If I could claim back all the money I spent on gym memberships, I’d be able to buy another of Michael Pettet’s paintings and another of Jim Urqhart’s, too. In hindsight, my money would have been much better spent. My intentions were always good. I always meant to go regularly, but after one or two tries, I’d lose the will to exercise. Gyms are made for fit, skinny people. And, contrary to what the advertisers might have me believe, I’ve never found this particularly inspirational. I’d prefer the person on the treadmill next to me to have their bits wobbling, too. I’d like to hear my grunts and groans echoed, harmonised even. I find no comfort or motivation in seeing some lean, fit vision in designer gear multi-tasking without even breaking a sweat.
And the mirrors! Seriously! Why are mirrors a good idea? And if there has to be mirrors, why not get the sort you see in a Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum. They’re much more fun. Especially the skinny ones that take pounds off you. I had to be dragged away from one in Myrtle Beach back in the day.
My Hungarian friends are blessed with the type of Central European skin that goes uniformly brown in the sun. They tan flawlessly. Golden brown. No freckles. Their skin texture is completely different from mine. Some might use a salon during the winter months to keep their colour base and it serves them well. I’ve tried that, but I really dislike the smell of sizzling lotioned skin.
This summer though, I’m working on both body and tan. And it’s all free.
My gym is the back field. My weights are a heavy rake and a wheelbarrow. My sunbed is one of those stand-up versions known as the open air. I get my stretching in picking cherries and work on my balance while up a ladder sanding wood. I get my squats in weeding and my aerobic exercise running after the butcher van on Wednesdays.
Only today, I added a new exercise for my waist and hips – salvaging bricks from the pile of debris and flinging them out onto the grass to be stacked later. Apparently, in that pile of rubble, there are monogrammed bricks worth 5000 huf each (~€15/$17)! If I find 60 more, I’ll be able to pay for my new hall door. That’s what I call incentive.
My water station is the presszó across the road. Today, one of the village goslings ran away from home and dropped in. It only took one phone call to have someone come pick her up. It’s one thing recognising a local dog, but knowing their geese is quite impressive. You couldn’t subscribe to that sort of light entertainment.
Am grateful to be living the dream. If you get bored with your gym and want a change, talk to me. Membership is free. Commemorative bricks available.