F**k me, I thought - I can't remember if he was there before I corrected my underwear malfunction or not, but judging by his reaction towards me, I'd say he was and had witnessed the whole debacle.  B******s, s**t, f**k and w**k - how terribly uncool of me.  Mind you, at least I was wearing some!!

A bit later, once I'd shrugged off the embarrassment, all of a sudden an oldish man popped up with one of the members of staff, and got all excited about explaining something about the arm bike to him.  He seemed to get carried away, and grabbed hold of the bike and started shaking it, so it wobbled about.  It turned out he was complaining to the staff member about loose nuts and screws on the bike.  It turned out to be complete b******s, however, because when I got on it, there was only one nut that needed tightening up, which I duly did, and then I started my workout.  I did notice, however, that he gave me an absolutely filthy look when I got off it and was making my way back to the changing rooms and passed him on the way.  Looks like it wasn't just the arm bike that had a few screws loose.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Clues as to the skeletal structure of the locals

Popped up at the gym on Saturday, buoyed up by the fact that I weighed myself and was delighted to find that I'd lost 2.5 lbs.  Whoopee, only another 4.5 stone to go!

Did my usual 30 minutes on the exercise bike - managed to do 11 km on effort level 2, which I was pleased with.  My stamina is building up now, or so it feels.  I know I'm not as far on as I would like, but everyone's got to start somewhere, right?

Got off the bike and wandered over to the arm bike and sat on it, to find that I was a lot further down than I normally am - put it this way, I nearly banged my chin on the crossbars (not good, and it's never happened before.  No, I wasn't p****d either).  I also couldn't reach enough to do a full rotation with the arm pedals, also not good for my particular purpose.  Taking all these factors into account, I decided that someone else had been on the bike before me (no sh*t, Sherlock, I hear you cry), and had altered all the settings.  I tried to adjust the seat, failed miserably.  I then tried to adjust the arm pedals, but my underdeveloped girlie muscles gave up on me, and in the end, I decided that it wasn't worth my while to carry on using this particular machine until I had completed a pretty intensive weight lifting course, which, given that I haven't enrolled on one, would ultimately prove fruitless to my immediate circumstances.

Taking all things into account, I decided to swap machines, so I went onto the other arm bike, which at first glance, seemed to suit my immediate requirements - seat at optimum height, arm pedals set at the right distance.  I sat down and programmed the settings, and began.  However, being the bright bunny that I pride myself on being, I noticed that one arm seemed to be stretching more than the other.  Hmm, I thought - this ain't right.  Let's problem-solve.

Upon checking the arm pedal settings, it became obvious that each arm had been set to a different length.  The left had been set to distance 3, whilst the right one had been set to distance 1 (my normal setting).  How bizarre, but, given that I live where I live, perhaps not entirely unexpected.  I tell you, the things I see round the market town just doesn't surprise me anymore.  I'd love to tell you the name of the place, but it's like Dragnet - names have been changed to protect the guilty.  The amount of times I've seen people staggering around with long arms, short legs and no brain is absolutely legendary.  It puts Twycross Zoo to shame some days.  Amateurs.

Problems rectified, I carried on with my exercise, and decided to push myself further this time, and managed to achieve 7km with a combination of effort levels 1 and 2.  My bingo wings haven't actually diminished, but perhaps one day they will.  I am, however, secure in the knowledge that both of my arms are the same length, which obviously can't be said for all of the locals, can it?!

Calling all Red Dwarf fans - GELF spotted in local gym

Had a nasty turn last week when I was gymming - it threatened to undo all my good work to date.

I'd been working out in my usual manner (badly), and I went back into the changing rooms and was confronted with a very very ugly sight.  There was a totally naked, somewhat overweight, buddha-type woman standing in the middle of the changing rooms.  I am beginning to get used to the sights I see, but I will never ever like it, especially this one.  God bless her, she was absolutely covered in moles, warts, freckles and spots - no offence, but only a mother could love that.  Absolutely terrible - I did a bit of sick in my mouth and had to shoot off to the toilets so I didn't add vomit to her list of attributes.

I'm sorry to say that my stomach turned over and I felt so physically sick and unwell.  Surely this lady isn't human - anyone who is a fan of Red Dwarf should remember the episode where a pleasure GELF manages to get on board the ship, and changes into each of the crews' fantasy partner, and one of the incarnations is a green pile of blubbery slime with its' neck sticking out of the mass, and just the one eye to look around.  Well, that's what this creature at the gym reminded me of - only Kryten could fall in love with that.  I know I certainly didn't.

On a later visit during the week, I again had the misfortune to have a close-up view of a lady's love tunnel as she bent over to take her underwear off.  Unfortunately (for me), she only had a tiny towel to cover her modesty (which didn't) - I tell you, if I wanted to look at fannies and the more intricate workings of the female reproductive system, I would have trained to become a gynaecologist.  I didn't want to, so my life has gone in a different direction, which I'm actually quite happy about.  It's gruesome down there, and other people's don't look much better from where I'm standing!!!!

Please people, cover yourselves up - you're not at home, and it's just not pretty in public.  Just don't do it, OK?

Working my nuts off

Went to the gym during last week - had to, really.  The diet's not going too well!!  Didn't realise that nuts weren't actually that good for you in large quantities.  Got a bit confused, then got carried away with the healthy snacks - I thought that you could eat as much as you wanted if the stuff was healthy.  How wrong was I?  I had a bag of cashew nuts, then my partner told me that they were so high in fat that I'd done myself no favours whatsoever.  Bollocks.  Anyway, off I went .....

Spotted a strange man immediately, standing by the windows overlooking the swimming pool.  I wouldn't normally take much notice, except that he was rubbing his nipples and rolling his tongue around his lips and making love-grunt noises, which I find hard to believe in a public place, and with so many children present, but hey, that's just me.  This carried on for a few minutes, and then he turned round and clocked the look on my face, then just strolled off as though nothing had happened.  I like to think he knew the people in the pool, and was trying to make them laugh, however .... you decide.

Did 11.5km on the exercise bike on effort level 2 (pretty cool of me, I think), and then surpassed myself on the arm bike - I did 5km on effort level 1 and 2 combined (my girlie arms can't do effort level 2 for too long, but God loves a trier).  I then went on the treadmill for 10 minutes to loosen my bad foot up, then got a new lease of life, and practically skipped back to the changing rooms feeling very very pleased with myself.  Not as tired as I thought I would be - that would be the nut effect, methinks!!

Got back into the changing rooms, to be met with a bit of a sight - water on the floor and on the benches, so nowhere to sit while I got changed out of my sweaty togs, or to change my trainers.  Not because of any flood, you understand - just the fact that people who go into the swimming pool and/or have showers there can't seem to dry themselves off before they go back into the changing area, or else they're sweating even more than me (unlikely!).  Anyway, when it gets to that stage, it's pretty disgusting, and you're not sure if you're sitting in water or wee, do you?  I decided to play safe and go into one of the toilets to change (thought it would be safer and probably more hygienic in the end).  Not so.  Someone had obviously hit on that notion before me - the toilets were worse than the benches in the changing area - water even in the lavatory cubicle, which was filthy, because people had gone in there in their trainers and the dirt from them had mingled with the water, to produce mucky water (yum, my favourite), and again, hadn't bothered to clean up after themselves.

Oh, to top all that off, there was a puddle of yellow wee-like liquid on the floor outside of the cubicles.  I didn't want to examine it too closely, in case someone had done the dirty deed in public (you know what these naturists are like), so I just scuttled into the cleanest lavatory cubicle and got changed asap, as safely and hygienically as I could.  No easy task.  On the way out of the bogs, I noticed a young boy wandering about with a small bottle of apple juice, which may explain the yellow puddle.  Either that, or it was wee, as I suspected, and he was merely gathering a sample for the doctor - who knows?

Was quite relieved to leave the premises after all that, but as I was walking across the car park to meet my partner (lovely chauffeur chappie - be lost without his driving skills), there was a man standing in the window perving on a woman with 3 kids, eyeing up her backside, and she was completely oblivious to it.  My partner spotted him straight away and eyeballed him.  Suddenly the man looked straight at my chap, saw that he had witnessed this interchange, then walked away.  I'm not sure whether to be upset or relieved, 'cos no one does that to me.....

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Carbon Emissions Testing for Exercise Bikes

Have a little confession to make, peeps - I carried out a scientific experiment to determine a correlation between farting, earphones and exercise bikes, and let me tell you, there most definitely is one.  Earphones and exercise bikes combine quite nicely to produce farts without the guilt, shame or embarrassment.  Well, it did in my case, anyway.

One day last week, I was working out and sweating profusely on the exercise bike.  I should really point out to you all that when I first start out on the exercise bike, I have to go a bit slowly, because my stomach gets very bloated and it's quite difficult to get everything moving, and it's not just my legs and my motivation I'm talking about here.

For the first few kilometres, I keep it to effort level one, so I can warm up and ease myself into it gradually, as I believe you're supposed to.  Anyway, this particular day, my stomach was extra specially bloated, so I could feel everything moving about and grinding and clunking about in my rather tiny (in my mind at least) stomach.  As you know, the exercise bike is all about working your stomach muscles as well as your legs, and I could feel the trapped wind starting to move about, which made me feel quite pleased.  After all, a marathon starts with the first step .....

I was aware of two gentlemen behind me on the bikes, who seemed to be quite chatty, so clearly they knew each other quite well, and I could tell they were keeping an eye on me whilst they were exercising, as you can't avoid looking to the front of this particular gym, because of the layout.  Anyway, I put my headphones on, and was merrily bopping away to Fleetwood Mac, when all of a sudden, my wind moved faster than even I was expecting, and came out with a bit of a whoosh - made the seat go warm, if you know what I mean.  Now then, I know I made a bit of a raspy noise, but with it being an electric bike and it being noisy in the gym anyway, what with the crappy music and all, I couldn't really hear it over my headphones as well, so I thought, oh well, must have got away with that one.  I'll be ok so long as I don't do it again.  Just carried on with my session and tried to put it behind me - literally.  Well, all of a sudden, I became conscious of this ..... smell.  A bit like a cat had crept on to the seat behind me, crapped, and crept away again.  (I must assure you at this juncture, I had not deposited solids).  My partner taught me a lovely phrase a few weeks ago - another term for a fart, apparently, is 'ghost sh*t', which is apt in this instance, for that's what I'd done, I'm ashamed and embarrassed to say.  Being the game old bird that I am, I carried on biking, and noticed out of the corner of my eye, that the gentlemen who were previously working away behind me, had suddenly and unexpectedly left their posts.  I like to think it was because they had achieved their targets for the day, but frankly, I'm not so sure.

The moral of this story is that if you can't hear it, it's ok.  If you can hear it and know where it came from, good for you - you can't prove it was me.  If you were the one that did it, heard it and knew exactly where it came from, look innocent, keep your head held high and don't let the buggers wear you down.  Good luck, goodnight and good wishes.

Common Courtesy when going through doors, please

Went to the gym today, actually.  Struggled a bit, because of having a headache and already feeling tired.  Still, I'm a game old bird, spurred on by the fact that we bought a pair of bathroom scales yesterday and when I weighed myself I found I've actually put on weight since I joined the gym.  I was gutted when I found out, and as such, being the trooper that I am, decided that more exercise is the answer.  And perhaps, less junk food.  Bugger.

When trying to gain access to the gym, you have to hand your card over to the receptionist before you can get through the gate entry system, so they can swipe it.  Last Sunday when I tried this, I was kept waiting for 10 minutes because they were short-staffed, and the person that was on reception took it into her head to have a conversation with someone already there, so kept everyone who was trying to get into the gym, waiting at the turnstile.  There was an old couple behind me who weren't happy with it either, but I digress...

Anyway, today there was a male staff on the reception, and he was flirting with one of the members, who had 3 kids, one of which was hanging on to Mummy and bawling her head off.  Shut the little f****r up, thought I, not particularly charitably, and managed to catch his eye so he'd let me in, which duly transpired.

Just as I got to these horrific people, they all decided to barge me out of the way and head towards the changing rooms.  Bo*****s, I thought - that's all I f*****g need.  Anyway, on I gamely went, and got treated to getting the door of the changing room slammed in my face.  I bashed it open, just about missing the eldest little b*****d, and said "Thanks for that", in a fairly audible tone, whereupon she looked around shiftily, glared at me, then visibly paled as I glared back and really burned it into her.  Well, I'm afraid, ladies and gentlemen, what goes around comes around.  If yummy mummies can't be bothered to teach their appalling brats some manners, then that's just going to have to be my job, isn't it?  Mummy, on the other hand, opted not to have heard this exchange, and then we all went to the same bench to swap our outdoor shoes for trainers, and all that kind of thing.  Mummy then proceeded to spread her and the kids stuff out all over the bench, so I waited until she turned her back, then I moved her stuff about and made some room for yours truly.  When she turned round, she wasn't overly happy at what I'd done, but didn't make any comment, other than a grunt, which is pretty typical of the area in which I like to call 'home'.

When I got up to put my stuff in the locker, I turned round to find my towel had been not so carefully placed on the floor - nice, eh?  Never mind - I can work out my frustrations in the gym!  God - that arm bike has never seen so much action in all the time it's been in that gym - mind you, I'm knackered now, and I can't even have chocolate to console my aches and pains with!!!

Put it away, Madam - it's not as pretty as you think

Went to the gym during the week - honestly, the sights you see when you've just eaten.  After I finished yet another amazing workout, I went back into the changing rooms, to be met by the sight of a half naked woman with the most awful breasts I have ever seen.  It was really weird and I know I shouldn't look, but honestly, when they're virtually thrust at you, what the hell are you supposed to do?  It's like trying not to look at an enormous infected spot on someone's nose when you're trying to hold a sensible conversation with them.  They were conical, which is fine if you like that sort of thing, but sadly, they were also covered in moles - really dark ones.  At first, I was hoping it was mud, or dirt of some kind, but they weren't.

The other odd thing about all this was that the woman was there with her mother, and her daughter, so we have a grandmother, mother and daughter.  The mother (ie. the middle one) was standing in front of the other two with her baps hanging out, having a conversation in the middle of the changing rooms, with strangers walking by and trying not to look.  Please can someone either tell me what to do in this situation, or else put together a petition to be placed in gyms nationwide, to remind people that they're in a public place, and while nudity in these situations is inevitable, you really don't have to broadcast it for longer than it needs to be.  Please help!!!

Mind you, so saying that, a few weeks ago, again, I wandered back into the changing rooms to be confronted by a woman bending over, with a tiny tiny towel round her, and I saw what she had eaten for breakfast (if you catch my drift).  Certain things are inappropriate at any time, I think, and that was one of them.

Look, I guess what I'm saying is, is that can we all try to be more conscious of the fact that we're in a shared public place, and little towels aren't gonna cover everything you think they do - at home it's different - who's gonna look?  At the gym, however, it's a bit different.  I never know whether to say anything or not, because I'm conscious of the fact that my comments may not be well-received (not that I'm gonna cheer, or give a score out of 10, you understand), but these days, you can be thought of as a pervert at the drop of a hat, so it's a fine line I have to tread (not that I am a pervert, you understand).  I don't actively look, at ladies' bits, indeed, I try to avert my eyes at all times - I even scuttle off to the toilets to get changed, (such is my modesty in these situations), but it's just wall to wall well droopy swingers, and it's difficult to know where is the best place to look (careful - didn't mean it quite like that!).  Any advice greatly welcomed.

Sorry I've been missing for a while!

Oops - doesn't time fly when you're away from your blog?  A lot has happened in the last week or so, so here we go ...

Well, for starters, the exercise bicycle seat has mysteriously reappeared - told you it was most likely a student.  Oddly enough, the machine seems to be working better, too.  Went to the gym last weekend and decided to push myself a bit further - I have discovered that getting myself into a Zen-like state and blocking out the truly terrible music that plays in the gym is the best way of getting through it all.  I can't tell you how much I hate Justin Bieber, Alesha Dixon and The Wanted.  Truly awful.  How the f**k that is supposed to motivate you is completely beyond me.  Anyway, I digress - I managed to get up to 5km/h on the treadmill, which is pretty good going for me, let me tell you.  Then I did my usual 30 minutes on the exercise bike, starting off at effort level 1 for the first km, then up to effort level 2 for the next 8 km, and lastly, I achieved a whopping effort level 3 for the last 2 km.  I felt so good (not to mention knackered, obviously), that I decided to go on the arm bike and see how far I could push myself a bit more.  I am excited to report that I managed to do 5km (yes, that's right - 5KM!!!) of arm exercise, which I thought was fabulous of me!!  Having said that, I practically fell off the bike, staggered back into the changing rooms and nearly passed out with the fatigue.

During this session, though, I did notice a strange phenomena creeping in to the environment - a set of non-identical twins came into the gym that day.  Funny, because I don't recall them being conjoined or anything like that - certainly didn't see an umbilical cord attaching them together either.  All the more strange then, that whatever machine the skinny one was using, that the fat twin had to join her at the machine by her side within 3 minutes of her switching exercise apparatus.  This trend continued throughout the time I was there - first they started off on the exercise bikes on the front row, then the skinny one (Miss Independent) went onto the arm bike, when I noticed the fat one (Miss Completely Dependent), look strained and stressed and obviously suffering from separation anxiety, practically leapt off her bike and went to sit on the arm bike at the side of Miss Independent within 3 minutes of being left by herself.  Now then, I go to the gym and work out all by myself and don't really think of it as traumatic (well, not in that respect anyway) to be left alone, but this one was something else.  She was trying to give the arm bike a go, but not really getting down to it, because gossip was far more important, then all of a sudden - calamity - Miss Independent dared to switch machines again - this time the rowing machine.  That stresses Miss Completely Dependent (or Stalky, as I like to call her), out so much that, once again, she has to hop off the machine and take up residence on the rowing machine next to Skinny. Thirty seconds in, Stalky went bright red, started whimpering, stopped rowing and just sat there, gossiping to Miss Independent, disturbing her concentration, and waited for her to finish her session instead.  Marvellous how anyone else who wanted to use the rowing machine couldn't - not because it was being used for its' purpose, but because some fat cow couldn't bear to be separated from her friend, but yet didn't want to work out at the gym either.

The best bit was that it was15 minutes before the gym closed, and they both needed to shower, but hadn't left themselves enough time, and weren't even going to leave the gym floor until the staff came to shoo them out - how ill-mannered and inconsiderate is that?  People, when you're at the gym, please be considerate and more self-aware - please don't be like these two.

Anyway, on the way home from this session, I suddenly got a banging headache, and, as such, felt the urge to have a bit of chocolate to get my energy back.  Unfortunately, the curse of Bridget Jones struck me, as I had undergone the most amazing workout and was very pleased and proud of myself, I got brought down to earth really badly when I discovered I couldn't open the bag of Minstrels, and so had to ask my partner to open them for me.  You see, I can work out with the best of them when I put my mind to it, but I'm afraid trying to open a bag of naughty chocolate is still way beyond my capabilities!  Unless, perhaps, it was fate's way of telling me that I'll never lose weight if I continue to eat crap like I do!!!!!

Monday, 10 January 2011

OMG - surely someone would have seen that going!

Went to the gym on Saturday - was quite happily using the treadmill when I noticed there must have been a break in on Friday night, because I know nothing had gone any earlier.  One of the exercise bike seats had been taken off the machine and was no more!!!!  My God - how the hell has someone nicked that, in full view of everybody else, tucked it under their gym vest (some of them are very sheer and tight-fitting, you know), done a runner (probably very quickly - there are some amazingly fit people go in there, you know) and not been challenged, or spotted, by anyone else.  Maybe it was a championship boxer, who was too big and tough to challenge, or perhaps, just perhaps, it was a drunken student who, in the absence of a traffic cone, thought he'd try his luck with an exercise bike seat.

Anyway, I'm still trying the arm exerciser - things are getting better, so I think I'll stick with it a bit longer, in the vain hope my bingo wings reduce quickly.  Will post my progress (if any) in due course.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Think I'm gonna pass out any minute now .......

Just been to the gym, and had a go on the arm exerciser - it's like an exercise bike, but for arms instead of legs.  Think my technique must be a bit wrong, because my right arm was getting tired more than the left one was.  If anyone knows why this would be, please feel free to let me know/educate me in the ways of the arm exerciser!  I've done 2km's worth of exercising, before I felt a bit too tired to carry on for today.  Trying to get rid of my bingo wings is proving more difficult than I thought - mind you, it's taken me forty years to accumulate it, so I guess it's not going to disappear overnight (sadly).

Had to buy some more trainers last weekend, thanks to my rather mischevious/easily bored collie.  He's developed a trick of bringing my slippers and shoes to me whenever I've been out and come back into the house, but this time he didn't want to give me them back, and the next time I looked, he'd chewed the backs of my trainers and they ended up with dog-shaped holes in the heels - rather more like flip-flops than the sports footwear I was rather more accustomed to seeing.  Anyway, after an emergency trip to a well-known  shoe shop, I am now the proud owner of a new pair of trainers whose laces are overlong, and I now face the additional risk of tripping up or getting them trapped in the exercise bike pedals, which would be rather embarrassing, don't you think?

Anyway, after my mammoth exercise session, which consisted of ten minutes on the treadmill, thirty minutes on the exercise bike and ten minutes on the arm exerciser (not entirely sure what it's real name is), I duly staggered back into the changing rooms, to be hit in the face by someone's truly awful BO.  Why, oh why don't people shower more often than they do, especially when they know they are going to be in a communal area and people can't possibly avoid them in close proximity?  I nearly passed out with the fumes, and if I'd stayed longer, I'm sure I would have.

I'm thinking of putting a suggestion forward that the gym has "sniff monitors" installed on the doors - that way, when people pass though the doorframe, perhaps a message could flash up somewhere and give you the state of your hygiene levels.  You know, something like "A little bit whiffy today, madam - showers are that way", all the way up to "Oh my God - you dirty cow - how about a new year, new shower regime?"  I'm pretty sure it could catch on, and it does beat those awful, embarrassing one to one chats with the boss, eh?  Come on girls, let's give it a go....!