January gets a bad rep. It’s a month we’re determined to suffer but when considered fully, surely this four-week festive nemesis is the one that suffers us. Because what wrath is greater than a tide of cold, skint, disenchanted civilians? January counts abused sales racks, withered Christmas trees and empty pubs among its various unfortunate identifying factors – yet perhaps the biggest ailment of all that poor January suffers is its fresh crowd, nay stampede, of newbie gym-goers.
Most years I like to acknowledge my muffin top misery in regretful swathes, often through mouthfuls of comfort carbs or gulps of supermarket wine. Every January I have the best intentions to improve my (admittedly poor) fitness levels, but somehow when faced with the cold and dark, such goals never quite come to fruition.
Excuses for not doing cardio exercise have slowly grown into a haphazard Grinch mountain of self-deceit. I’m too poor to join, and don’t own any nice gym clothes. Office work is tiring, and one can’t simply skip an overdue hair wash. The mountain has reached such a height that I enter 2017 feeling a distinct threat of avalanche.
So as 2016 ended with more of my zips flying low than a budget airline, I decided enough was enough. At 5pm on the 2nd of January 2017, I entered into unknown territory. This was not just a gym I walked into. It was a Pure Gym. In name; in nature.
For those who like to make a sport out of people-watching, look no further. This strip-lit grey mass is an anthropological porno; a bleak purgatory, a lure for the socially disparate, bound by a collective desire to sweat out their sins.
As I walked into this newly discovered heaven/hell waiting room, I was able to quickly discern the different tribes. Since I am running late for my next gym date, these will follow in my next post…. Wish me luck.