Thursday, August 19, 2010

Acceptable in the 80's?

You may remember that I recently had my debut as Gym Unicorn. I got three invites to the fabulous Virgin Active in Centurion, and it was all lots of sweaty fun.

A few weeks ago I was employed full-time by Darren Scott as Just Plain Media production assistant [also content idea-comer-upper, voiceover-er and general fill-inner and helper-outer.] With this comes a salary. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am being paid. With this came the theory that I am now considerably more grown up and between great power, great responsibility and cash, I figured I should live as such.

I got a cleaner and dogwalker[once a week] and a gym membership. I joined nationwide, so I can gym no matter where I go [well, unless I got to Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein, but hopefully I won’t]. So, I have been gymming. And right now my goal is to compete in next week’s Spar Women’s Challenge. Hailed South Africa’s Most Beautiful Race, it makes sense that this should be my race-running debut. So, I need to run 5km [NO walking], and not die. This by next Saturday.

So far it is going well- I have a running program, toning program and eating program. I am tired but nicely so, and I feel generally better and bouncier. But a few odds things have happened at gym. I have been chatted up. Now, some of you may know that this NEVER happens. I can go to any club, with any number of people, I can wear Amish clothing or nothing more than clingwrap and nipple caps. I NEVER get chatted up/talked to/flirted with. I’m not sure why. Some say I am intimidating [fuck off, I’m fucking not!], I believe that I am secretly obese , hideous and/or invisible.

Except at the gym. The first nicident was fairly straightforward- not completely unfortunate looking boy talking to me. A bit odd, as I am sweaty and have my leg up on the bar for post-run stretch, but hey. And then, he invites me to CHURCH. Which is weirder- that I’m being chatted up in the gym, or that this person [his name escapes me] is inviting a stranger [who, by the way, has not been to a Christian church in four years] to church? I’m not sure.

Not to be put off by this, I return to gym. I do, after all, need to train so as to NOT die next weekend. It is quite late, thus not many people in gym. I have just trained my butt off with my trainer [Jamie, the Brit. We love him.] and now I am running. I’m going on 30 minutes at 10km/h. Needless to say I am sweaty and red-faced, as one is at gym. Up walks a guy. Every time this happens I think it is a trainer who is going to come help out with my technique or similar. No such luck.

Random middle-aged man: Hi.

Me [running at 10km/h]: [pant] Hi. [pant]

Random middle-aged man: You’re probably married…

Me [running at 10km/h]: [pant] I’m 21. [pant] I’m not married, [pant] no.

Random middle-aged man: Oh. Because I’m looking for a wife.

Me: [runs faster] …

Not only am I being chatted up in the gym, but by someone who is likely twice my age and desperate enough to just about propose to me, even though he doesn’t know me at all?!

Are gyms the new night clubs? Will we someday tell our children how we locked eyes from across the handlebars of our respective rowing machines? How, ‘your dad was perfect for me, I knew it by his Teesavs’? And what about people who don’t gym? The nerds, the goths, the socially handicapped and the obese people who hide out at home and hiss at the sun? Will they set up virtual gyms for chatting-up purposes? Will Stephanie Meyer write a book about a gym where everyone secretly wants to munch on the other person’s takkies?!

Oh dear. We’re doomed.

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