November 03, 2005

My Love Affair with Monsieur Gym

take me as I am
Originally uploaded by Gabriele®.

In my oblong leather purse sits my gym membership card. It’s a symbol of my commitment. It represents determination, discipline, motivation, rebirth, a reincarnation of the mind, body, soul, spirit…

…Oh, stop waxing lyrical and let’s be Frank here (we can be Lucy tomorrow – hahaha!).

My gym card is just a piece of plastic that simply means that money is taken out of my bank account every month so that I can crawl through the jam at 6.30 every morning, pay two bucks for parking, sweat my butt off on a machine, stretch my body until my flesh split, shower in a locker room with a gaggle of middle-aged housewives exchanging siew pau recipes and fight with other wet-haired girls for the hairdryer.

Vanity, vanity… all is vanity.

This love affair of mine is not unique. It’s triggered by the shocking revelation that:

a) my metabolism has, for some bizarre reason unknown to man, plummeted to new depths. Depths that I never even knew existed. Depths lower than a snake’s belly.

b) which means that I can no longer stuff three bags of Chickadees down my throat and still fit into my skinny jeans

c) which means that if I ignore this situation, there’s a high chance I’d wind up looking like Gutsy Girl (before she sat on the thief and became the ambassador of a slimming centre)

d) which means that I have to peel myself off my swivel chair and participate in this activity most people call exercise

e) which means I have to join the gym because I find it impossible to warm up to the concept of running around in circles at the playground

So I joined the gym. I went in every single day. My gym card began to smoke because I swiped it so much. I worked my ass off on every one of them big machines. Then I fell sick, took a break and never went back. I lasted a grand total of three months.

After my glorious failure, I was eaten up by shame. I was such a disgrace. I couldn’t bring myself to go back. Going back would be tantamount to admitting that I was wrong and that I needed the gym. I was too proud. So I did what anybody would do after coming out of an intense love affair – I went on the rebound.

I bought a treadmill. I called one of those Smart Shop numbers on TV and ordered an Ab Trainer (it guaranteed rock-hard abs in just 30 seconds a day!). I bought several sets of dumb bells. I bought a whole lot of stuff, all of which I never used.

It was when I caught myself mulling over a slimming advert and wondering how many inches I could shave off my thighs that I realised how much I wanted him back.

I wanted my gym back. The track pants sticky with perspiration. The squishy water bottle. The locker key with the number tag. The fluffy face towel. I wanted them all back.

And most of all, I wanted the card back.

Now, when I look at my card, I’m reminded of my renewed commitment. This time, things will be different. This time, I won’t bail out.

This time, it will last.


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