Throughout the wave of the Olympics, I was constantly reminded that I am no sporting great. Hand me a bat and a ball and I’ll hit someone by accident. Tell me to run and I’ll start walking even slower than I would usually. At school, I never volunteered for anything on Sports Day other than being the person who makes sure other people go to their events. However, in recent months I have become a self-professed gym junkie.
Admittedly, there are always a few moments before I walk into the sweat soaked air in the gym when I seriously consider skipping out next door and grabbing a coffee instead. But there is some sort of gentle pull – or intense guilt – that draws me through to the change rooms. And as with Pringles, once I pop, I can’t stop.
My personal workout is not so hardcore. A few sit-ups, some leg presses and some fun with a medicine ball before it’s downstairs for intervals on the cross trainer. The problem is that I’m not very good, yet I’m totally hooked. It’s like wanting a ciggie but not being able to inhale without coughing (so year nine). Watching everyone else there – the people who I see every time I go, the people who stare me, and the people who I (probably blatantly obviously) check out – I am surrounded by junkies alike.
This addiction was only really made apparent to me when I recently fell ill and was advised against going for my workout. I freaked out and spent the day feeling sluggish and wobbly. My close friend is a personal trainer and a health freak. Everything she eats is either protein-fueled or sounds like it comes from a far away planet (seriously, what the hell is Coenzyme Q10?), and she told me that I have become “addicted or mentally dependent” on my workout. I guess if there’s one thing I can be addicted to, exercise is ok. I recently saw a gift card that said: “I’m not an alcoholic, they go to meetings. I’m a drunk, and they go to parties.” Perhaps then, my addiction can instead be seen as an aspiration – Rio de Janeiro 2016, anyone? I’ll be there with the weight lifters, no doubt. Now pass me my glutamine protein shake.