Not A Gym Bunny

By James De Klerk

There are a quite a few places which I simply will not go to: a bar frequented by Neo-Nazis, an abattoir, the dressing rooms of a drag competition to name but a few. But back in 2009 I found myself somewhere far worse and much more terrifying: A GYM. It was truly horrific.

I’d gone away for a weekend with a man I’d been seeing for a few months, a rather uptight policeman. We went to Joburg, saw a play (which impressed him minimally) and then got a taxi to Sandton. The hotel was fairly classy with a room with a view of the suburbs and unfortunately, a gym and spa.

My idea for the weekend was to amble about, taking long bracing walks, fortified by the occasional snifter of alcohol and lots of rich food. I wanted to take in the freaks and kugels, and see the stylish people. I envisioned browsing through shops, perusing useless tat, and buying a lot of second hand books. My companion, however, decided that whenever I went in a bookshop, he’d loiter about for a minute displaying obvious boredom and then wait impatiently outside till guilt made me join him.

He also decided that it would be a nice idea to surprise me with a massage in the hotel spa followed by a whining session whereby he convinced me, against my better judgement, to enter the gym. The hotel spa was nicely furnished and I was touched that he’d treated me to a 30 minute back massage. After 30 minutes of listening to whale song whilst a meaty young woman in a white smock pummelled my back I was less grateful, merely a little embarrassed and very bored. Naturally, I pretended it was an extreme pleasure and gushed about what a lovely treat it was whilst wondering how I’d avoid this ever happening again.

On eating out later that night I suddenly felt very peculiar and started to sweat profusely. Sweat dripped off my nose onto the tablecloth. My hair and clothes were soaked and I started to feel nauseated. I can only guess that it was some of the many toxins which inhabit my body making a quick exit thanks to the vigorous massage. In future I’ll hang on to my toxins. I quite like them, actually.

The following day we went for a brief walk and I eventually had to succumb to the pressure to go to the hotel gym. I walked down to the basement with trepidation and entered a vision of hell. I was sweating again, this time through fear.

There were wholesome people on machines, grinding away, feet frantically slamming down and faces set in sinister expressions of masochism. They puzzled me and made me nervous, at the same time. I felt a rush of contempt, mixed with a measure of blind panic. This place was grim. There was a huge room with a pool in which people ploughed up and down with grim determination. Rows of terrifying looking machines flanked the walls, making eerie squeaking noises as people with the emotional expression of corpses moved monotonously. There were people skipping, punching punch-balls, stretching and gyrating. It truly was frightening.

My partner made for the machines and I sidled over to the pool and immersed myself. I lasted about 4 minutes. I left the pool and realised that this place reminded me of school physical education classes.

I tried the sauna and steam room. It was dank and spooky. There was a young guy asleep in the corner of the steam room whilst two French girls sat animatedly chatting. The steam made me feel a bit asthmatic and claustrophobia set in. I was plucking up the courage to tell my partner that I had to go and lie down when a miracle occurred. The fire alarm went off.

The thought that my room and my belongings could be burning didn’t enter my head. I was free and very happy about it. Grabbing my bag (I know, I know) I made my way down the atairs to the street and took my place with the other people clad in Lycra or shivering in towels. There was a bar next to the hotel so naturally I went in to get warm and grab a coffee. No one seemed to mind that I was clad in just some shorts with a towel around my shoulders. Hot coffee had never tasted so good and the prospect of never entering a gym ever seemed deliciously appealing.

Some things are not for me. I’ll stick to wandering round book shops. You can keep your gyms with their threatening devices. I’ll lift heavy tomes and carry shopping. If regular exercise adds a few years to my life I’d rather forgo those years. They’ll probably be years where I feel creaky and arthritic and believe that I’m Bette Davis anyway.


comments

health & exercise

Aquatic fitness exercises
Aquatic fitness exercises

Hints and tips for Aquatic fitness training

Upper Body Cobra Hold Exercises
Upper Body Cobra Hold Exercises

We show you how the Cobra Hold Exercise can strengthen your back  [ ... ]

Libido Loss Among Women
Libido Loss Among Women

Our health expert discuss hypoactive sexual desire disorder

women

Sluts And Whores
Sluts And Whores

Have you ever been called a slut? Read on...

My Boobs Are My Own
My Boobs Are My Own

On the issue of gay men's sexism towards lesbians

Lesbian Beauty
Lesbian Beauty

All about typical Lipstick Lesbian beauty routines

events & parties

Whats happening Gauteng?
Whats happening Gauteng?

Events, parties and cultural happenings in Gauteng

Whats happening Durban?
Whats happening Durban?

Events, parties and cultural happenings in Durban

Whats happening Cape Town?
Whats happening Cape Town?

Events, parties and cultural happenings in Cape Town

gay relationships

Is He Hitting On You?
Is He Hitting On You?

How do you know if a guy is really hitting on you?

Is Your Boyfriend Cheating On You?
Is Your Boyfriend Cheating On You?

How to find out if your boyfriend is cheating on you

Is He Trying To Steal Your Man?
Is He Trying To Steal Your Man?

What to do if one of your friends try to steal your man

cars

Ford's Anti Hijacking Tips
Ford's Anti Hijacking Tips

Ford, has come up with a number of tips to avoid a hijacking

New Infiniti Q50
New Infiniti Q50

We take a look at Infiniti's new Q50 model

2014 Peugeot 2008
2014 Peugeot 2008

We take a look at the new Peugeot 2008 SUV

food

Smoked salmon pâté
Smoked salmon pâté

Serve this smoked salmon pâté as a starter with salad

Spicy Pork Kebabs
Spicy Pork Kebabs

A great addition for your next braai menu

Cherry Cake
Cherry Cake

A lovely cherry sponge cake with an Almond texture

elsewhere on ql

Understanding The Gay Community
Understanding The Gay Community

Dr Brand Doubell on what makes our Gay Community unique

Traumatized At The Gym
Traumatized At The Gym

Blogger Graham Green on what not to wear to the gym.

#2 The Birthday
#2 The Birthday

Its our hero's birthday in the 2nd episode of our new cartoon

Weekly Male Frank C
Weekly Male Frank C

Our male model of the week is the hunky Frank Cammarata

Shirtless Monday
Shirtless Monday

This week on Shirtless Monday we feature Beautiful Beach Bodies

Weekly Male: Tarik Kaljanac
Weekly Male: Tarik Kaljanac

Our male model of the week is the gorgeous Tarik Kaljanac

weekly newsletter