Back in 2020 BC – Before Covid – I used to go to the gym virtually every weekday morning. I clearly remember the last time I was there back in mid-March feeling distinctly uneasy about whether I was doing the right thing being there.
Back then my day’s routine would begin with a 25 minute walk to the gym not long after Mrs Jones had gone to work and I’d written my daily blog.
Even though I only managed around 30 minutes of intense exercise – a 5k run on the treadmill – I often didn’t get back home until 11am
This run was followed by a few languid lengths in the pool with the rest of the time devoted to social interaction and, of course, the walk home.
There was a hard core of around a dozen blokes all a similar age – retired, semi-retired, thinking about retirement – all sharing a grumpy old man view of the world.
These morning sessions at the gym gave me not just somewhere to exercise but, as importantly, the social interaction that retirement had robbed from me.
Without it I could spend entire days from when Mrs Jones went to work until she came home not uttering a word.
I also felt the walking and swimming were good for my body, I don’t recall aching anywhere near as much as I do following my morning outdoor runs since lockdown. The whole routine relaxed me and felt good for my mental health.
Today is the first week day that the gym is open again after over four months so I could at long last resume my old routine.
Rather endearingly the gym have been counting down to the reopening with emails and Facebook posts and since the weekend sending enticing photos and videos of the virgin pool.
Part of me wants to go just to support the gym staff, but part of me doesn’t and that’s the part that’s winning right now
One of the things that putting off are all the new rules – I hate rules -including:
- The strict occupancy levels which means I might have to wait some time to get onto the treadmill or in the pool. How this is going to work for people with limited time who have to get work I don’t know.
- The closure of the sauna which is where most of the chat took place.
- There’ll be no towels given out and use of the changing rooms is discouraged. I had decided I was going to run to the gym in these warmer months but these new rules make this more difficult.
I feel sorry for the staff having to implement these changes which I know are a small inconvenience but will still have a significant impact on the experience.
Add to this my worries about catching the virus and the fact that I imagine many of my other gym buddies will feel the same sadly means I’ll be a no-show today.