Leeds City Musings

Gym Class Heroes
Being muscular is very fashionable at the moment isn’t it? Despite this I am not much of a gym-goer and would admittedly lose an arm wrestle to most sixth formers in Leeds. I’m not criticizing the gym at all; if you enjoy it then good on you (also I don’t want to get beaten up.) I just don’t really like going. Perhaps it’s because I’m lazy?
I did once have an enjoyable experience in a gym though. There is a leisure centre in Leeds, which shall remain nameless, where it used to be quite easy to sneak through an ajar fire exit and use the facilities for free. I am not condoning this despicable behavior. Let’s put it down to a reckless youth – I was wild back then.
Anyway, on this occasion, I had gone with a friend who like me is thin, not keen on bicep curls and sees the best part of exercise being the deserved pint afterwards. We had a half-hearted attempt at doing some weights but were soon feeling bored as well emasculated by the proper athletes around us.
A particularly low ebb came when I thought a pretty blonde was giving me the eye. Unfortunately she was actually sharing a glance with a vest-clad unit behind me, bonding through a mutual disapproval of my dubious bench press technique.
After this, my friend and I retreated to the relative safety of light jogging on the treadmills. Within a few minutes, he was clearly getting restless.
“Watch this Andy.” He said with a glint in his eye and changed the settings to the steepest gradient. Impressed, I copied him. He then started to turn the speed up. Again, I followed suit until we were running at 18km an hour, up a near vertical hill.
“Let’s try and do it for a kilometre,” my friend managed to pant.
It was really hard. By the last few seconds my legs were in agony and my lungs felt like they were going to burst. It was all worth it for the feeling at the end though. Pure relief and joy at completing the challenge. Euphoria. Exhausted, my friend and I congratulated each other with a sweat-soaked high five. What then followed stunned us.
We’d had an audience.
On looking round, the majority of the gym – at least six people – started cheering and clapping. Everyone had stopped doing their routines to watch our stupid contest. And they were impressed. We were centre of attention. This was quite possibly my finest sporting moment. It was excellent! Basking in the glory, we waved at our adoring crowd and joyfully strutted out of the gym to go for a celebratory pint (through the fire exit.)
Since that splendid afternoon, I am now even more reluctant to go to the gym. No workout will ever live up to that will it? My gym career has peaked. Any future trip would be unsuccessfully chasing past highs.
Incidentally my girlfriend has just asked if I’d like to go to the gym with her this evening. (Completely true and not just added to conveniently tie up this tale.)
I told her I’ve got a bad knee.