Never ever ever try to entice me to go to a gym

"DID you hear there's a new gym opening in Gladstone?"

It must be the most-asked question in town - well, maybe after "Did you hear the gunshots in Toolooa?"

You can't deny it though - our town boasts an incredible number of facilities for handing over large piles of cash in exchange for a fierce six-pack.

Or at least, for handing over large piles of cash.

(A tip for you fitness aspirationals with more good intentions than cash - pick up a $10 bike from the tip shop and cut some laps under any gum tree in town. The magpies will have you out-sprinting Cadel Evans in no time.)

Yes, I've long been cynical about gyms. Oh, I've had my share of memberships.

Working a very quiet midnight til dawn shift, I hit upon the genius idea of sneaking off to a 24-hour gym.

I only had to see the buzzing 3am population once to convince me to stick to the office and watching ads for ab-swings.

I briefly discovered a better pace at a YMCA - in the heart of a suburban retirement village.

Does it occur to them that maybe I'm perfectly happy to give up? That my gym shirts - bearing drinking-themed derby names or rock concert memories - are deliberately chosen to promote a more considered pace?

It was tough to say goodbye... and desert my title as best lift in the place.

So free gym membership in Gladdy was bittersweet - suddenly, my beloved classes filled with sweet nannas transformed into a competitive cauldron of sweat.

These people are fit - and it's advertised all over them.

Slogans on tight singlets announce, "Never ever ever ever ever give up."

My inner grammar Nazi takes instant offence at the lack of commas - but worse, the words are emblazoned across an impossibly tight butt, or framed with back muscles on a singlet.

These non-quitting ladies can't even see their own advice! Yet up the back to disguise my slacking, I'm forced to contemplate it - for as long as an hour at a time.

Does it occur to them that maybe I'm perfectly happy to give up? That my gym shirts - bearing drinking-themed derby names or rock concert memories - are deliberately chosen to promote a more considered pace?

Still, each to their own - I'll avert my sweat-filled eyes. But rest assured, you'll never catch me flashing that sort of inspiration on my poor over-stretched gym gear.

More than anything, it's not something I want a magpie to be reading on its murderous descent.



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