I have now been going to the gym for 2 months every second day, except for the days I get migraines, which I’ve always had. It changes your psyche as well as your body.
I did a lot of sport as a child and an adolescent. I loved it. My father had a strong view that a healthy mind came with a healthy body. However, he didn’t factor in the gender question.
When I went to university, there was a distinct atmosphere that women who exercised were not cool at all. You had to look really miserable, wear sunglasses and smoke dope. That was back in the late 60s.
So I stopped doing any sport or exercise and started doing what everyone did in the 60s. I didn’t go for the drug bit much myself, but everyone around me did.
I went on to teaching and I was still very thin anyway so weight wasn’t a problem, until I had a baby at aged 35. I put on a stone then, but it didn’t matter because I quite liked the extra pounds in certain areas.
I was always a person interested in ideas, literature, philosophies, psychology so it was a cerebral life. My family too were very academic, but looking back that didn’t stop my brother from continuing with his sports and exercise.
He can ride a bike round the Melbourne Bay area with no trouble and he is older than me.
So the gym was completely new to me. I had never ever done weights. My program was to build those muscles up before I could even do aerobatics. I forgot to mention that from time to time I did play tennis, swim and go to aerobatic classes.
I looked at all the bodies in the gym and noticed that everyone was there for remedial purposes. I admired even the fattest person for giving it a go. I knew how hard it was to keep motivated myself, when it takes a long time to take off weight.
Today though, and I feel strange saying it, I saw a magnificent specimen of a man. He was clearly trained as an athlete and had a singlet on with a Melbourne Marathon insignia. I’ve seen other very fit men, but this man blew me away. He was such a joy to watch. His running style on the treadmill was perfect. His form and rhythm were excellent. He kicked up his legs at the back which no-one else seems to do. I wished I had a camera, but that’s not etiquette at the gym. Nor is me perving either.
I wanted to say something to him about his beautiful body, but of course I didn’t have the guts. I’m 60 and he was half my age so it wasn’t that I was wanting to get into bed with him or anything. He just provided some joy for the hour.
It made me realise though, that all my life until now, I have never taken much notice of male bodies. Mostly there are men in the gym building up their muscles. I don’t find that attractive. I take notice of men’s faces and what those faces tell me and then what they say and how they act.
So I wish I had started gym in my youth. I wish I hadn’t had a mental block about bodies, including my own. And I’m certainly wondering whether I should post this message.
By the way, the MP 3 player did help today to rid myself from boredom. Suddenly music is a part of my life again. I really have to get some more songs. My oldies are somewhat jaded now. They are all about disappointment in love or girlfriends committing suicide. Not good anymore.