It’s guest post time, and as normal, the amazing Sam at Mouse, Moo & Me Too has bloody nailed it.
My complete opposite exercise wise, Sam nails why going to the gym in the dead of night can have you sweating your ass off next to the…errr…more eccentric of society.
Now that I’m the proud careful lady owner of two children who sadly can’t be left unattended in the house, I have to keep rather unsociable hours at the gym. I’m talking your 9pms, your 6ams, the real arsehole time slots that simultaneously bring out the devouts and the weirdos.
Why not join me in a game of Gymbum Bingo, and see how many you recognise? (Er, I cross my heart that all links between names and stereotypes are fictitious, honest guv.)
Mike, the abominator
Mike is built like fucking King Kong, and lords it about the hardcore weights section in one of those 80’s vests that has an armpit opening so vast, his entire torso hangs out the side. Mike is aiming to break the world HGV-pulling record, and gurns his way through the weight increments. When he approaches his one-rep limit, he likes to have a friend on standby to brace him in position just in case he drops something and manages to concuss himself, or bust a hole in the gym floor.
Jasmine, the Victoria’s Secret ambassador
Jasmine is sooooooooo fucking pert and pretty. She doesn’t even need to be in the bastard gym. She goes purely to show off her threads, bedecked as she is in garments from the Pink range at VS, with coordinating nail varnish and trainers. Do you know how much that stuff costs? Even with her NUS discount she’s probably spent a good hundred quid on that ONE look. And her winged eyeliner is perfect, and seemingly smudgeproof. Bitch.
Des, the ripened stilton
Des had a heart attack in 1994 and since then, has adopted a militant regime that has turned his calf muscles to sinewy, veined glory. Des wears a headband and pulls his white socks almost to knee height. Des avoids the weight machines in case they send something into spasm, but he will give the cross-trainer a damn good thrashing for a solid hour. He has orange squash in his water bottle, and carries his towel and spare clothes in a Head holdall. Des holds the door open, we love Des.
Megan, the constant long hair tweaker
Megan has a veritable horse’s mane. Thick, ombre, shiny, lustrous. At the start of a gym class, Megan rocks a messy bun on the very top of her beautiful head. But as the class progresses, Megan imagines that her pile of locks is becoming loose from the effort that frankly, she’s not putting in. Between each track, Megan will untie her hair, flick her head forward, use her nails to scrapey-scrape each errant strand back into submission, whip the band back around the shaft, loop it through, messy messy glamtastic glam, and back in the beat for the next song. But shit the bed, three minutes and forty two seconds later, it needs doing again! No fucking way!
Brad, the renegade
Brad hasn’t got the time or inclination for correct workout attire. Brad will wear whatever the damned fuck he wants, even if it is literally his pyjamas. Brad will slip on some Converse and have a little go on the treadmill, before mooching over to do some casual tricep dips. Brad has a man bun and needs a jolly good shave. Brad dreams of Newquay and waves – Brad cannot be tamed by a petty gym floor. He only goes because he can use the shower for free afterwards.
Sophie, the social butterfly
Sophie will absolutely, resolutely not be parted from her phone, not for a second, do you hear? She has exceptionally important business to attend to, probably relating to boys and jagerbombs and such. If that means pausing mid-set of 10kg flys then you’re just going to have to let her get on with it and wait your turn. She can’t pull up a pew in the changing room and round up her social interactions, no no. She must be responsive to each notification as it flashes on her screen, even if the gym is rammers and there’s a queue for each bit of kit. Quickly now Sophie, someone’s just followed you on Instagram.
Toby, the try-hard
Bless Toby. His body didn’t quite get the memo and despite eating turkey steaks for breakfast and boshing down liquid protein chocomalt isotonic hydraulate, he’s still built like a gnat. Which is a shame as his mate is fit as fuck. Toby’s face turns puce as he does battle with the leg curl machine, and his back folds into a sloppy mess when he tries to give the rower some welly. Toby is bookish. Toby thinks he might apply for University Challenge and let his gym membership lapse.
Lucy and Jo, the twins
These two sweethearts haven’t come to the gym to get ripped, they’ve come for a chat. They’ll help one another set up a machine, chatting, decide who’ll go first, chatting, and continue to chat chat chat as Twin 1 carries out a nominal set of pissy little reps. Twin 2 will pass Twin 1 her water bottle, they’ll swap over, and Twin 1 will drape herself over the arm support of the adjacent weight machine rendering it inaccessible to anyone else. Such a lot to chat about! A quick meander over towards the bikes leads to a five minute cycle at conversation-maintaining speed, and then….would you look at that! They’ve been here hours, better go home and chat over a Snack-a-jack.
Tom and Nicki, the power couple
First spin class of the morning, front row, let’s fucking have it. Who needs breakfast sex when you can thrash out all that pent-up energy to a Clubland Ibiza soundtrack? Afterwards, Nicki will shower and shimmy into a pinstriped pencil skirt / white blouse combo, with nude Mac lipstick and actual diamond stud earrings. Tom will put Moss Bros to shame, run a hand through his beautiful sexy salt and pepper hair, and fasten his cufflinks which are worth more than their starter home was before the economic slump. They’ll strut like living fire to the train station where they hop into the first class carriage, do the Telegraph crossword and eat something homemade with Chia seeds and cranberries.
As for me? I’m a Sophie. In fact, I’ve spent the last twenty minutes straddling the seat of the diverging lat pull-down machine, hammering this out in Notes. You’re welcome.