Demoralised (week three)
It’s January and the gym is heaving. It’s full of fit people. Fit people in wisps of Lycra barely covering flat stomachs who look like they’re rehearsing for the Royal Ballet.
Why are all these fit people in the gym? Surely they’ve reached their NHS England health targets and have earned the right to slump in front of Homes Under the Hammer with a pork pie?
As soon as I walk into the gym, I want to turn around and go home. I’m fat and middle-aged and unfit. Who am I kidding with this running lark? I feel like Morrissey under a grey gloomy cloud amid the endorphins of the perfect people.
I skulk onto a treadmill between a woman dressed like Black Widow from the Avengers and a man who I expect to start backflipping across the room.
I desperately don’t want to be here. My Mega 80s Mix comes on my ipod, reminding me again of just how old I am. This is embarrassing, how can I “run” next to people who are skipping through 10k without breaking into a sweat?
As I start plodding, I think what encouraging words Aimee would say and try to recall inspiring quotes from Pinterest but none of it is working. There is an elephant in the room and it is me.
I glance at Black Widow who is gracefully gliding along, her feet making little fairy taps as they land softly on the treadmill. She doesn’t look up.
And backflipping guy, now grunting in the weights section, doesn’t catch my eye either.
And that’s when I realise, they don’t care. Not in a bad, sociopathic-I-want-to-boil-you-alive way, they don’t care because they areconcentrating on their own training.
They don’t care if I go home and stuff my face with a Chocolate Orange. They don’t care if I keel over with a heart attack in 10 years time or enter the New York marathon.
But I care. I care enough about my health to be here. I care that I watched a Panorama programme about diabetes that scared me witless. I care that I have children and I needto get healthy for them. I care that when I’m 80, I want to be like one of the Golden Girls out jogging with my grandkids.
And then I realise I’ve run several minutes without stopping thanks to my self-criticism diverting my attention.
I leave the gym happier and notice on the way out that backflipping guy is struggling with lighter weights than I can lift. Not that I care (I do really, hurrah, I am fit after all!)