To Gym or not to Gym, that is the question

gym 5I’m not a big fan of going to the gym, it’s never really been my thing. When I was drinking and partying studying at Stellenbosch a friend (hi Marleen!) took me to the gym once and was greatly amused by all the new uses I had found for all the machines. It was a story that was retold with great gusto many a late night in Finlay’s (a long gone watering hole in Stellenbosch)

In fact, the only time I really frequented the gym was back in 1996 when I had just come back from London and was unemployed for 3 months. I rocked those step classes, but that petered out very quickly when I started working 14 hour days again in hospitality.

gym 4I have tried Belly dancing and Pilates and Yoga and I have loved them all, but I am in a committed relationship with walking now and am starting to run (when I say “starting” I really mean “thinking about it a lot”, but let’s keep that between us ok?).

The only time I have to exercise is in the morning.

5am in the morning to be specific.

I could tell myself that I will go for a walk in the evening after the kids have gone to bed, but that would be a big fat lie, there are too many other things to do and there is so little time in the day with them that I really cannot steal another minute of my time with them or with Etienne.

So, 5 am it is.

gym 3Except, all of a sudden it is very, very dark at 5 am in the morning and it’s getting harder and harder for me to make it out the door. I also know that I have to leave the house to exercise, I am *that* undisciplined. I will not get up and run on a treadmill or use an elliptical trainer or one of those type things. Ask the lonely health walker that stood in our house for 4 years.

So, gym it is. I think.

What’s it like going to gym these days, I gather it’s still done?

Must I get one of those personal trainer type people or just dodge them altogether?

What machines are there these days?

What is accepted gym etiquette, if any?

What do people wear these days?

Any other pointers?

Help me out people, I’m stuck in the 90’s..


One thought on “To Gym or not to Gym, that is the question”

  1. I’ve been going to gym on and off over the years (more off than on), but after an ‘off’ period of about 7yrs I joined the gym last year and it’s changed my life! It probably helped becoming a stay-at-home mom and having time (but if you can get up at 5am to walk then you’re way more disciplined than me and will be fine) and having the guilt of “well now that you’re not working you HAVE to get fit, no more excuses you lazy bum”… Before justifying the extra expense I just used to jog in our neighbourdood every 2nd day for a few months. Probably became fitter but lost no weight and got bored verrrry quickly. So off to the gym I went, with my 90’s tights and all. And it’s great!! What I love is that I do something different every day (yoga/jog/pilates/shape class/spin/swim/weights/etc!) so I’m never bored and actually look forward to going. The other bonus is that since varying what I do, so adding resistance + strength training and not just cardio, I’ve started losing weight too, sloooowly but surely. Our gym offers various classes at 5:15am, so you might be able to do some if you don’t feel like running. You mentioned having to decide between 2 gyms, I’d say visit both, get a feel, and have a good look at their timetables. I’ve never had a personal trainer (some people can’t do without) but I do ask the guys working at the gym to show me how the machines work, that’s what they are there for so go for it. Hope it works for you!!

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