I’m not one of those annoying people who, after the Christmas binging decides that the new year means a new me and joins a gym expecting it to be all sunshine and six-packs and unicorns skipping through golden fields… No no no.
That was last Christmas.
This year I’m one of those equally annoying people who hasn’t been to the gym at all over the last three weeks because, well, frankly lemon meringue pie is just better than staring at a wall and running on the spot while you know damn well that the kids are at home eating your lemon meringue pie!
I have got to get back to it though, and not just because it’s a waste of the monthly fee otherwise. Mainly because I’ve got to lose a bit of weight and get a lot fitter before July.
After a couple of years where my weight had hovered around the 14 stone mark I was over the moon last year when my weight dipped below 13 stone (and stayed there). But my target according to my BMI is just under 12 stone – so that gives me another 13lbs or so to lose. I’m not sure where I’m going to lose that weight from. It might be a bit easier if I sacrifice a limb… Additionally I’ve got to get to a point where I can comfortably keep up an 11 mile an hour average speed on a relatively low geared 26” wheel, steel framed bike laden down with 8 days worth of supplies and camping equipment… Any weight I can save there is going to be an advantage as well. And if I can shave a stone off my own weight – it means I can take 14lbs of chocolate!
Although it turns out I enjoy the gym a lot more than I thought I would (and that’s really not saying much when you bear in mind I thought I’d hate it) I’m still not entirely comfortable with it. I have started to spot regular faces (of both the “sweating into a towel, head down on a cycling machine” and the “dressed up to the nines posing on a treadmill, fully made up with hair extensions in” varieties) and I suppose I might have become a regular face to some people as well – even if I do attend at the quieter times of day and religiously avoid the free weights area. I’m quite happy to do my regular hour long rotation on the treadmill, rowing machine, cycling machine and steps (I tried introducing a cross trainer into the mix just before Christmas and decided that it’s new fangled nonsense that I’m not entirely onboard with). I have certainly never shared a geotagged gym selfie or checked in on Facebook (and a quick look through the Instagram feed for the local gym has confirmed to me that I never will).
Anyway, I’m hoping that more frequent gym visits, a healthier diet (even just taking the sugar out of my coffee and switching to sugar free fizzy drinks helped to get below 13 stone), knocking the odd cigarette on the head and some decent practice rides will get me into shape reasonably quickly. I’m already thinking about spending a weekend riding in one direction as far as I can, camping overnight and then coming back the following day just to see how much ground I can cover and what sort of stuff I’ll actually need to be taking with me. The kit itself is starting to mount up and is already tipping the scales at a reasonable weight (and size – the tent and sleeping bag being the bulkiest items. And I haven’t even bought a sleeping mat yet), so I really could do with only taking the essentials (and the odd creature comfort). I do struggle with motivation to actually get out of the front door over the winter, especially seeing as it’s not cold so much as it’s wet at the moment. Maybe joining a cycling group or arranging something with a few more people would give me the extra push that I need… A combination of dark evenings, wet roads, full time employment and weekends with the family are conspiring against me. That said, I did notice that it’s still light past 4pm now, so there’s a bit of good news.
So, long story short, it’s time to get back down to the gym to see the regulars, the noobs and avoid the weights.
And don’t worry – there will be no gym selfies.