I don’t like the gym. I hate sweating, running on those tread mills as if it’s a matter of life and death and lifting weights as if am rehearsing to tackle Samson himself or Goliath. I hate it so much because my hair becomes dump and the blow dry gets finished. By the time am 20 minutes into running, the hair has stood on ends like I have been electrocuted. And there’s nothing bad like having dump hair. You look like a crested falcon because you have to force the damn kinky strands into chignons which never form perfectly. I hate doing bikes in the gym too. You feel like your womanhood has been snatched.
There are usually these slim ladies who come in very few clothes. Ok, the recommended gym attires. They show their waxed toned legs. They come wearing very tiny shorts and a vest and always carry water bottles. I hate their confidence. Have you ever seen how they easily engage the muscular men? They lift small weights and suddenly shriek. Some muscular man then dashes to the damsel in distress and starts massaging her “sprained” arm. I usually sit my heavy self in one of the corners bemused, lifting a 2kg weight. Of course as I sit, my stomach is divided into chambers and the love handles peep.
In these gyms, there are men. Some of these men are obsessed with gym. They have mountains of muscles. Those ones with dangerous six packs and chests that almost look like wood. Those men wear tight muscles t-shirts and you can almost point out the left pulmonary artery. They can be cocky sometimes and intimidate men with smaller chests and muscles. I hate it when they help smaller men lift weights and nudge them to work harder. These Goliaths lift the entire gym and groan. I have a feeling they do that to catch women’s attention. Of course not all women. Not especially those with chambered stomachs. Or with cellulite.
There is this other group of people in the gym. The huge women. Those ones with a collection of flesh on the thighs and obstinate cellulite. I fall here. I think we are almost dying. We are robust. We eat normal food. Not those green smoothies, or carrots for supper or lemon juice. We usually start with the tread mill. We step on those things. You would think it’s a wildebeest migration. We gallop. We run. We jog. We dash as the sweat trickles furiously. We produce those whizzing sounds and breathe heavily through the mouth and the nose. The faces become swollen and the entire back becomes drenched. One of the gym instructors watches us with a broken heart. I know what he’s thinking. That we are big and might break the tread mills. That maybe we are at the point of no return. That we have too much vibrating flesh… after 20 minutes, we are dead. We drink tones of water and breathe even more heavily. We always feel people are looking at us with scorn.But nevertheless, eyes on the prize.
And when we go to zumba classes, we align ourselves in the back row. We let the skinny girls be in front as we enviously watch and wonder what pill they are taking. We can barely do 5 minutes continuously. By the 4th minute, we are looking at the instructor angrily, wondering if he is on drugs. Surely who dances so violently, jumping up and down as if they are possessed? They dance even more vigorously than David. 30 minutes into zumba, we can’t take it anymore. Our hearts pump furiously and we fear we might get an attack. We wobble our way out of the insane dance class and go to the changing room, panting. I can tell you for free, if we die today, we will say we tried.