Friday, October 12, 2007

There are only two things I dislike about my gym. But unfortunately I dislike one of them so much that I'm considering either finding another gym or relooking my exercise options.

They insist on having background sound. I hesitate to call it music. It is incredibly intrusive. If I take my own iPod, I can't hear my choice of sound over theirs. I had earplugs made, and while these dampen the noise, they don't block it out entirely.

The gym owner is sympathetic. He's put in a policy of only playing the loud disco stuff after 6 pm, and told me to ask the staff to turn it down if I find it too distressing. And if they don't, I can. Unfortunately he's not always there. While some of the staff are helpful, there are others who consider that the music is there for their own entertainment.

I do gym because I want to feel energised and positive. The crap they play has the exact opposite effect on me. When I'm totally alone, as I often am, I will turn the music in the weights section off completely. One of the young missies challenged me on this one morning, and when I told her I had the owner's backing, she turned up the cardio section's sound to maximum.

Today I was not alone. I went late because I've had a series of late nights. I wasn't much in the mood to go anyway. The weights section was busy, and the background sound was LOUD. The owner was not there, and the staff member on duty was one who has told me in the past he can't change the music because it would mean putting on something he didn't care for. (He didn't use those words, but he didn't need to.)

I left after one set, grumpy, bad-tempered, and wondering why I had psyched myself up to go, for such a bad experience.

There is another gym on the other side of the station. I'll look into it and see if they have a better exercise environment. I've changed gyms before because I couldn't stand their so-called music and I'm quite prepared to do so again.

Otherwise, winter's coming on now so the skating rinks are opening. I have weights at home, and a series of Muscle and Fitness magazines that will help me put together a program. The walk to Delft is 4,7 km. There's a sunbed parlour at the station too.

There are options. All is not lost.

(And for those who are wondering what the second thing I dislike is, it's the TV screens all over the place, each one showing an entirely different program. These guys are sensory overload freaks.)