I’ve never really been to a gym. I couldn’t afford it, and the gyms in my area were limited anyway. There were the manly men gym for being manly, the gym for older ladies who want to stay active with the grandkids, and the expensive chain gyms for busy people with lots of money. Since I fall into none of those categories, my fitness regime has been limited to what I can do at home.
However, now that I’m in Leicester, a whole new world of fitness opportunities have opened up to me. Specifically, affordable fitness facilities aimed at women.
My first foray into the new world was a bit of a joke. I went to a yoga class that was eagerly described to me as “only one pound!”. Well, if you will go to a £1 yoga class, I guess you should expect yoga that is worth £1. The highlight of the class was when the sound of us throwing out breath through the nose was interrupted by someone behind me asking for a tissue.
The gym has proved a much better venture. I turned up to my kick boxercise class not knowing what to expect. There were about twenty women of varying ages, all chatting as they waited to begin. They were all dressed in sports clothes which was reassuring. The instructor was tiny, almost waiflike, and unremarkable to me until she flipped the music on (LOUD), and jumped into the routine with an incredible attitude.
The rest of the class was made up of regulars and it took me a while to pick up the general movements which set kickboxing motions in a surprisingly strenuous aerobics workout.
Halfway through we took a break and one of the women started a conversation with me.
“you look too young to be twenty three,” she said when I told her my age.
“It’s because all this sweat has given me a youthful glow,” I said.
I absolutely loved the energy of the class. Everyone was pushing themselves - and each other - as far as they could. There was no room for slacking or taking it easy; everyone was 100% committed to being there. It was hard work - the kind that would have been abandoned after fifteen minutes if I’d been on my own - but it felt worthwhile.
Since it’s taking a while for me to get myself together with derby, for now I shall just try and get my fitness up. Other classes involve power yoga, zumba and circuit training. Perhaps the time has come for me to become… a gym brat.