It’s NOT a ‘happy place’. Why you shouldnt go to the gym.

Mean Matt’s Twin Brother

The other day, someone called the gym their ” happy place.” I couldnt see how that could be possible. Unless they’ve started serving Diet Coke and Doritos at the gym. And Ryan Reynolds is doing the serving. So I went to my gym to check.

My usual nice personal trainer Steve was on holiday. He had been replaced by Mean Matt who is a handsome hunk from Turkey. Mean Matt speaks with a captivating accent, kind of like Arnold the Terminator. Except there was nothing captivating about him once we started our training session.  When I couldnt pedal furiously on the cardio bike for ten straight minutes, he told me to “stop being lazy woman.” I told him very politely that I’d only just started coming to the gym ( A lie. Alright, alright, I tell lies sometimes. So shoot me.) I said “Im not lazy, Im tired. I have 5 children and thats really hard work you know.”

He was suitably astounded. “No. You lie. How you have five children?!” He even went so far as to threaten me. “I no like when people lie to me! Tell me truth. Speak truth now.You too young to have five children.”

I assured him, yes its true. I (am dumb enough) to have five children. He persisted. “Maybe some of them are from  husband and another woman?”

Oh honey, hell no. “Excuse me, all those (demon) children are mine thank you very much.” Ain’t no other woman taking credit for this lot.

With that truth firmly established, I mistakenly thought that Mean Matt was my friend. On my side. The workout continued. We moved on to the weights machines. I happily worked out on the leg thingamajig machine. And the shoulder thingamajig machine. Mean Matt seemed almost chatty. “What job you do?”

“Oh, I’m a writer.”

 He grunted. “How much exercise you do every week?”

I blathered on like the trusting fool I am. “Oh I used to run 5 days a week. Last year I did a 105 km relay with a team of six women. It was so much fun!” (Ok, ‘fun’ an exageration. What am I going to do – tell people that I wanted to puke and die for most of those kilometers?)

And that was when Mean Matt revealed his true self. Mean as meanie.  He upped the weights on the ab machine. Started counting reps faster. Told me off for pausing too long in between sets.  I whined. “But you dont understand, I dont have any ab muscles. Maybe I did when i was like 12…”

He didnt care. “Hurry up, keep going, why you stop for? If you can run 105km relay, you can do abs workout faster.”

“But I can’t. I’ve had three c-section deliveries. Do you know what that means? They literally SLICE through your abdominal wall and Im sure they sewed my abs back up wrong because they just dont work anymore. There’s something wrong with them, I just know it. And my youngest kid is practically a BABY and I still havent recovered my full strength…” (So the kid is three. Practically a walking, talking adult, but what the hell…)

Mean Matt interrupted me. “What, now you are writing book here? Telling me your whole life story? Stop doing writer job here and do workout.” In other words – shut up Lani and do this.

I shut up. Seethed. And worked out harder, fantasizing about (one day) having a kick-butt awesome body so I could come back to the gym and kick Mean Matt’s ass. I’ll be back.

Maybe that was Mean Matt’s secret personal trainer technique for getting his clients to push themselves to the limit. When we were done, he smiled ( meanly) and said, “All clients tell me they hate me. But when  finish workout, they thank me for pushing them hard.” I smiled. (Weakly) And said thank you. But inside? I was hearing my inner Arnold Predator movie voice, “If it bleeds, we can kill it.”

I knew I hated the gym. News-flash for those of you who havent been there in a while? They arent serving snacks. And Ryan Reynolds is definitely not there. But Mean Matt is. Hasta la vista, baby.

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11 comments

  1. LOL- just hit the knee and he'll crumble to the ground! Okay so I like my gym- I don;t use a personal trainer- no money for that- but they have this movie cardio room I can workout on the elliptical and watch a movie- and yes I do work out- unfortunately I found out the elliptical is the least effective cardio machine they have. The stair master – the evil things designed by daemons with the revolving stairs- that ones burns the most calories per minute- so once I'm done being so sick I'll go back and do that one- there is a TV attached to it- I just need to bring my own headphones 🙂

  2. I take my hat off to you Lani! Fallen off the gym wagon and since it's only the budget community gym, no one's missing me or ringing me to pressure me to come back. But reading this is motivation enough! To the gym I go tomorrow! Lord have mercy on me…

  3. "I'll be back"NOT!I can't handle gyms. The grunting guys and the tight bunned chicks (and I'm not talking about their hairstyles … lol!)So good on you for being brave enough to keep going back! I guess the hope of stumbling into Ryan is a pretty good incentive though 😛

  4. buahahahahahaha personal trainers! what to do with them? I'm forever dodging requests for a one on one session! Going to the gym is only a haven, when you get to watch NRL Rugby and WC RUGBY (just recently) for Free, because the FOXTEL bill hasnt been paid 🙂 Thank You Gym! hehe

  5. Urgh the gym! I try and stay as far away from that place as possible. I've been lucky enough to be blessed with a very high metabolism but even if I wasn't I don't know if I could ever have the discipline to go there every day and work out in front of the whole lot of people and have a trainer scream inspiational things in my ear….someone even the thought of Ryan Reynolds being there wouldn't be enough…okay maybe it would be enough. But there would have to be a lot of shirtlessness 🙂

  6. I don't miss the gym, so I built my own and I used to work out every day until I decided to write a book. I am Mean Matt to myself. I couldn't handle dealing with another Mean Matt calling me lazy. I'd probably wait till he leaves and see what he drives then slash his tires the next time I come to the gym and see his car. Ok, maybe not, but those guys are a necessary evil, right? No thanks. At least you reminded yourself why you don't go.

  7. Glad Im not the only one with an aversion to the gym. Thank you to "Daniel" aka Ezra Taylor – who (lied) and called the gym "My Happy Place". I guess you have to be a kickbutt rugby player /sporting fanatic to be able to achieve that Nirvana state of bliss in a gym. In the meantime, yes, Im going to wait for Ryan Reynolds gym-schedule to show up online somewhere.

  8. Oh, how I agree with you! On the other hand: Since "personal trainer" is still a profession, there MUST be people out there who, after a session with Cruel Chris and Nasty Norb say something like: "Today my personality and potentially two bones have been broken, every minor and major muscle is strained and nevertheless he made me feel like a lazy ass bitch. AWESOME! I'M GOING BACK TO THE GYMN TOMORROW!"

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