Looking fit or being fit?

3 Nov

Yesterday I did the unthinkable and joined the gym. Very ungritdoctory of me I thought. However, my reasons are twofold:
1. My regular running slot is after the twins go to bed at night and my circuit is Highgate Woods. Now that night is drawing in so much earlier, the woods are less, ‘lovely dark and deep’ and more ‘rapist central’. Call me paranoid, but I just don’t feel safe running alone in the woods anymore at 7pm. ‘Run on the road’! I hear you scream. Which brings me on to reason number
2. My knees simply cannot take the impact of running on concrete anymore, hence the woodland run in the first place.

The only solution I have come up with is lower impact treadmill running in the evenings at LA Fitness just across the road.

So, after my very helpful induction session late yesterday afternoon, I went straight onto the treadmill to start running….until I nearly fell off it courtesy of my very baggy tracksuit bottoms. So I switched to the cross-trainer which is very low impact on the old knees and has the added advantage of working out the arms and chest I think? I would have enjoyed it were it not for the following 3 things:

i) Being under-dressed. Not as in wearing next to nothing but as in looking totally shambolic compared with everyone else. Everyone else ‘working out’ had clearly got dressed up for the occasion. I on the other hand had taken dressing down to a whole new level ( O’s baggy t-shirt and trackie bums liberally splattered with baby secretions from all orifices);
ii) ‘Mirror mirror on the wall, who LOOKS the fittest of us all?’ Not the Grit Doctor let me tell you. The gym is literally covered with mirrors and, more disturbingly, people ‘working out’ with their noses pressed against them whilst stealing the odd sly glance through said mirror at the other people ‘working out’;
iii) Blaring music videos. Gross.

Running outdoors in my baggy tracksuit without mirrors and makeup and MTV is a million times more liberating than any gym workout. I felt so self conscious in there that I can’t go back until I have bought some better clothes and that isn’t right.

Of course the gym has its uses and I will get a lot out of my membership I am sure. In fact, I am quite determined to try out a few classes to see what spinning and zumba are all about, but I know nothing can replace my run outdoors. I can’t wait for my next opportunity to run in the woods and will be sure to find one this weekend. Because its not about looking good for me, nor is it about getting thinner or improving my muscle tone, it is about feeling good about myself and my life, and being fit and healthy to face all its many challenges.


One Response to “Looking fit or being fit?”

  1. Laetitia Maklouf November 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    Love it…go YOU! xxx

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