As I climbed the stairs to the exercise bikes, my eyes roved across the numerous people strewn out across the floor of the stretching area, being made to do push ups, burpees, jumping jacks and squats by various trainers.
"It's not *that* busy" I said to myself.
I climbed up onto a recently vacated exercise bike, to be confronted by a male version of myself trying to use a skipping rope. It was messy. I almost felt like getting up, taking the rope and tangling my feet in it in what I like to call "skipping", just to make him feel better about his own skills (which were prodigious next to my own).
Instead, I slogged out a WHOLE 5 minutes on the exercise bike.
Finally I made it to the Holy Land. The power rack was free.
I carefully set up the rack, daring to step back and stretch. Nobody stepped over me to use it, so it was an improvement on my last gym session.
"It's not *that* busy" I said to myself, as a gym-ball drifted behind me.
I went in search of the weights. Don't be fooled into thinking that they are on the power rack. Now WHAT would they be doing there, on the equipment designed to store them? Really guys.
Feeling victorious, I scrambled back to my safe-haven, only tripping over one person and my laces. That's an improvement on last time too...
"It's not *that* busy" I said to myself, as the abductor and adductor machines filled up behind me.
I dragged myself through the sets, fearing that somehow someone had swapped the numbers on the plates. Is that 20kg really 20kg? Because it feels like 25...
Eventually, my compound sets had been achieved. Through blood (my callous tore off), sweat (I'm talking Niagra falls here) and a few tears (it hurt, ok) I'd made it.
It was time to venture to the place where the dumbbells live.
"It's not *that* busy up here" I quietly said to myself.
As I passed an instructor, I stopped to chat. I'd made my first, vital mistake. As I was explaining in my broken Italian, that I was doing an upper body day and expanding (when asked) on my training regime, it happened.
Someone sniped my "to be" bench press.
I had no recourse. My towel wasn't there. I had made a schoolgirl error, because WHO was it that had taken the rack?
Was it the guy who wanted to get his sets done?
Was it the guy specifically training chest day?
Was it the guy trying for a PB?
No. No, it wasn't. It was none of these guys.
It was the guy who racked up the weights, did one rep and then leaving the weights fully racked and his towel carefully draped across the headpiece to indicate he wasn't finished, wandered off to chat to (what I presume) was everyone else in the gym.
"Ok, fine. It's not that busy. One of the racks will come free" I said to myself, through gritted teeth.
I settled down instead, with a couple of dumbbells, my war-ravaged hand and a water bottle to get my isolation sets done.
Twenty minutes and two sets of bench presses later, the guy wasn't done. I had to admit defeat
"Ok, it's quite busy here" I admitted to myself, but I ploughed on regardless.
Here I was faced with Sophie's choice.
I could use the treadmill next to the guy, who, for whatever reason, I could smell as I entered the line of treadmills.
Or, I could choose to use the treadmill next to a (very nice smelling) woman, who was talking loudly on her phone. She most certainly was NOT working at a moderate difficulty.
Passing the cloud of rancid-sweat emanating from treadmill one, I chose the treadmill next to the woman, using the logic that the call must eventually end and I had earbuds.
It was flawed logic.
Her call did not end. Ever.
The earbuds were measly plastic hallicinations of security.
After zombie-dragging my feet through a semblance of a 6kmph walk uphill, barely managing to stay upright AND not lose the will to live I declared defeat.
It was home time.
So what was your workout today? Did you have any hard choices to make?