About a year ago, I started going to the gym. And a few months later, I stopped (an event not expressly commemorated on this blog).
Part of that was certainly that I lack mental make-up to enjoy the tedious process of exercising. To put it more bluntly, I hate it. With a proper video entertainment on hand I might be able to stay patient for a reasonable workout, but in a public gym, you get limited choice of that.
And the music they blasted over the speakers in that gym was simply atrocious!
My other excuse was the schedule. Early mornings are out because I’m not a morning person. The “greater lunch” starts around 11am, and the not too spacious gym gets overcrowded for a couple of hours. The best time to go there is right around 2pm, when the lunch crowd already left and the “after-work” crowd not yet arrived.
But when I moved on to my current US-centric role, 2pm became the time when I needed to be at my best multi-communicating on email, IM and phone, as the various people whom I needed to reach arrived in their New York office. And having only 4-5 hours a day to fit in all of the transatlantic meetings that you need to hold, tends to make you awfully unwilling to spend an hour in the middle of that on such trifles as exercising.
On the other hand, I can work from home considerably more often now than in times past when my physical presence in office was often necessary to make my regional business partners feel loved. And if I want to go to a local gym at lunchtime, I can find it fairly empty in the middle of any given weekday…
Not that I’d really go to a gym – the boredom hurdle is still there. But Natasha has lately been scouting local “health & leisure” centers for good swimming pool deals – have I mentioned anywhere that over our summer holidays she got into a habit of doing a couple of dozen laps every day? – and she insisted that I should join her once in a while.
Which is what I did today, for a nice half-hour swim at one of the new community centers in our area. Only £3 a pop – and we actually did not pay anything today, on pretenses of checking the place out before making our decision to join. Good facilities, few people at that time of the day. Natasha bought herself a multi-visit discount card, with an intent to go a couple of times a week. I might be keeping her company occasionally. Although I’ll be in trouble trying to keep up – I barely managed 10 laps by the time she finished her twentieth.