So I’ve spent a lot of this year fretting over the importance of exercise. And I’ve been getting steadily less ambitious. It went from training for a marathon to jogging a little to hoping to cycle someday. It started out well – I jogged everyday and drank milk at night and made plans to join a gym to train properly. With my whole family. My whole family bailed. So I stuck to jogging around in a small garden after dark on days when I had a music player on me. Then I took a break till I got my new ipod, because really now, who jogs without an ipod. So I waited till the ipod came, and then I took another break till Diwali ended and the garden started being empty again in the nights, because really now, who jogs with an entire audience of giggly kids staring at them. Then I got back to jogging and I jogged my heart out for a grand total of 2 days. After which I said to myself – “Bleh”.
It’s true. Take away the cool incentives (like gym and marathon), and jogging can be an incredibly boring thing to do. Unless you actually manage to keep at it till you develop the stamina and the low resting-pulse of people who can actually run.
But my lungs are the size of those cheap zip lock pouches you get to buy for 5 bucks in the train, and my stamina is shit. I can jog for a full 5 minutes before I run out of zing. And breath. And the will to live. I just about manage my regulation 5 rounds and then I drag myself home and collapse in a dramatic heap. Point being, jogging wasn’t my thing.
And so I thought I should get back to cycling, because I used to cycle all the time when I was a kid. For a bunch of reasons most of you must already know, I didn’t stick with that either. And then I just sat around feeling flabby (metaphorically) and miserable, till my sister told me I could go join the gym with her.
Join the gym.
I’ve never been inside of a gym before. I’ve just seen my sister packing her gym bag with sneakers and towels and cool sports water-bottles and leaving the house purposefully in the mornings. I’ve seen her come home looking sweaty and superior in an oh-I-just-got-back-from-the-gym kind of way. I’ve seen her feeling smug and strong and opening dried-up paint bottle lids with a nonchalance that is alarming to behold. I can almost hear the contented hum of her cardio-vascular system feeling awesomely in shape.
And I’ve been jealous, because skinny people don’t get to join gyms and feel awesomely in shape. Or so I thought. But I was wrong, because I went to the gym yesterday with my own purposeful package of sneakers and towels and cheap Bisleri water-bottle, and signed up for a quarterly program. Just fitness, not weight-gain. And I was all ready to hop on to the treadmill and start with the cardio, when they dragged me over to the weights and tortured me instead.
Now I really didn’t sign up to lift heavy objects. I signed up to do the fun stuff that I suppose I might as well do outside of the gym, but it just feels cooler to do it inside, on expensive machinery. I wanted to do the treadmill and the cross-trainer and the exercycle. But I said okay and went ahead and lifted the shit out of the heavy objects.
I went back today still sore from all the heavy objects of yesterday. And I was kicked, because today was my turn to do cardio. I took my ipod and my pajamas with pockets for the ipod and skipped all sprightly-ly to the gym. I changed into my sneakers and jogged a bit to warm them up and even did a special double-knot on the laces just to make sure they didn’t come undone on the treadmill or something.
At which point they told me to go home.
Apparently I can only work out on alternate days, on account of they don’t think my body can deal with any more than that. Plus, I get to lift weights on all of those alternate days. For a whole month. They worry that cardio might make me lose weight right now.
I took my sneakers off and went for a walk instead.
But the fun stuff will start soon. I can feel it in my bones. And in my small and aching muscles that they will punish on alternate days for a whole month. Oh well. As long as I feel awesome at the end of it all.
—PS : It’s not the gym anymore. It’s just the gym.