Why join a gym?

So why a gym do I hear you ask? Well, I need to train to build up my VO2 levels etc., and stamina/endurance is the key on Kilimanjaro. At the moment, and certainly following the beep test, I know I am way out of condition. I also need some motivation, and doing it at home would be pointless to even try. I am weak-willed, I know it. My parents told me that when I was a teenager, so it must be true:).

I actually did once join a gym before, back in the old days when I was a student I think it was, and it was in Birmingham, I remember that much.

It may have been the most expensive gym membership ever, as it cost about £300 a visit. I calculate this by virtue of the fact that I paid £300 for a year’s membership and only turned up once! It was a fairly unpleasant place in any case, but it was also frequented by all of Birmingham’s finest, who had tattoos on their foreheads and bigger muscles than Arnold Schwarzenegger in his heyday, so I felt a bit out of place. It was like a competition to see who had the biggest todger, and I can guarantee you that it wasn’t me!!

So anyway, I decided this week my quest for fitness needed a helping hand here, and so I began a search for a suitable gym. I tried the usual Esportas, David Lloyd, LA Fitness etc by googling them on line etc., but there are none of them within 20 miles or so of “the countryside” where I live, and so it seems that driving 40 miles and getting stuck in traffic to boot will be counterproductive to my ability/willingness to go more than once again, and so I gave up on the larger chains.

I found a total of three independent gyms online that seemed to fit the bill. One however was close to Oxford’s football ground, and whilst it was nice (thanks to Tom for showing me round if by any chance he happens to read this) and fitted my requirements, it is again going to be too far to travel. The next was (I’m not going to name it) not quite as erm, clean, as I would have liked. In fact it looked a bit more like a knocking shop than a gym (not that I frequent knocking shops you understand, but you know what I mean), so I passed on that one. I’m sure it is very nice really. The last one I went to fitted the bill perfectly. It has:

Lots of running/treadmill/step/rowing machines; a good looking pool where they apparently don’t allow children:); plenty of classes to do if you want them;  a very vigorous looking ‘spin’ class – Don’t know what spinning is? (I didn’t) – this explains it pretty well: http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/diet-fitness/spinning-101.html , or alternatively watch this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-5yQJ0nPN8 ; it also has a lot of corporate type membership being near offices and so is not too full of the ‘preening brigade’; and also it has something that I need, and he is called Mark.

Apparently Mark trained to be in the Marines, and is going to be my personal trainer. I am told he will ‘keep me on the straight and narrow’.  He looks scary to me, so I agree, he will. He said that my first session will be at 7am on Friday morning, and so I am not going to argue with him, about anything. Ever.  If he tells me to be in the gym wearing a polka dot tutu at 3am on a Sunday morning, then I will be there! So I dutifully hand over a fistful of money to these people (they wanted six month’s money up front, and I bumblingly oblige – see I told you that Mark has that effect on me!), and I am a member!

So roll on Friday morning. Hopefully I get up in time, mornings are not the best for me I have to say, but hopefully I shall be scared of getting a phone call from Mark, and so I shall be there. He is going to set my programme for me, get me started, and it will then be a rolling, intensive, four week plan, followed by another (more) intensive four week plan etc. Apparently they will be testing fitness and VO2 levels and what have you along the way, so it sounds great.

Looks like I’d better get me some shorts then……..

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