As well as being more parsimonious with my money, this whole process is also about being an all-around better person. Taking care of my mind and body are a significant aspect of that, so I have decided that I must get fit.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not unfit, per se. At 5ft 7 (1.70m) and 10.7 stone (68kg) I am slightly below the British average. But recent research has revealed that women in the UK are the fattest in Europe, so being slightly below the average is not as impressive as it sounds. I should be loads below the average.
Of course this is not only about weight. What we weigh is simply a reflection of our eating and exercise habits, so my belly, as well as unsightly, is also s signifier that I am not as healthy as I should be. At 25, I am at my peak, but my physique is yet to catch up.
So when I decided to get fit I cast my mind back to previous attempt at battling the bulge. I am not so good with the gym, as I have very little discipline. The other problem is that classes are always sooooo full, and I can certainly not afford a personal trainer, so I end up going on the treadmill for 20 minutes then leave feeling deceptively satisfied.
But a gym membership in London can cost around £80 per month. And if I am only going to use it for a brief jog on the treadmill, well, even I can see a waste of money when I see one. So I have set myself a goal: get fit, get into an exercise routine, then join the gym when I feel more physically and emotionally prepared to take on the many challenges confined in those sweaty little rooms.
So I found myself a deal on Groupon. And, boy, was it a good deal. The ad read ’10 bootcamp sessions for £29′. What a bargain.
I do recommend doing a bit of recon before you purchase deal such as these. I looked up the people offering the deal, the Walker Brothers, and they had good reviews. I had never done a bootcamp and had no idea what it entailed, so I did some research on that as well.
But nothing could have prepared me for what was about to happen in the little gym in Shoreditch. At 7am in the morning, the trainer Steven- who takes the classes on Wednesday, started us off with a light jog around the block, you know, to warm up. So far, so easy. Then we proceed to a round of boxing and concluded with 30 minutes of ‘core muscle‘ exercises. Thos are ab crunches. MANY, MANY ab crunches.
I was somewhat surprised when I managed to do all the exercises. I felt proud. But the next morning I was so sore I could barely cycle to work. My back and abdomen hurt for a full week.
Some people like to say dumb things like ‘No Pain, No Gain’ and that might be true, but I also believe in treating my body with respect. I enjoyed the classes, and have been going to them once a week, but I always stretch for longer than the teachers recommend. This is definitely NOT a class for total beginners.
But as the true Penny Pincher that I am, I will not wast the capital that invested and will persevere with the classes. I think of it this way, for every class I miss, I have wasted the equivalent money of a delicious fresh flat white with vanilla, from my local coffee shop, which I don’t usually buy because they are so expensive.
There are plenty of deals like the Walker Brothers Bootcamp one on Groupon or Living Social, or wherever. They can seem like good value for money, and they often are. But you must do your research. Before you do what I did and buy the first deal you come across, decide what types of exercise are good for you and what types you enjoy doing, and find a deal for that. The internet is a great tool, but it can also be somewhat deceptive. Cowboy trainers hide behind a nice looking websites; so be careful. Put your health first.
I guess the lesson I can take from the Walker Brothers is ‘No pain, no savings‘!