27.5.08

Health clubs make me sad

And it’s not just because of the unsightly bulge around my mid-section. At the moment, I belong to the University of Glasgow’s health club, which, at its main Gilmorehill location, offers a cardio vascular suite, weight room, full sized pool, sauna, steam room, and classes in anything from step aerobics and boxfit to table tennis. That’s not to mention the significant discounts members can receive on alternative therapies like chiropractic care, Thai yoga massage, and sports massage (often at 50% of the cost to external customers). There are also discounts offered on treatments at Woodland Herbs.

Being who I am, I was simply not happy with the arrangements. I suppose I wanted to avoid bumping into a colleague in the steam room. Or maybe it’s all the students that annoy me. Any excuse will do to avoid exercising, in other words. And I moved from the West End to the city centre, so its Oakfield Avenue location just didn’t seem that handy anymore.

So, I tried to find a gym closer to my flat. And that’s when I realised that health clubs make me sad. I took a tour of LA Fitness in the Radisson on Argyle Street. There were too many people there, all looking like the kind of people who say things like, “I work hard, but I also like to play hard.” There were dozens of machines packed into one dismal, grey open planned room, a dimly lit tiny pool room, and an overcrowded room for their spin class.

I suppose I’d been expecting facilities like the ones at Greens in Finnieston. Now, that is a gym. Well, okay, the time I went there I pretty much skipped the gym and went to the spa for a pedicure. But they let me use the pool, which was nice, and the Jacuzzi and steam room. And best of all, I got to use the changing rooms. These are not changing rooms for mere mortals. These are the heavenly wood paneled and frosted class filled changing rooms of the gods, complete with individual showers. No communal bathing at Greens, oh no.

But that points out the problems with my chosen mode of transportation, my feet. I am essentially a very lazy person, and trying to get to Greens by bus or foot, of a normal working day, just did not seem feasible. So, I did what any sensible person would do in my situation. I chose to continue with my Glasgow Uni gym membership, which I never use, and bought a stationary bike from Amazon.co.uk. They were having a sale on exercise equipment so I got a very nice bike for £80 (marked down from £140). I manage to use it about 3 times a week for about 20 – 25 minutes. It’s a start, and I get to watch telly whenever I use it.

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