I am going to look like this chap in a couple of month's time... why?.... because I just joined a gym and they have made all sirts of promises about burning fat, getting into better shape, strengthening one's heart and lungs and so on... so apart from the skin colour, I fully expect to look like this.... although I promise not to walk down the street, showing off like this man!
It is 1st September today and that meant I could join the Sport City gym, in the old Renault garage by the Amstel Station for free, albeit having to commit to being a member for 12 months. Our neighbour Monique goes there and recommended it.
it was good... all sorts of apparatus in a very roomy light environment, all very well looked after. Friendly and helpful staff. I warmed up on the rowing boat machine and was then invited to join the hourly stomch and back muscle exercise group for a 15 minute session before finishing off with a sirt of langlauf machine. I could tell what my heart beat was, how fast I was going and what distance I had covered, which is sort of interesting and a good way to pass the time, if not watching both Disciovery Channel and Eurosport on the wide screens in front of me. To be a good fitnesser though, I think one needs an i-pod as I spotted a lot of these and really the music they were playing over the loud speakers was pretty awful ... disco mixes of dreadful American 1970's soft rock. Urgh!
Anyway, I was expecting the exercise machines to be the trickiest part of the whole business, but that was not the case. no, there is the tricky busines of inserting your ID card into the locker the right way round, changing clothes and gym shoes, filling my bidet (or was it bidon?) adn then doing everything in reverse when finished. I had no soap or gel for the shower and my towel was wet already from the sweat, not to mention my underpants, a spare set of which I forgot to take and so on. Putting on clothes when half wet and a bit sweaty is not an easy task and something which needs time, more time in fact than the exercising. And then there is the business of taking everything out and washing/drying everything when back home. I remember school when I would take my spirts clothes to school at the start of the term and bring them back at the end, and I understand better why we were not allowed to do PE or sport wearing underpants... just imagine!
No doubt it will all get easier as time goes on.... and on Monday I have an introductory session to assess what sort of program will be best. Better write a list of all the things I need before I go.
It IS September now and it means that bthe sun is allowed to come out again. Amsterdam is proving yet again that it is ALWAYS in the wrong part of Holland for the sun, but finally it is starting to peep through the blanket of greyness above us. Here's to a fabulous late summer and autumn!