Wednesday, 14 April 2010

'Gai-eem' ... life on a treadmill

It's been a cruel summer. And the heat has made people do strange things. Like join a gym in my case.

I am no stranger to the word of gyms (note to self: the surprise element should come at the end of a post). From akhara like non air conditioned places to the college gym which I think had the same equipment which Netaji had used to strengthen his legs before he kicked the Brit prof down the Presidency stairs to suave gyms at Mumbai and fancy ones in luxury hotels. Then my back gave in during a holiday and I got an excuse to stay away. But I would look at gyms occasionally. Especially when I would see the disturbingly rotund figures of food show hosts on Indian TV channels. Very different from the Bourdains the Majumdars and the Chins.

Checked with my Ortho. My last hope. The cherubic and corpulent gent smiled and said "of course you can go".

So I did a round of local gyms a few idle Saturdays back. Was hounded with SMSs and calls from them since. Two months free. Eight months free. Partner free. If you don't have a partner we will get you one and split the costs. No man has been wooed the way I was.

A mid week holiday. Another idle day. Heat wave. And I landed at the gym closest to mine. "OK, what the hell." 

"Yes sir you can join from today. Right now please."

I have a feeling that I heard something pop in the background and the whoosh of streamers and ribbons.

Then fate rushed in for the rescue. The credit card didn't work.

"No problem sir. You can pay later.


"Please change your shoes. Our head trainer is here for you."

Fate kicked in again. An irate client call. Which ended after more than ten minutes. Sorry but the consumer is just not that into you. And I finally made my entry into the floor.

Twenty minutes of treadmill. And then the cross trainer. Very 'cross' it kept flashing 'stride faster' on the screen. Hey I am not eighteen any more. And you are a machine not Artoo Detoo.

I went downstairs. The original trainer had disappeared. I caught onto a podgy lady in uniform. We soon established that she didn't speak English. I switched to Hindi. And soon established that this was her first day ever in any sort of gyms. She walked with me from machine to machine. Looked at the diagrams and tried to get me to replicate what the stick figure was doing. And so her journey of discovery continued for more than an hour. With each machine she looked happier and happier. I think the stick figure in the illustrations won her heart.

It was well past lunch and I was getting hungry. The gym guys decided to throw in some motivation. Now its quite likely that you could bump into a celeb if you walk into a gym at Bandra. That happened and the gentleman in question was fairly close to being an A lister. Though guys, the size zero end of the pair he belonged to, would work better for me.

I finally trudged out. Met the front desk lady. Pointed out the disconnect between someone who is discovering gyms being a trainer for someone who needs special care for his back and walked out having a found out a reason not to go back.

No such luck. She ran behind me and said that the manager wanted to meet me. Apologies were offered. I was told that this was an exception and that 'real' trainers were in in a Wednesday meeting. Guidance of a phyiso was promised. And of real trainers. And expectations to see me the next day were evinced.

I checked the menu at the snack bar. And left for home. Must come back to try the chicken sandwich.

Note: 'Gai-eem' is how Homer Simpson read the three letters,  G-Y-M, which he had never come across before in his life.


Mumbai Diva said...

hmmm...i recognize the gym from the a lister you mentioned. i go there too and keep seeing him. it's actually not a bad gym. have lost a bit of weight.

Nile said...

In this Hot summer it would be productive to sweat in the gym rather in the sun..Will atleast loss some weight.

The knife said...

Hey MD, thanks. I actually paid up this mornings so they owe you one :)

@Nile: that's what my wife said too as she rarely saw me go for a walk

Purba said...

Chuckled mostly...

And don't you dare give up on the Gym.

The knife said...

@Purba: Hi and thanks for dropping by. Went back to work out today for the first time since I joined. In between a coffee shake and half a croissant and the tub of ice cream my wife ordered after dinner

k said...

Homer!!!! :):)

The knife said...

@K: Ice cream was a great idea

sharabori said...

nice post - brings back memories of going to to the gyms at kolkata and now at bangalore. I like your writing, makes me laugh! keep writing!

The knife said...

@Sharabori Thanks :)...I went to a 'fancy' gym in Kolkata. Late 90s. It was called Venus for women and Jupiter for Men. No AC. Veru sincere trainers. And Ghulam in the background for music. Used to go there on the way back from work

Haddock said...

Liked that Aartoo Deetoo bit.
Must admit that the modern Gym are more well equipped and do have some good trainers.
But I hate the ones who come to the Gym with their mobile. Can't they leave it at home for an hour ?

Gyanban said...

Hi drifted in from A-musing ...

fitness and foodies are strange bedfellows.
i really wonder how people were fit when atkins wasn't born
when GM diet wasnt a did exist didnt it.and there were no gyms only one biased bong put it..akhadas are for akat's

The knife said...

@Haddock, er must confess, that I am one of those who come to the gym with my phone. Noone calls me though :(

@Gyanban... hope to see you again. Ah the world before the birth of size zero