Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Pennywise the clown goes to the gym...

When I was in London, after I decided that I wasn't happy with where my weight was going, I joined the local gym. At first, I was very intimidated, picturing the people who normal go to resemble the cast of Baywatch only with British accents and strange teeth. Needless to say, I wasn't looking forward to that. I mean, I already had body issues and the last thing I needed to see were the perfectly sculpted bodies parading around the gym.

Sure enough, there were some people there who did actually look as if they had just walked off set with perfect hair, make up done to the nines, bugling pectoral muscles/perky boobs etc. But there were the normal people. The ones who were there with the same goal in mind. Then there were the over confident ones, who seemed to know everything and were more than happy to give you advice, even if you didn't ask for it. These are the ones who are often recognised by their grunting calls across the room as they try to impress everyone by the amount of reps that they can do etc.

My favourite (please note the heavy sarcasm) gym goers fall into two categories. The first category are those women who insist on wearing caked on makeup. Sorry love, it doesn't look pretty falling off your face in sweaty clumps. In fact, it makes you look like Pennywise the Clown. And I'm still surprised by the amount of women who go to the gym dressed perfectly only to sit on a stationary bike with the latest gossip mag and pretend to work out. There are a lot of them...

The second category where those who were far too comfortable with their bodies, even if they were not super fit. Case in point - there was a woman who insisted on going into the sauna starkers.* Or the ones who stand in front of the mirror in the changing room, again starkers, inspecting their bodies or casually plucking out stray hairs from places that need not be mentioned. I'm sure that it's not just women who do things like this, am I right?

Now, to carry on from these people who seem more than ready to flaunt it I bring you to the sauna. I'm not the biggest fan of saunas. I don't see the point in sitting in a sweaty room surrounded by sweaty people who I don't know but every so often I'd get curious and give it a go.** And, every time I did, the same woman would be in there, with everything out on display. Before you think that I am a major prude I just find it extremely awkward to make conversation with someone who has leather like skin and boobs so freaking perky and fake that they look ready to pop. It's like trying to have a serious conversation with any of the multitude of bleach blonde over tanned oompa loompas that troll the streets of the world. (No offence intended toward those real oompa loompas).

So, anyway, this lady would always smile and then make polite conversation before lying practically spread eagle on the bench forcing me to either stay and stare pointedly at the ceiling or make my excuses and flee before the awkwardness got the better of me.

On a side note - thank you to those who comment on my posts. It makes my day to see these little quotes, tidbits and words of encouragement.

Also, a big thanks to all those people who read my recent post regarding the WSJ post about YA fiction. I wrote that rather quickly and in an indignant passion, as you may have noted, but it just gets me so mad when I hear of people dismissing YA as mere stories for kids when it is obviously so much more.

Anyway - I have work in the morning so that means I'm up at 5am. Peace and pancakes everyone.

** I think I'd forget my first experience and then try it again to remind myself how annoying I find it.


  1. did you know that the word gymnasium just means "place to be naked"?

  2. I didn't but I feel like I should have. I'm guessing Greek just because of the Olympics. I'm recalling an old Classical studies paper I did back in high school...:)

  3. YEAH SIQ POST BRO! (He leaves that comment on all of our blogs. Can you tell he doesn't read them?)

    I hated going to the gym by my old office back when I was working. The president of the company was always there, and he was A) very old B) very flabby C) always very naked and D) very happy to talk to me while being very naked.

  4. Yeah. I had an inkling. :)

    On one hand 'kudos' to her for being comfortable but as with you and your boss - there is that line of being comfortable and inducing awkwardness. And what is it with older people being happy to talk to you while drying themselves off in the changing room?

  5. yeah, the communal sauna thing is not something that i do

  6. It gets really awkward really quickly.