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Gym Membership For The Uninterested

I could have flown to the moon and my weight would be a mere 20kg as opposed to the gargantuan 120kg.

I had suggested this to my physician and he had strongly chastised me for smoking weed and recommended a visit to a psychiatrist.

The flight to the moon was surely better than running along the Western Bypass and exposing your life –the only one you have - to the hazards of GC traffic. The Alteezas of this city had extinguished many a life along the death motorway. I wasn’t about to become a statistic.

He suggested I go to the gym and recommended a few. Now joining a gym proved to be a whole project on its own. My thoughts were, all I needed to do was pay the subscription and start the workouts. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Joining a gym means procuring the right gear. My weather-beaten Manchester United jersey would not do nor would my sagging ‘bullet-riddled’ tracksuit.

First there has to be a Google activity which involves a lot of sifting through Ivy League and Block 3 Industrial types. When finally the decision is made on which supplier to go with a friend who is supposedly a fashion guru of sorts is then consulted. This type would usually have dropped out of a fashion school somewhere in Europe.

However, you wouldn’t know and so the latter masquerades as a serious and qualified fashion guru. That is until her former classmates come back from their South African and North American learning sojourns and expose her as a phoney who dropped out of fashion school - leaving you with a serious urge to throw out your entire wardrobe.

So the fashion guru wades in with her questionable input and suggests a few shops trashing your choice in the process. Lo and behold, this is a shop deep in Johannesburg which the Laelammago combi drivers don’t even know.

You then take a trip back to Google and finally get the proper address. You then phone around and finally get some shady stranger who agrees to take you there. This takes a good three weeks and by the time you leave for the Golden City, the potbelly is now totally obscuring your shoes.

Joining a gym also means engaging a personal trainer for a fee. This came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM. Personal trainers are usually lean and don’t seem to have an ounce of fat on them. You can easily spot them.  My attempt at getting one was dashed by the asking price. I decided

to go it alone. He found it strange for a beginner and tried to give me a thousand reasons why God specifically dropped him on earth to take care of my weight issues.

By the time he reached the 815th reason I had tottered off to a nearby machine. I was determined not to give him my hard-earned money.

I needed a strategy. I decided to follow one guy who seemingly had the same weight issues as me. You know -potbelly, double chin and fat in all the wrong places. I followed him from one machine to the other till I followed him right to the toilet.

He wanted to know if I was stalking him. I waffled off an inaudible reply and shuffled back to the machines. I was stuck and didn’t know the next step. My frustration levels grew. My tension escalated. My sweat beads multiplied.

The resident personal trainer gave me a wide berth and I thought I could detect a smug on his evil fat-free face but I couldn’t be certain.

On the second day I stayed at home because the dog had roused my neighbour when she was having an afternoon siesta. It was the flimsiest and silliest of reasons but perhaps my reluctance to fully commit had fuelled it.

Day three and I decided I would go the following day as I had an urgent matter to attend to. The urgent matter in question was delivering a letter to my sister who resided a kilometre away from my house – something which I could have done and still gone to the gym.

I was reminded of a man in USA who had hired a hitman to kill him if he ever missed his sessions. I toyed with this idea but discarded it when I realised I knew no hitman around and also because there was a real danger that if I found one, he might have to actually kill me seeing how easy it had been for me to avoid gym sessions.

My gym subscription whittled away as the days passed by and I was stuck on my couch with a bucketful of excuses. One day of training was all it had taken.

This must have been a record. I could at least have made it into the hallowed pages of the Guinness Book Of Records. The potbelly is still here and my account is a several hundred pula poorer. Sigh!

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