Sunday, 25 March 2012

Using a Happy Sunday Tone

Joining the gym has taken over my life. I have quickly established a routine of getting Katie out the door and off to work and then going down to the gym. I'm back by 9.30 so ready for work at 10.00.

I start with a 10 minute static cycle ride. To motivate myself I am measuring how long the first mile takes and how far I get after ten minutes. In just a week there has been a marked improvement. On day one it took 7 minutes to do the first mile and just six days later I've got that down to 4 minutes. Admittedly I went exceptionally slowly on day one, not wishing to do any damage, but I'm still pleased.

After the bike, I do the leg press. I'm doing both legs separately to make sure they both get a work out. I'm doing repetitions on each leg. 43 kilos x 20, five times on the left and 88 kilos on the right. When I've done them I do a test to see what the maximum is on each leg. Minnie, the physio, has said I need to be able to leg press at least my own weight before I am allowed to go running. I weigh about 84.67 kilos so that is the target, although I really think I need to be able to press more than my weight for running as the impact must be at least another 50%. As of this morning my max on the left is 79 kilos, the right is 160, so still a bit to go.

I've never been a member of gym before so I'm also doing some of the other machines, just for fun. Some of the other people there are serious gym'ers, pumping iron like a Los Angeles beach dweller.

I got off the bike yesterday and was approached by one of the employees.

"Excuse me mate?"


"You need to wipe down the machine after you get off."

"Oh, ok. sorry I didn't know that."

"Did you not do the induction when you joined the gym?"

"No. I couldn't see the point in paying £20 to be told how to use equipment that I already know how to use."

"Ah well, that's where you're wrong. If you'd been on the induction, you'd have learned that you need to wipe down the machines when you're done."

"Oh, I see. You want me to pay you £20, so you can tell me how to clean the machines for you? In effect, giving you £20 so you can explain to me how to do your job for you so you can sit at the front desk reading The Sun." I said this in what Katie calls my 'happy Sunday' tone. It's a friendly joshing tone. Not confrontational but often allowing me to make a pithy point without getting punched. It doesn't always work.

"No need to get arsey mate."

"I'm not getting arsey," still maintaining happy Sunday tone, "I'm just trying to illustrate the difference between an induction which I'd be happy to pay for, and an introduction to gym rules which should be free because it helps you, me and all the gym users. Can you see my point?"

"As I said before mate, no need to get arsey." Happy Sunday tone is now a bit strained.

"If you call me mate one more time, you'll see how arsey I can get."

He shook his head, turned and walked away, as though I was a naughty child and he was a bored teacher who had more important kids to attend to. I got some tissues, provided free, and wiped down the machine.

When I get home I have to enter all my stats before I forget them. Obviously it would be easy to take a pen and paper down with me to note these and not rely on my terrible memory but I rarely do the easy thing. I've set up an excel spreadsheet for the cycle and the leg press stats. I've also set up graphs to monitor the progress on these. They are, even though I say so myself, works of art. The trouble is, that I spend about 30 minutes at the gym, and then about an hour doing my stats. Something is wrong there.

Apropos of nothing, I found the largest bran flake of all time in my breakfast yesterday. I've attached a photo herewith. The coin is a 5p piece, there's a normal size flake to compare and I promise there is no photoshop jiggery pokery here.

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