Being cautious about saying too much too soon, I haven't done a post yet about me joining the gym. I wanted to give it a while to see how I got on, not get excited about it only to find out it didn't work out for me. But I've been going for two weeks now (although it feels like longer) so I think we're probably safe. And yes it's been going well, except for a couple of hiccups with regard to communication between the various personal trainers (they were never that clear who was meant to be doing my session so it was a bit of a lucky dip to start with; from Monday though I'm meant to be settling to one PT who'll do most of my sessions, so the booking problems should be done with.)
That aside, I'm happy with how it's gone so far. A couple of weeks ago I decided it was time, so I wandered over to the leisure centre and asked to speak to someone about rejoining. While I was setting up my membership I asked if they could recommend a personal trainer, turns out they now have a company that's contracted to do personal training at all the Greenwich Borough gyms, and as it happens their offices are upstairs in my local leisure centre. So once I'd arranged signing up to the gym itself, there was someone straight down (I've since done two training sessions with him) to discuss my options and book some sessions. This was two Fridays ago, and I had to wait until the following Tuesday to start (that was their first available slot for an induction by the gym staff - it's a legal requirement so I couldn't use it until after that.) As I was going to have a PT assessment straight afterwards I only needed a short induction - basically she took my blood pressure then showed me around. Then I had my assessment by the PT, which he pointed out was not a proper training session but it bloody felt like it to me - shattered by the end, although already I was quite enjoying it.
Afterwards I booked their introductory offer for three sessions at a reduced price, and I've already used those up. The following Friday I had my first hour with Rabah, who's going to be my main PT; last Monday it was Dean, who'd done my assessment and will occasionally alternate with Rabah. Thursday just gone was a bit different, because I needed a programme I can do when I go there on my own, so Leigh, the head trainer, spent the session putting that together with me. I'd always planned to go in on my own as well as the PT sessions, of course. I hadn't expected to want to do so this soon though, but already by last Tuesday I was getting impatient that there were still a couple of days to go before I could go back. So as of next week I'm going in on Mondays and Fridays with Rabah, and Wednesdays on my own to do the programme I've had worked out for me. I've now bought a further 10 sessions, so after 5 weeks of twice-weekly sessions I'm planning to reduce it to once a week (I'm not made of money!) and do as many as I can on my own.
I actually went to this same leisure centre several years ago, used the gym, and hated every minute of it. I went for nearly a year, saw hardly any change in myself and when I twisted my ankle and couldn't go for a while, I ended up ditching it entirely. So this time there's a certain amount of thought behind how I've gone about things. Obviously my lack of seeing any results last time could be down to me not doing things right, so the PTs should sort that out. Plus it's encouraging to have people around who talk about all this having an effect on my body as if it's a perfectly normal thing to expect - for instance on Thursday Leigh asked if I was looking just to lose weight or also to put on muscle. Before I could answer properly he said "well it doesn't matter if you want to, you will
put on muscle, it's your body type." Considering that getting rid of the gut and the moobs is still something I can only think of as a distant dream, the idea that I might actually put on muscle is so far divorced from reality that I think I did well to keep a straight face. But having people saying INSANE things like that to me all helps with keeping the motivation to go in a few times every week. And it's still early days, but I'm enjoying the endorphin rush and what with having an addictive personality maybe I'm getting hooked on that - there's far worse things to get addicted to anyway.
Of course apart from the obvious health reasons, one motivation for joining the gym was to help develop a daily routine, wake up at a reasonable hour, do some writing in the afternoon etc. As far as the wrtiting goes it's initially had the opposite effect: As soon as I started exercising my writing completely stalled, nothing for a fortnight. To be honest I wasn't too
worried - I was talking to aka_kelly
on the phone yesterday and we both agreed it was to be expected. As I've mentioned, most of my writing goes on away from the laptop, as ideas wander around my head and bump into each other. After a month-and-a-half getting used to not going into work, the gym was inevitably going to be a bit of a Project, and as such has been preoccupying me, not leaving much room for my brain to think about plot developments. I'd also got to a tricky stage in The Control Room
where I'd started ramping up the weird element, and wasn't sure how to get to the next step up without it seeming too soon. So even though I tried a couple of times, nothing got done.
Anyway, turns out I was right to think it was temporary: Last night the solution to get me to the second act climax popped right into my head, and as is the way with these things started having a domino effect on a couple of scenes around it. Unfortunately, this bit of information clicked at about 12:45am, as I was trying to get to sleep. No chance of that once my brain was buzzing, and I figured I might as well take the bull by the horns and write the end of scene 8, leading into the bit I'd just unlocked (I'm still using my slightly idiosyncratic technique of not writing a section until I know exactly what happens in the scene after
it.) I'm not entirely
happy with my Scene 8 ending, but happy enough to leave it for the second draft, and plough on for now. I think the solution I came up with means I can put the next big event in Scene 10, so once I've worked out the mechanics of that I can do Scene 9. (The second act climax and the penultimate scene are the ones I've been most looking forward to writing, as they're the silliest.)
Well that sort of went off into a tangent, didn't it? But since going to the gym has partly been about helping with my writing, not that
much of a tangent. Anyway, back to the exercising itself, I'm looking forward to upping my trips to three a week, and hopefully see some results. Obviously it'll take time, but while my stomach still looks enormous, I could swear it feels smaller, and I'm sure my face looks slimmer. I stopped overeating so much earlier in September, so between that and the exercise I've lost about half a stone. Although if I am
putting muscle on, weight is a bit of an inaccurate measure of how I'm doing. I do know that I'm pulling my trouser belt in a lot tighter now than I was a couple of weeks ago.
Oh and in case you were wondering, no, I haven't seen anyone exciting in the changing room. There's been some nice-looking gentlemen in the gym itself, but whenever I'm changing the showers always seem to be full of old men. And yet I've still
been enjoying the gym, so it wasn't just a horrible plan to go perving. Shame on you if you thought that. Ner.