So, why have I directed you towards this rather bland-looking blog? Well, it’s a place for me to document my forthcoming efforts to not only lose weight, but to become properly fit, and get myself into shape. I’ve been going on about losing weight on Twitter for a while now; it’s one thing changing your diet, but that doesn’t make you fit or toned.
I’ve been a member of gyms before, but I found a common theme – they’ll take your money and then leave you to your own devices. You can pay extra for a personal trainer, but I’ve always thought of them as a false economy. So you end up going along, running on a treadmill, rowing 500 metres, doing some stretching, and then you think, “Is this working?” “Am I doing it right?” “Where’s the guy who did my induction? I need to ask him. Oh, he’s on holiday for three weeks.”
I always felt as if I was on my own at the gym, along with just about everyone else, lost in our own little worlds, staring blankly at Sky News above our heads. As a result, when I felt the willpower dropping away it was easy to just stop going, and cancelling my membership. And have you TRIED cancelling a Virgin Active gym membership when purchased through a third party?!
So, another year, another “I’m going to get properly fit this year” spiel, followed by eight months of not actually getting properly fit. Also, my weight has slowly been growing since I met my wife in 2006. Back then I was a 32 waist, and around 12 stone something. I had a belly (and still do), but that was the legacy of fried breakfasts, Wetherspoons, and getting drunk most weekends between 1995 and 2001. I’ve always been very self-conscious of it, holding it in when around people, wearing clothes that don’t make it stand out, and so on.
And then I was made aware of CrossFit. I stumbled across a blog post about it, and then I remembered that one of my Twitter followers does it herself. So I started asking her about it, and very quickly realised that it’s nothing like “normal” gyms. The workouts are group affairs, with emphasis on technique, not speed. There is a lot of weightlifting involved, and they make you do handstands (with press-ups)! I don’t remember doing either of those at Virgin. It was all I could do to find a spare treadmill.
I was intrigued, and so I looked to see if there was a CrossFit local to me. As it happens, they’re everywhere, and my nearest one is a 6000 square-foot industrial unit on the other side of town. A couple of emails later, and I’d signed myself up for a four-hour induction course this Saturday.
What have I let myself in for? I’ll let you know …