it’s life, gym, but not as we know it


the gymthe entrance pods to “the gym”, my new place of exertion

It had to happen. My wonderful former gym, the Central YMCA, is too far from home and my new work and so I had to leave. But 5 months down the line and I’m puffing like a smoker off a long-haul flight as I walk up the escalator.

And so I have joined The Gym. This is the new no-frills gym experience, which is a convenient five minute shuffle from work.

The Gym membership can be bought online and cancelled as quickly; like employment at Foxtons. It is cheap and it is efficient.

Now for the cons…

The Gym tracks you every step of the way – those pods in the photo can only be opened by your unique 8-digit pin number. It’s like entering the set of a 1980s sci-fi movie, as the door swooshes open. The walls are white, the furniture chrome, the pipes uncovered, and everywhere is gym equipment, like a weight-lifter’s wet dream, huddled in packs or garrisoned in rows.

It feels like any possibility for a soul has been stripped from the place to make room for an absence of frills. It is to the world of exercise what commuting is to the world of travel: a means to an end.

I wrote a while back about the fact there is a chapel at the Central YMCA gym. While this is a deviation from the normal way of modern gyms, it represents the potential for places where people find exercise, where it is about a journey rather than a destination. I wonder whether i can try to find my own journey at The Gym, or whether I will have to settle for trying to become a little less unfit.


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