Saturday 19 January 2008

Satisfying my inner bitch

It's a wet Saturday afternoon and I've plenty to say and a new DAB radio to accompany me, so I am intending to do a couple of entries.

So, I am back at the gym with a vengeance, after a very slack December due to acute busy-ness. Of course, since it's January, everybody else is back at the gym, too: there've been a couple of ugly scenes at Spinning over the past couple of weeks due to overbooking, and at circuits on Wednesday, around 100 people turned up, which meant our usual 50-minute circuit turned into an hour and 10 marathon, towards the end of which even the instructor was tiring and running out of cardio exercises for us.

The January circuits sessions are always the best for people watching. For a start, you always see people you haven't seen for ages (I suppose I fall into this category this year). Then, there are the people who are obviously really serious about that "get fit" new year's resolution but don't really understand the need for a good sports bra: there were several of these, who almost had me clutching my chest in sympathy, and proved to be almost hypnotic for some of the gentlemen, thanks to slightly-too-small white t-shirts.

Then, there are the people who really aren't serious. These people are usually kitted out all wrong, and don't usually break a sweat. There were two such there on Wednesday; I didn't clock them until we were almost halfway around, but after that I couldn't stop my horrified glances and eventually it became so obvious that they started staring back. I couldn't help it, even then.

For a start, people like this are always glaringly easy to spot, because they wear the right type of trousers - football-type numbers - but they insist on rolling the waistband down to make them into hipsters. Admittedly, this is flattering if you have the figure for it, but anybody serious about the exercises will quickly realise (within the first 5-10 minutes) how impractical this is, when they are constantly pulling them up. In addition to this, they are often wearing heavy jewellery (gold chains, big earrings) and/or hoodies.

Wednesday's two displayed all of the above, between them. Girl#2, in the hoody and gold, seemed more serious than her friend Girl#1, with the DIY hipsters, but when I spotted them neither looked particularly committed, because they had TAKEN OFF THEIR TRAINERS. They were doing star jumps, on the rock-solid, tiled floor of the leisure centre, in their socks. They progressed like this for some minutes: in fact, for the next 20 minutes or so until eventually the instructor broke with the tradition she has of never interacting with anybody on an individual basis, no matter how badly they are doing the exercise, and went over to tell them they had to wear their shoes. They put them back on, at which point it became obvious why they had taken them off - at least in Girl#1's case, they were much too big. She then seemed to spend most of the rest of the session concentrating on stopping them from flying off - but not tying the laces.

This seemed to take up most of her concentration, in fact, because she did not at any point, for the rest of the class, do a single exercise correctly. This is the dangerous part. I never do jumping lunges because I am not convinced I would keep form and I fear for my knees. Her jumping lunges were an accident waiting to happening. Her squats were straight out of the "How NOT to..." book. When she deigned to lift a weight, her whole body helped her to swing it back and forth.

It concerns me, greatly. I very much doubt she'll be back, but I can't understand why the instructor didn't say anything - or her "co-instructor", a teenaged boy who has never, to my knowledge, spoken to a single person in the hall and is about as helpful as a wet rag. Every time I go, I watch people doing the exercises wrong and think about how much damage they could be doing, and it pisses me off a bit more. Every time she makes us do endless sets of jumping lunges, or bridges with leg lifts, and I watch the arching and the sagging and the knees in the wrong place, I silently fume. Maybe I should actually make a complaint, one of these days. I do feel a bit full of it, though, because there are no mirrors and I'm not even sure I'm doing the exercises right.

Anyway. I needed a little rant there. I'm going to start a new entry now because I think this one's semi-poisonous and I don't want to infect the rest of what I have to say *grin*

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