Certainty in an Uncertain World

It had been two years since I’d done a Body Pump class at The Barn. I went along with my pal Claire. Turns out we used to be regulars at the very same class long before we knew each other, setting up our barbells just metres apart.

Nothing has changed in our absence. It’s still a sweltering hellbox, the microphones still don’t work and most delightful of all, it’s still the same patrons. Standing in the exact same places doing the exact same things.

"Hey! There’s those two obnoxious chicks who insist on having really loud conversations throughout the whole class!"

"And there’s still that chick that never stays for the cool down."

"And there’s that chick with the perfect hair and perfect makeup and the REALLY HUGE WEIGHTS. I thought she’d be lifting cars by now."

"I can’t believe all those years we were two metres apart and bitching about the very same people. We coulda been bitching together!"

In these crazy credit crunchy enviro mental times it’s very comforting to discover there is a place where time stands still. The instructor will always sing, the lunges will always hurt, the songs will always be cringeworthy, and that bloke will always be snorting and grunting through the bicep track because he overloaded his bar to prove to the ladies what a hero he is.

I stayed for Body Combat afterwards, and reassuringly there was still the dude up the front with the helicopter arms and sparring gloves who’s taking it all very seriously. Ahhh.

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30 thoughts on “Certainty in an Uncertain World

  1. Ok, now THIS post makes me want to go back to the gym after an, er, several month absence. I haven’t done any classes for a couple of years, but I really miss them. I just need to go over the fact I’m not as fit as I used to be, ignore the annoying people, and feel the burn!

  2. I so need to return to the gym too. I normally went at strange times so that I would miss all the people that used it as a social event and always seemed to stare at you cause your the fat bloke on the bike. 5am… good time to start

  3. sometimes I am the girl who has the loud conversations…..

    But i love my body pump class. It’s in Edinburgh and amazing.

  4. I always giggle at the guy wearing gloves at the front of the Body Combat class too. Nice to know there is one there the world over.

    Do you think anyone has told him that you don’t need gloves if you’re not actually hitting anything?

  5. I’ve given up gym classes (except yoga) for now thanks to being pregnant with twins (beat that excuse!). Do some Body Pumping for me! 🙂

  6. After working in a health club myself, I can say with that yes, indeed, gyms are a vortex of time. AND at every club you pretty much have those “characters” you mentioned along with the dude with black socks and shoes and the woman who is still sporting mall bangs and neon spandex. Ahhhh….memories.

  7. 🙂

    Twins!!! How cool! I don’t think you’d mentioned that in your comments before, Laura? Congratulations!

    Peridot – I know, talk about overambitious. I am still sore today!

  8. Thanks! 🙂 The wierdest thing is that after successfully losing weight over a few years, I’m now having to happily put it back on…Although going swimming is great coz for the first time I can parade my bikini belly with pride!

  9. The music is so bad it’s gooooood… we had remixes of Livin On A Prayer AND Time After Time. Eighties-o-rama! 🙂

  10. I tried classes but found them a bit too restrictive for me. I prefer the freedom of the treadmill or the elliptical where you can go for as little or long as you want and do whatever you want and have breaks whenever you want. To be honest, the classes kicked my butt.

  11. For the record, Body Pump is exactly the same in the states (or at least in my gym in Southern New Hampshire).

    And it’s fantastic 🙂

  12. hi friend ur blog seems to be good .. i ve started my blog just now so my friend i want u to visit my website frequently nd post some comments which ll be helpful to me pal and if u wish add as a friend of urs nd of sure I ll be visiting ur website daily ….. my website name s http://frendzz.com

  13. Hey Shauna, Just a short note to say I just finished reading your book, it only took three days 🙂 and that was only on the train to and from work.

    Congratulations on your achievement you should feel proud of yourself. Thank you for all the useful tips, and Congratulations on completing the fun run, I did my first one in May this year 🙂

  14. I have laughed out loud at your book, love all the references to Pump, Combat etc. My fave is Combat, just lovin the “world in Union” cooldown. And yes I also do balance and occasionally look like a dying cockroach too!! haha

  15. One thing that doesn’t stay the same, at least for me: it HURTS to start over again. Hope you’re not sore like I am!

  16. This blog entry realy hit a funny spot with me shauna!!! it just proves that WHEREVER you are, body pumpers are all the same breed!! I too am a bitcher!! mainly through being jealous of those with the perfect hair and make up, whilst i have rolled out of bed and scraped my hair out of my eyes JUST prior to the class starting!!! Seriously though, body pump has really helped me change shape. I have lost a lot of weight (113lbs so far) and would be a hell of a lot saggier if i hadn’t done pump!!!!

    Thanks for making me smile at half eight on a saturday morning!!

    Off to Body Step class now!!

    Jaclyn xxx

  17. Diet Girl…Help! have hit the wall! 4.5 stones off…5.5 still to go and I have lost my mojo! Ate a haggis supper last night followed by a lump of cheese! Whats a gal to do…and the festival starts tomorrow and I’m a driver in Edinburgh….do love your blogs and am re-reading your fabby book to inspire me (again) but I feel bereft of mojo xx

  18. Hmmm, if I didn’t know you were in Scotland I’d think you’d been hanging out in my gym. Do you think bodypump classes are just an infinite series of parallel universes?

    Most perplexing to me is the regular at my Bodycombat class who skips actually exercising for half of the class because it takes her so long to wrap her hands in bandages to look suitably tough (and then has to rewrap them again half way when they come loose)

  19. Shauna, good on you for the return to class! I can just see that guy with the gloves in my imagination 🙂

    Jen, I know what you mean about it hurting to start over again…I skipped a couple weeks of the 100 pushups challenge due to being sick, then slack, and so this week I tried starting up again…of course I’ve lost the strength to start at the same level I was at, so I had to drop back a couple levels and lose all that progress I had previously made :p sigh…

  20. Alison – I always find that mojo comes and goes – if it’s gone for awhile don’t panic! I find trying something different helps, just to shake up your world a bit. New exercise, a new breakfast, anything really. Also revisiting your goals and reminding yourself why you’re doing all that bloody work.

    You’re a human, not a robot, so it’s okay if you don’t feel on fire with motivation all the time 🙂 Good luck comrade!

    Sophie – that is HILarious! I have those bandage wrap thingies for my kickboxing class and I can’t cannot work em at all! Always make them too puffed up so i can’t get my gloves on over the top, so i just dinnae bother 🙂

    Lisa and Kate – thank you a bazillion for stopping by and for reading the ol book too!

    Cheers for the comments groovy groovers… hope your weekend is going well and productive and not full of doing stupid things like eating the pointy end of a block of parmesan jsut for fun. arrgh.

  21. Ha

    I do Body Combat and Body Pump classes over in Glasgow (usually Combat followed by pump) and it’s the same here. There are certain cliques that always attend certain classes, stand in the same places etc. As a teacher I manage to deviate from my night time classes and go to the morning ones during the summer holidays. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years and have noticed that it’s exactly the same in the morning classes.

    Not that I stand around and bitch about the cliques…honest.

  22. Oh man, I’m such a cheeseball. I love the music in BodyPump.

    What is the Body Combat class like? I keep wishing our rec center would bring that in!!

  23. Me either Kirsty… not a bitchy bone in mah body 😉

    Courtney – Body Combat is HEAPS of fun. One of the best cardio workouts you can get in the gym, but also great for toning the arms. And even though you’re only punching and kicking the air, it’s a great means of letting out all your stress!