About two years ago i joined the YMCA fitness centre and went to the gym there for nine months or so. i did get fitter. In fact i was fairly impressed given the amount of weight i was carrying then. Recently i joined again, and there was a pleasing difference. i could do twice as far twice as fast on the cross trainer, and i couldn't walk satisfactorily on the treadmill at all; i need to run or put it on the steepest incline. i need a new programme.
i always was sceptical about structured exercise, given that even now our South world sisters are getting their exercise carrying water for fifteen kilometres at dawn. And people who drive to the gym, well, good grief, it's an oxymoron. There is also something a bit soulless and atomising about rows of people on machines, in their own worlds, under fluorescent lights.
But i like the Y for the following awesome reasons:
1. No lycra
2. Wiry tough old guys who are way into their 70's and look like they've been places and all know each other
3. No lycra
4. Simple chunky machines i can understand
5. Not so many fierce skinny women who literally push me aside so they can shave a few seconds off their attempt to get to the changing bench
6. OK, hardly any lycra
7. You can put the YMCA song on your iPod and play it and that is really witty because, like, you're at the YMCA and you're playing the song
8. Very disabled people who come in with their caregivers, do five minutes on one machine, and leave, as i wonder about them and their lives
9. The rewards of a swig of water and lovely hot showers - our water pressure at home has been bad since the EQ's and getting worse, and so getting properly wet in the shower is a gorgeous luxury
11. Lots of plumpish middle aged women like me who just get on with it, without show or haste or silliness, and certainly
12. Without any lycra.