500 words on going to the gym

In Suffolk the ability to just drop in on a dance class is difficult for most of the year, and next to impossible during summer. So, what do I do to maintain fitness over the eight week holiday? I’m also a pretty lazy person during the holiday- the idea of just going for a run doesn’t occur to me- I need to be motivated. Paying for a gym membership motivates me. I have paid for it, therefore I will go because I have spent money on it.

Luckily, my local gym does student deals. £30 for six weeks, unlimited access, and it includes a pool! How could I resist?

Yet, I still don’t know how I feel about the gym. There’s something very abhorrent about running on a treadmill, staring at myself in the mirror and listening to Kiss radio. I should be outside, soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the clean air. It says that I’ve run three miles, but I haven’t have I? I’m still in exactly the same place, staring at myself in the mirror and listening to the radio.

So my first bug bear, is that going to the gym is unnatural.

I’m also questioning whether going to the gym for over an hour is considered obsessive? I have only been to this one gym and I usually go during the middle of the day when it’s less busier, so I have very little to compare- yet it feels like people pop in for like half an hour and then leave, while I’m still slogging on. Surely, you’d want to go for a long period of time, really go for it and feel like ‘yeah I worked out today’ when you leave. I really don’t think you can achieve this in half an hour…

Next, why don’t people sweat properly? At Northern it feels entirely normal for my knees to be sweating (I have no idea why my knees sweat so much), to have sweat dripping in your eyes, and a horrible fug appearing on the mirrors. But, everyone seems so pristine at the gym. I think going to the gym has become this idea- that just merely going qualifies as being active, like ‘yeah I made an effort, I went to the gym’. People are worrying too much about impressing other people. If I sweat loads will I look weak? You’re there to work out!

Finally, is it acceptable to do the splits in the gym? Does it matter if I’m wearing Primark £1 vest tops and not head to toe in Nike running gear? Why do men hog the free weights? Is it possible to cycle and read at the same time? Will I look like an idiot if I do? Do I sweat too much? Who decides on the TV channels? Can you bring food into the gym? So many questions about the gym. Maybe I should just sack it all off and go swimming everytime- but I’ve paid for it… so I may as well use it.

Should you ever skip leg day?

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