Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Gym'll Fix It - Running On Empty

It's only Tuesday, but already I have learnt this week that my 10k charity run target in June is under threat on two fronts (no, not those ones): 1. I don't like running. At all. In any way. 2. I don't like being pink and sweaty.

I had a suspicion about the running hatred before I started, what with never having voluntarily run a step in 30-odd years and all. But this week, it's reared it's ugly head with a vengeance, spitting on my repeated attempts to run for longer than 12 minutes (I know, I know - it's 10k, not 10cm), and trampling on my pathetic attempts to embrace the boredom and move past it.

After a mere 5 minutes, with my enthusiasm plummeting faster than Charlie Sheen's ticket sales, I watch the figures on the treadmill keyboard limp painfully slowly past 0.5km. Oh, and there goes another....2 calories. Whoop whoop. By now, I could tell you every news headline on the gym tv, the telephone number for Cheadle Glass, and the last seven songs they played on the screen....and there goes another calorie....

I can't peer round at everybody else and gain mild entertainment from people watching, because I've discovered if I move my line of sight from the zone directly in front of me, I fall over. So I stare, glassy-eyed at the tv screens, contact lenses drying out from too little blinking, wishing some serious news item would break to relieve the boredom slightly. Nothing too drastic, you know, just a volcano erupting somewhere or a government coup in French Guyana.

I'm not helped by the wheezing, pounding noises emitted from the bloke next to me, who is clearly the running equivalent of the guy on the driving range who likes to remind everyone how manly he is by whacking 100 golf balls with a Big Bertha, the noise of which can be heard from the other side of the M6. 'You are not Haile Gebrselassie,' I direct angry thoughts in his treadmill's direction, unable to actually speak, 'You are Bob from telesales. Now pack it in!'

I've noticed distinct behavioural differences between men and women in the gym (I'm ok when I'm on the weights machines - I can peer at everybody without falling off). Women generally scuttle from one machine to the next, anxious to get it over and done with without everyone seeing any pink, sweaty, wobbly bits. They avoid eye contact and have headphones in at all times to avoid initiating any random conversation. Men, on the other hand, wear their pink sweatiness like a badge of honour. They periodically glance round to check who has noticed their prowess on the rower/treadmill/weights bench, and make as much noise as possible, grunting like a mountain goat as they get pinker and pinker.

I am about to push Bob from telesales off his running perch. If only I could dismount elegantly off my own, instead of staggering drunkenly like some inebriate on a hen-do. I fear there is about as much chance of me grasping the point of running as there is explaining trigonometry to a labrador, but I will persevere. Mainly because if I manage to drop another 3 calories on that weirdy-skiing machine-type-thing, I'm due a quarter of a blueberry muffin *sighs*.

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