I Am A Gym Bunny!

Previously I was a rookie; still more concerned with the neatness of my hair bun and coordinating my lycra.  Let it be known that this is not my first foray into the world of fitness but it is my most serious.  In days gone by I was a paid-up member of a large gym where I spent many an hour selecting the easiest machines and exerting little or not effort whilst enjoying the general ambience and feeling smug.  During this time I never, ever sweated.  I did not redden and my heart rate remained at ‘plodder’ level.  I was slim anyway and naively thought this meant I was fit; I was a bit fit (pah!) particularly when I tied my tee-shirt at naval level and hid my VPL with appropriate knickers.  Back then the Gym was more about luxury; from the Molten Brown products, hot showers with mahoosive heads and sexy lighting in the changing rooms.  To the four leisurely laps I would execute in the pool whilst keeping my coiffured head firmly above water and praying my waterproof mascara wouldn’t let me down.  Not to mention the hours I’d while away in the café after; supping on a freshly-made 5 quid ‘Smoothie’ and flicking idly through celebrity magazines.  This was a social setting; a hub of beautiful, fit fuckers working-it whilst working-out before or after work. And I was a part of it.  Me; the girl with one leg exactly half a centimetre longer than the other with piss-poor balance and flat feet.  I say part of it…


Truth be known I was skirting the outside doing very little and deep down I knew it.  I couldn’t be arsed to get out of breath; I mean ask an asthmatic that’s not fun.  I didn’t want my face to become purple, shiny and frankly misshapen; think battered Aubergine with teeth and hair.  I wanted to enjoy myself not be straining, gurning and trying to out-do my bloody self.  It’s supposed to be fucking FUN?!  But in time it became less and less so.  I’d see those around me increasing their fitness.  Like the chubby girl who joined at around the same time as me; I’d raised an eyebrow at her grey joggers and sweaty head but who now looks much trimmer and brimming with confidence.  I’d observed her from the safety of my treadmill as I took yet another leisurely stroll whilst watching Loose Women on the big screen above as she grimaced through a ball-breaking hill climb on the bike.  I watched her ‘digging deep’, ‘pushing it’ and achieving.  I also realised I’d never seen her in the café. Eventually I moved on; I was going to the gym less and less and who fucking cared anyway, I was slim and could still touch my toes and it really wasn’t doing it for me anymore.  I then went on to have two more children; time and money was tight and besides I hate gyms; don’t I?


Fast forward a few years and I wake up one day and realise I’m no longer fit.  Not even a bit.  I’m propping a foot on the bed to put my tights on; I’m stiff as a board every morning and make irritating ‘oof’ noises on a daily basis.  I’m tired; proper bone tired; exhausted and lacking in that youthful buzz of energy I can dimly recall from many moons ago.  My lifestyle had caught up with me good and proper.  Two children in your forties is no mean feat; particularly when they’re ‘challenging’ shall we say.  And the littlest didn’t sleep through the night for 2.5 years….I shit you not. Then it happened.  The stars were aligned and I found myself bullied (yes, bullied) into joining my current gym by it’s newest member of staff who also happened to be my daughter.  This time I couldn’t afford fancy gym wear so arrived wearing her knock-off’s.  This time there was no pool, no fancy products or café.  This time was different.  For this time I learned to SWEAT.  That’s right folks bugger all will happen after exercise unless you raise your heart rate, get out of breath and sweat!  I’ve learned you can’t give a shit about anything other than the pain your in, you don’t look forward to it, don’t enjoy it and ultimately want to give it up.  But with that redness, sweat and raspy cough afterwards comes euphoria; a feeling unlike any other.  And with that an OTT; girlish excitement at your achievement.  Followed by a rush of ‘fuck yes I’m doing it; I’m really, really doing it’.  Then a little moment of ‘I’d like to try this’ or ‘I reckon I could do more’ and along with all of that a surge of love for this shitty thing that makes you look like a punched watermelon and forces you to set an alarm for 6am.  A newfound respect for yourself; for your determination, your sense of purpose and achievement.  Not to mention the ultimate respect for the only vessel that will see you through life…

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