So, after a lot of prodding from my husband and friends and watching a certain bollywood damsel move her pancake flat belly like jelly, I finally agreed that it was high time I got into shape as well. And since I had no clue on how to do that by myself, other than dancing or rather jumping like a maniac to some hip hop and bollywood music, I decided to overcome my fear and made my New Year resolution to get back in shape and stay fit by going to the GYM!!
I know I know, you’d think, hey, I’ve heard of people having fear of the dark, fear of heights, fear of closed spaces, fear of creepy crawlies…but fear of the gym??? Man, this gal really is bonkers! But you’d realize my fear is very genuine once you enter a real gym…as if it were not enough to enter a room full of equipment which look like they’ll trample you and squeeze every bit of life from your body the minute you touch them, there are other aspects like your co-gym-people, who for some reason always are hotly dressed and already toned and make you feel like a weird fatso the minute you enter the gym! And finally, the keepers of this hell, the gym instructors! If you thought your project managers were evil, you need to meet one of these creatures to realize what evil really is…brr…they wait in anticipation of the next unworldly soul, the next weakling who is condemned to enter their territory and oh so stealthily, they’ll pounce on their prey with their smiling faces and chiseled bodies and before you realize, they’ve chalked up a plan for you over the next 3 weeks (I guess that’s how long it takes for one to die at the gym) to rip off your flesh and soul bit by bit…hiahahahahh (evil laugh)
So, in spite of my ‘fear of the gym’ due to the obvious reasons stated above, I decided to put on a brave front and took one last look at the corridor leading to the gym, messaged my husband that I loved him, and entered the land of no return. As if on cue, a female ‘gym instructor’ came up to me and asked me if this was my first time at a gym (‘of course it’s my first time! I don’t think anyone survives the gym after the ‘first time’! I thought...). So, after getting my confirmation, she proceeded me to something that looked like a bicycle and tuned in a program for me and said, ‘keep pedaling at 30 and do not stop until the entire program is over’ (and she could have added, even if you think you’ll die halfway through this regime, do not stop). So I mustered all my strength and gave it my best shot…. (’Ha! I’m going to show it to her that I’m stronger than her…I’ll do this and walk away victorious! In fact, this isn’t that tough at all! I’m pedaling faster than 30! At this rate, my 15 minutes will be up in no time)…Pedal pedal pedal… (‘2 minutes gone’)…Pedal pedal pedal… (‘2.1 minutes gone…man, this bicycle clock must be slow…’), and then suddenly, the program changed! The pressure on the pedals increased and to my dismay, with every passing minute it just kept increasing! (‘Ahhh…so that was her evil plan…’), but even though my speed fell down to 21 now, I kept pedaling on that godamn thing and when I got off the machine at the end, my legs turned to jelly and I thought I’d lost my legs!! Unfortunately, even after seeing my fragile condition, the ‘Gym instructor’ did not relent and ordered me to run on another scary looking machine called the ‘treadmill’ for another 15 minutes! Thankfully, God was on my side that day, and she got distracted with another ‘meek looking victim’ and I ran towards the doors and escaped!!! Whew…Survived the first day!! But just as I was starting to jump in the air, ‘she’ called from behind saying ‘I’ve made a fitness regime for you and I’ll be expecting you to be here tomorrow sharp at 7..and do not try to miss tomorrow’s session or else today’s workout will have serious repercussions on your body’ (Shit! So, this is how they trap their prey…as if every muscle in my body wasn’t already in pain!)
‘I had a meeting which went on longer, no, umm, I’m not well (who am I kidding), umm..I just ate,..Cant gym right after that right?’..arrghhh..None of these excuses seemed good enough, plus everyone would laugh at me for chickening out on the second day itself! No, this won’t do…so halfheartedly, I trudged along back to the place of no-return. But lo and behold! What do I see when I enter the Gym-no instructor! Yep, that’s right! I felt like jumping up and down like a ping pong ball with joy and relief! I decided to make the most of my newfound freedom and checked out some of those machines from afar, did some perfunctory stretches and finally got on the bicycle and took my final revenge by setting the program to the easiest one and cycled away to glory! This was definitely a turning point towards my feelings for the Gym and I thought, maybe it’s not going to be that bad after all…little did I know, that this was just the devil smirking away in the corner, rubbing his hands in glee for what was to come the following day..
So happily, thinking about the previous day and oblivious to devil’s plans, I entered the dreaded Gym with a gusto I never knew, once I confirmed that the instructor was not there again! What luck! Just as I settled in to cycle at my ‘lazy speed program’, one pointy finger crept up from my right and like a flash reset the program to the hardest level!! I turned to see who would dare do that, and looked straight into the evil smiling eyes of my instructor! She was back and looked as menacing as ever! These devils, I tell you, they have the faces of angels and they smile at you like it’s you they’re helping, but only I know the truth behind those smiles and those words of encouragement…I was doomed. ‘So, we’ll start with 10 minutes of cycling today, and then I’ll teach you some other exercises to tone your body’, she said, her eyes gleaming. I wondered, ‘other exercises?! Here, at the gym? God knows what awaits me’…Finally, when I finished cycling on that monstrous cycle and my legs had gone back to being jelly, she got me out in the front, so that everyone on the god-awful Gym could look at me and take delight in my slow death.
‘Stand straight and put some distance between your legs, look up straight, suck in your tummy, don’t slouch! Ok, now slowly try and squat and push your bottom outwards…More! More! Yeah, that’s better, no, don’t push yourself in front…you’re doing it wrong again…Your bum should be jutting out! Yes, that’s better, now this is called SQUATS’ said the lady instructor in strict overtones. I felt like I was a monkey at a circus with her being my ring leader, plus it wasn’t helping that every time I would have to stick my bum out, I’d be conscious of all the other gym goers looking at my fat bum! Finally, my 20-20 sets were over, but the circus performance was far from getting over. ‘Now, the next exercise is called LUNGES. Put your right leg in front, further, further, further (‘She’s trying to split me apart! Nooo!’), Yes, now stand straight so that your left leg is stretching and the foot is lifted so that the heel is off the ground, yes better, chin up, chest out, bum out! Don’t slouch!! (‘I hope this exercise ends at just trying to balance in this weird pose, man!’) Hmm, that’ll do, now do the squatting exercise with this posture, your body weight should be on your right leg when you go down, but make sure that your knee is in line with your feet’, said the lady instructor (‘now, how the hell am I supposed to do that’??!) So she said I was supposed to do 20-20 sets each, but apparently I kept doing it wrong (‘duh! Anyone would do such an awful exercise incorrectly’) and I ended up doing 30-30 instead! Hmm, maybe she was a spy or a secret service agent before she became the gym instructor, because this sure as hell is a form of advance torture technique where they slyly devise to break your knee, every time you ‘lunge’ with your whole body weight on one knee, so you can’t run! After this and some more weird exercises, I thought I’d had enough and told her it was time for my bus. ‘Oh, so soon? But it’s only been half an hour! (‘As if that wasn’t enough to kill me already’) Ok, but before you leave, you need to do 5 minutes of stretching. (‘Great! More stretching??’) Ok, so hold you right leg from the toe and bring it back to touch your hip with your heel, while you’re standing and without bending your knee. And to balance, you can put out your left hand like you’re taking a pledge in the air’, She said. Oh god! So this is the final blow…if the physical torture doesn’t kill you, resort to mental torture, humiliate your victim and make them do things they’ll never forget. I felt like a standing superman (‘make it standing shaking superman, because I couldn’t balance, even with my arm out like that!’) and I could feel everyone laughing inwardly at this ridiculous stretching pose of mine! I felt like I’d gone 6 years back in time to my engineering ragging period where my seniors had taken great delight in making me put a hand out towards the sky and jump around like a retard pretending you were superman…Sigh! And I thought I had escaped tyranny.
But, like the previous days, I managed to survive, and somehow, by the end of the 3rd day, when I reached home and took a hot shower and settled down for dinner, I felt rejuvenated! I was completely awake, and had a pretty good appetite as well. I was quite surprised. Could it really be possible that what my husband and my friends said about the gym actually being a good thing be true? Could my tyrant of a lady instructor actually be working wonders on my muscle? If I continued this strictly, could I get a fabulous body like Angelina Jolie??? (‘Ok…Even I know the last wish is a bit farfetched ;)’). With all these questions in mind and a happy feeling, I fell asleep like a baby and didn’t have to fidget in bed for an hour to get to sleep that night…amazing!
3 Months Later:
‘What?! Going to the Gym? And me? Oh no, that place is cursed! It is actually the real hell with those instructors being the king and the queen of the ‘Gym-underworld’, waiting for unsuspecting, unhealthy victims like me, so that they can suck out every bit of life from us! I just won’t allow you to persuade me to sacrifice my life like this, even if it’s for free and even if you say you look and feel younger because of that place. I just won’t!! See what they’ve done to you now! You look like one of ‘them’ with your toned body and that pro-gym talk. How did they manage to change you? You and I were supposed to be the ‘anti-gym’ crusaders!’ complained my friend, who’d just joined our company and moved to our city and all I could do was smile all-knowingly. Wink!