My Year of Gym-ing Dangerously

Round about now, it’s traditional to look back on the resolutions you made at the start of the year and think “Ye Gods, what kind of over-optimistic idiot was I to think I could do THAT?”

As I mentioned in January, New Year resolutions are a load of old guff anyway. Intentions are what’ll see you through.  I completely forgot that my intention was to Be Great in 2008, so probably didn’t score too highly on that. I made some great cakes though. Next year is Be Kind in 2009, so that’ll be easy enough (and will probably also involve cake).

My other major intention for this year was to go to the gym 3 times a week, or 150 times in the year.  I have been a member of my gym for a few years now, but had only ever gone once or twice or no times a week.

I decided that since I was turning 40 at the end of the year (tomorrow as it happens), what I really wanted was to be fit ‘n forty, rather than fat ‘n forty.

So as the year drifted on, I gymmed like a crazy beast. Around September, I totted up the number of sessions I’d done, and things were not going to plan. I’d only done 4 gym sessions in August, so if I was to hit my target, I would really have to ramp up the visits.  So since September I have been going 4 times a week. But that’s still not enough.

Have you ever wondered what kind of dick goes to the gym on Christmas Eve? Well, that will be dicks like me who said they were going to go 150 times, and are too stubborn not to. To hit my target, I have to go 19 times in December. Have done 5 so far. Wish me luck.

So has all this effort been worth it? Well, I am about 10lb lighter and considerably more muscly than I started. But since I am short, that just leaves me looking like a Sontaran in a wig, which – as any Doctor Who fan will tell you – is not a good look.

But over all, my year as a gymoholic has been a good one, because

  • I have better concentration, especially since my mind wandered in a BodyCombat class and I punched myself in the face
  • I have learnt that it is OK to feel smug if you can do more exercise than the person standing next to you. Especially if that person is younger, thinner and prettier than you.
  • I can’t listen to any music with a heavy beat without doing backwards lunges. Makes parties tricky but is a good conversation starter.
  • I have observed that being a gym instructor is a funny old profession, where you can get away with using words like Awesome! Mental! and Kill Him! and no-one will call the police.
  • Thanks to BodyCombat, I have highly developed skills in kicking imaginary adversaries. If anybody invisible tries to mug me, I can deck their lights out, no problem.
  • Unfortunately, so can my children, since I made the mistake of showing them my Power Ranger moves.

So if you are thinking of joining a gym, the best advice I can give you is to try as many different classes as possible. Some of them are really quite stupid, and if you can have a laugh when you’re exercising it’ll keep you coming back for more.

  • Walter Tully

    If you can go to the gym everyday, that would be nice. But three times a week is the most advisable rate. Too much workout can put a lot of stress on your body. Get a personal trainer too. He or she is the one who knows what workout is best for you.

  • I think the most important thing, Walter, is to have rest days in between workouts. However, that’s not always possible and sometimes you just have to exercise when ever your schedule will allow.