Gym-buddies and other new hobbies

I’ve returned from the Australian Open, which is a tournament where extremely drunk people watch extremely fit people play tennis.

Screenshot 2015-01-24 00.13.37

“It is time,” I told myself at the wrap party, where 3 of my colleagues were so drunk they missed their flights home the next morning. “That I moved myself to the other section.” With that in mind (and jet-lag that saw me awake from 2am this morning), I headed to the gym. I hadn’t meant to go to the gym. I had meant to go for a life-affirming, head-clearing, boast-worthy run, but it’s approximately 35 degrees colder in London than it was in Melbourne, and I had failed to convert my usual drinking habits into running alongside a helpful St Bernard, so I ran to the gym. (Total imagined time of future run, whilst warm in bed: 1hr. Total actual running time, whilst scouring the pavement for rogue brandy-bearing St Bernard dogs: 5mins).

I was pleased I went to the gym, as it turned out, because I now have 2 new hobbies. The first is going to the gym, and the second (and far more durable), is eavesdropping on other women at the gym. It was my first day there (no-one asked me for my membership, which makes me fear that some of us have been spending huge monthly sums for years purposelessly) so I limited myself to merely listening, and occasionally nodding or shaking my head subtly in response.

Here are some choice extracts. (I’ve put my inside-my-head but extremely visible on my face responses in italics):

  1. “Yeah, she’s called Sarah. They were together for 5 years, but it didn’t work out, because she was way too into her job.”

Oh my god run away from this dreadful man, gym stranger.


  1. “No, I mean, he’s 49. So it’s just on the cusp of what my parents would find acceptable.”

You’re at the most 25 years old. Your parents would find someone who was 29 at the cusp of acceptability. This is going to go so unbelievably badly; let’s be friends so I can invite myself along when you introduce him as “slightly older”.


  1. “I wasn’t that into it, but then I saw his car.”

I wish you a long and fulfilling life together.

  1. “I think it’s the perfect Valentines Day activity, don’t you?”

“What?” (this is not in italics, because I said it out-loud, by mistake).

“Seeing 50 Shades of Grey.”

“…oh, bloody hell, ouch.” (I was so busy staring at her in horror that I forgot to run, and fell off the treadmill)

1 Comment

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One response to “Gym-buddies and other new hobbies

  1. An Activist Abroad

    You are brilliant, and I absolutely love your style. I giggled to myself throughout this post, so thanks for making me look silly in public.

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