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 ..........

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