elb's hovel of thoughts

Friday, December 02, 2005

My quest for a new gym ends

After piling on the pounds for the past few months, I've decided that enough is enough, and decided to enroll for my local gym. Since I left my old place, I have refrained from going to the gym because of the exorbitant prices (both at Malaysia, for the short time that I was back, and in London, because it is bloody expensive). Instead, I was hoping that I could use the university's gym, which is not available for a couple of months more as it is undergoing construction.

This has resulted in expansion of my waistline during the short month or so which I was back in KL.

Friend (a day or so after after I got back): Wow! You've really lost weight haven't you!

The same friend, a month later (the week before I left KL): Patrick, you've put on some weight haven't you?
Me:*Cue sheepish smile*
Friend: I thought so, I can tell the difference!
Me: Blah, no big deal, I'll go back to the UK and go to the gym :P

Die. It was obvious that something needed to be done. The inavailability of late night high calorie mamak stalls here helped, as did plenty of walking compared with Malaysia, but no good. Stagnancy is not desired.

The gym had to be either near to my university, or near to where I am staying. Preferably nearer to my place, then it would be easier during the weekends and holidays. University gym? See above. Fitness First? Quite expensive; no branches nearby; I would have considered it if I were still staying at Knightsbridge. So one day I was at the small shopping mall near my place. I wandered around and came across David Lloyd's. The location was pretty good, above a supermarket, and I always pass through it on my way home everyday. Not to mention that its around 15 minutes walk which is reasonable. I tried to ask for a viewing, but I was told that I needed to make an appointment to view. Goodness.

They took over a week to get back to me, when I was about to resign myself to the fact that I was doomed to remain unfit. I have no idea whether because they work slow or are really very busy. Probably some psychological trick to make them appear important. Nevertheless I arranged for a viewing, and was blown away when I was there. Both by the facilities, and the prices (see further on). I have no idea though, whether the facilities were that good only at that particular branch (because it is just metres away from Chelsea, after all). They had the prerequisite changing area with lockers, a dining area, an amazing pool in an ambient wooden setting (if I recall correctly), with jacuzzi and sauna. And the classes look fabulous too!

And the gym, yum yum yummy. It was HUGE. Plenty of cardio machines available to go around, with plenty of resistance machines (WOOOOOOOOT!) and a large weight pumping section.

After my mind warmed up to the fabulous place, it was decision time. I was offered two packages: off peak and unrestricted time. Off peak meant 6.30pm to 4.00pm (last entry) on weekdays and post 2pm entry on weekends. Opening (full price) hours are 6.30am to 11pm weekdays and 8am (I think) to 10pm weekends. The prices? 150 GBP in membership fees, 51 GBP a month off peak and an asswhoppingemptymywalletrightawaysoicanbecomebankrupt 79 GBP a month for the full membership. No customized memberships unlike FF or my old gym (which I paid only 17 pounds a month for!!!) And a required 3 month notice for cancellation.

Then the bloody marketing ploy: If you join today, there's no membership fees. Shit. I hate being pressured to make a decision like that in 10 minutes. But anyway, I walked out a few minutes later 51 pounds poorer, after promptly submitting my resignation notice, which gives me until February to see how much I like the gym.

Induction this Saturday. With some chick called Danielle. Let's hope she's not a middle aged lady. I'm also willing to wager that the guy / lady next to me would most probably be wearing Prada sport, or something similar.

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