Monday 16 September 2019

Gym Palace

As part of my recovery package courtesy of the NHS (thanks everyone, including me). If only there was champagne in that package, and Botox inducing face masks or the like, but no, I am being given cut-rate gym sessions at the local gym (not gin, sadly) palace. I see someone called Dion who takes me through the equipment at the gym while we discuss Oasis and other bands from the 90s. He's a spring chicken but his taste in music is sprung. We discuss the lack of guitar music these days, along with my lack of muscles, these days. I reliably inform him that this time last summer I was 2 stone lighter and fit - running up that hill fit - the one most people can't get up without taking a rest. He looked sceptical. Dion then gives me a list of classes to attend. The first one is called Circuits. Sounds hectic. Just the ticket to knock off a few, pounds that is, but when the other gym gear clad grannies and granddads arrive, they look like they are about to be knocked off the planet. Clearly Dion did not believe a word that I said. I cheer up when I see a basketball net. I smugly toss the ball through the hoop, over and over again, from further and further away, just to make a point. The instructor and the coffin dodgers ignore me.

The B52s start playing and the gym instructor gets on the headphones, whilst showing everyone how to have a knees up, but not the kind I prefer, he points his knees up to the ceiling and taps them to the floor getting a bit of a wiggle-vibe on as he does so. The old folk join in but only lackadaisically, given its a bit of a social club and chat-wise, they are warming up. There are ten circuit stations, ranging from standing up and sitting down on a chair, using a rubber band to discourage bingo wings, using a gym ball to polish the wall, using some tiny weights that Jerry would laugh at, and, piece de la resistance (but not with a resistance band) walking up and down. I decide to really give it some welly in order to feel the burn so do everything at triple, nay, quadruple speed, which ain't hard to maintain given the competition. At the 'throw a ball to one another' station, I fling the ball through the hoop like a crazy person. Instead of walking up and down, I tear from one end of the gym to the other like I'm sprinting to my car in Llandudno after leaving it for 92 and not 90 minutes. 90 was also the average age of the folks in my class, but they were good for a chin wag at the water station, where they gave me plenty of tips, such as how I ought to take it easy. When I splashed my face in the ladies afterwards, it was the colour of allotment beet.

I decided to supplement my exercise programme by ducking and dodging the tourists and old folk down Conwy High Street like a pro skier on speed, coming at them at an alarming rate and keeping it up in the Spar for good measure, almost unsettling the stacked baked beans in the process, which, if I'd taken Dion's advice, ought to have been used as weights during my supermarket sweep. I haven't been back to circuits yet. I may try speed cycling next, but I had trouble getting into the stirrups at the gym, and wouldn't want to make a spectacle of myself.