My trials and tribulations in the gym have been well documented. What many people do not know is my first attempt at gaining some fitness actually started over a decade ago. Under peer pressure from my new group of Uni friends, I joined the local gym on campus. I recall a rather funny induction with my friend and flatmate Sippy. The DMU Leisure Centre was a short walk away from our halls and membership was a mere thirty pounds for the academic year. However, the induction was the one and only time I actually went through the doors. A moderate fail but finding the time and discipline to go to the gym was not compatible with my lacklustre life as a student. Particularly as I worked weekends in my first year at a petrol station the other side of city.
In January 2002 just before the second semester of my second year, I joined Fitness First on a pay as you go contract. Based a good fifteen minute drive away from my student digs, around the corner from the soon to be opened Walkers Stadium. I did slightly better than the DMU Leisure Centre. I think I managed three visits before the end of the academic year. In July I started my sandwich placement based in Bedford. The closest Fitness First I could find was in Berkhamstead on the route home. I managed one session here, before realising it was too far out of my way to be worth considering as a viable option. Instead I opted to go to the Fitness First in Uxbridge at weekends, predominately Sunday mornings. I believe I managed around six to eight (I very much doubt I broke into double digits) visits before finally terminating my membership. The irony is that a Fitness First finally opened in High Wycombe, at the Wycombe Retail Park in December 2005. A little too late for me.
There was only one conclusion. I was not a gym person. I would not be breaking out into a sweat at the gym like many other people and I would have to find other activities to keep an active lifestyle. The reality was I was not unhealthy and perhaps a little underweight rather than overweight. All that changed almost exactly four years ago.
Since starting an active gym programme (that is signing up to a gym and actually attending on a regular basis) I have been a member of four gyms and switched over to my fifth, EasyGym this Thursday evening. The concept is similar to any other EasyGroup business. Strip down a business to the bare essentials and charge for all the extras. Rather than a flat membership which encompasses classes, sauna, spa and swimming, have just a two tier pricing model. Basic gym membership or classes and give the member the option to pay as you go for the classes and upgrade their membership should they wish to. The best part, no long term contracts, no excess joining/admin fees. A low cost charge every month I have to admit was the main draw for me, even though this gym is based in the town centre and a further walk away than Montem. I have never used a spa, sauna or swimming pool (I cannot swim) at previous gyms, so these extra are just wasted on me. I created my profile online on Wednesday evening and on Thursday had to have my index fingerprint scanned for the entry turnstiles. This was 2012!
I met up with my personal trainer Kas and went down to the office for a twenty minute interview on my goals and aspirations. I then booked in my fitness test for Saturday 11am. I knew the results were not going to be easy to stomach but I had to start over again and even though you have probably heard it many times before I am dedicated to actually getting myself fit this time around. Too often in my gym programmes I have got complacent and just coasted along on the same regime for months (even a year) on end!
Sometimes the only way to face the reality of your situation is to get some hard facts. Weighing myself and having my BMI (body mass index) on paper. I am technically obese believe it or not (even by .6 points)