I'm no fitness freak, though I begin each month with the decision to diet and exercise. Then we'd either get invited to a meal somewhere, or we'd try out a new restaurant in the vicinity. Sometimes even the weather plays fiend, when it rains, making my morning walks impossible. Nonetheless, I tried for a while. Ro was instructed to wake me up in the morning (rudely if required) and pay no heed to my protests. I'd eventually wake up, put on my shoes, hook myself onto the walkman, and walk around the building. When this routine got boring, I ventured out. I was welcomed to the sight of cows grazing illegally on a vacant plot, and tea shops bustling with activity. Little grocery shops were ministering to a tiny trickle of customers, while the only barber shop on that road, pulled up its shutters. IT professionals drove past or walked towards the bus stop, while I walked by enjoying the sights. However, after a while, even this proved to be monotonous. And, with the onset of the rains, I had another excuse to stay home.
Then, when Adiv began school I suddenly found myself free for two hours. I dropped him off at school and waited in the car with two crossword puzzles, a book, my breakfast, and a phone. I enjoyed this alone time, but I also began nursing the possibility using this time to go exercise. I just needed to find a gym close to the school.
I took along Ro and Adiv to a gym I'd seen not too far away from school. The board that read "Fitness Studio", pointed to an old dilapidated building. Hesitantly, we walked up the narrow staircase that was caked with layers of dust and the remnants of notices that had once been plastered along its side. Careful not to touch the railing, we continued walking, ignoring the paan marks, the hand prints, and the handwritten proclamations of love on the wall. Eventually, two flights later, we got to the gym that was filled with equipment that looked unused and abandoned. On one side, two muscle men got up and give us their chairs.
"Please sit", said one, while rummaging through the contents of a drawer. Eventually he fished out a worn on price list.
One Month: 1000 Rs
Three Months: 2500 Rs
I feigned some enthusiasm, while Ro asked a few questions. Then we left. This wasn't the place for me. By then we'd spotted another gym on one of the bylanes. So we decided to try that out. Conviniently located beside a sweet stall, the staircase to this gym was a lot cleaner. On either side were pictures of very fit people exercising. Notices about the next kickboxing class, the aerobics class, and the dance classes filled the walls. Right on top, we were welcomed to the sight of a spacious, airy gym. A few women who'd just finished their workout were leaving, while we got in. A few still ran tirelessly on threadmills, while a few men lifted weights and stood around chatting. A friendly instructor came forward, this time bringing me a fancier price list. Deciding I like this place better, I paid up immediately and promised to return the following Monday.
Then I rushed out, bought some appropriate gym wear, and indulged in some calories. Afterall, I was going to begin gyming from Monday.
My first day was eventful. I walked in happily, after fighting the sweet odours emnating from the sweet shop next door. After warming up, I was led to a treadmill that I walked on cautiously, gradually increasing the speed. This was followed by ten minutes on the stepper, and another ten on the cycle. I was largely oblivious to the people around me, paying full attention to my reflection. I was going to shed some weight at get clothes. Perhaps I could work on shedding some weight before the next gettogether. Could I work on the treadmill and also go for walks? As I sweated, my weight loss ambitions grew bigger.
After a month in this gym, I noticed a nicer gym that had opened up right next to Adiv's school. If I got a membership there, I'd just have to drop Adiv and walk to the gym. So without wasting any time, I went to check out the place. This time, I was welcomed to the sight of newly bought equipment and 5 eager trainers. I was one of the first few people to get a membership and they were excited. They filled me in on their plans.
"We're going to start aerobics."
"We'll give everyone personalized training."
Excitement of this kind is often contagious. So I paid up immediately, and promised to return the next morning.
The next morning, I was led to the treadmill, where I walked for a few minutes before the trainer urged me to run. I did, only to stop few minutes later, huffing and panting. Then I was led into another room to carry weights, and do various exercises for the belly and feet. The enthusiastic trainer who needed to be reminded that it was time for me to to pick up Adiv, also urged me to diet and cut out the junk. I promised to try.
It's been a month in this place now, and I quite like it. Now I run comfortably on the treadmill and enjoy the strenuous exercises. I haven't been the most regular, but I look forward to staying fit and healthy. Since I began, more people have joined the fitness center, and I've even made a new friend in the process.
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