Return to Fancy Gym

Excitement! Sweat! Nostalgia! The lovely Lainey gave me a guest pass for Fancy Gym, the temple of fitness that used to be my second home before I moved across the Forth for love. We went along to Body Pump, hosted by Kiwi Vanessa, a.k.a the best instructor in the universe.

Last time I was in her buff and bossy presence was January 2005, during Operation Wedding Dress. She was as fit and strong as ever; I think I counted 50 kilos on her bar for the squats. She corrected my form during that track – my wonky knee wasn’t tracking properly. I can’t believe she noticed me. Woohoo!

I’ve missed Body Pump so much. The plastic clickity-clack of the weights, the ridiculous sense of anticipation during the Warm-up, the mutual nods of agony with your neighbour when the evil Chest track is over. Without thinking I set up my step at my old spot up the back on the left-hand side, right next to the mirror. During 2003 and 2004, most Mondays and Thursdays, I’d keep one eye glued to my reflection, searching for signs of shrinkage.

But most of all I’d missed the motivational banter, and Vanessa did not disappoint.

"PAIN IS TEMPORARY!" she bellowed as we grunted through the Shoulder track, "BUT FAILURE IS FOREVER!"

31 thoughts on “Return to Fancy Gym

  1. And I am now ashamed that I was a member of what I suspect is exactly the same gym (the one underneath the cinema??) for a couple of years and never went to a single class………

  2. Ohhh I like that saying… pain is temporary, but failure is forever! Way to go Shauna for doing the body pump! You RAWK!!! *wink wink* πŸ™‚

  3. Are you able to get back to that gym on a more permanent basis? I know it’s not easy and they aren’t cheap but — even if just for 6 months, it could be worth it until the warm weather comes back!

  4. I’m off to Pump tonight! Going to up my weights and preparing for the pain tomorrow πŸ™‚
    LOVE pump.

  5. Good old tough Kiwi!! We are a breed to reckon with.

    Since the vadge reconstruction I have done no exercise, not allowed. Hopefully I will be able to soon.

    Good on you for going back to your old spot.

  6. Shauna, you are an amazing writer. Sure, I knew that your blog was great, but your book was amazing!

    Hope that we have a chance to run into each other face-to-face again sometime soon!

  7. Pump good! Motivating instructor good!

    I love working my pecs. I’m hoping it will slow down the rate my boobs are falling.

  8. Motivational instructors are awesome. I used to have an RPM guy like that – we’d get into the horrendous mountain track and he’d be there yelling “Another turn on that dial! Don’t give up!! THIS IS HOW WE CHANGE OUR BODIES!!”. He was cute, too. Pity he left.

    I am back at pump on Wednesday after 3+ months away with injury. Can’t wait. Although the amount I will (won’t!) be able to lift is going to suck.

  9. Hi DG, in line with one of my new year’s resolutions, I’m delurking to say hi, and to let you know you have been inspiring me for well over a year – keep up the good work!

    “Pain is only temporary” made me giggle and reminded me of a particularly challenging field trip in New Caledonia, where for every day for 3 weeks my supervisor would drag me up a jungle covered mountain (I was a geology student). As he stopped and waited for me to catch up, he’d smile back at me and say, “You can do this. Pain is only weakness leaving the body!”

  10. Instructors come out with some great stuff. One classic Pump instructor i had used to sing along to Midnight Oil’s “Beds Are Burning” but she used to sing “Legs are Burning” and I was always simultaneously enthralled and mortified by her unselfconscious remix.

  11. Oooh… you are inspiring me to get my own 2 week free pass to my NYC equivalent of Fancy Gym — even though we can’t begin to afford it on a regular basis. I LOVE the classes. Probably my faves are the spinning and something called Total Body Conditioning, which sounds suspiciously like Body Pump.

  12. Spooky! I am just reading about you and Fancy Gym (one month until you moved in with Dr G across the water)!!! Yep, should have been working….but your book is SO MUCH MORE fun!

    I want to experience Body Pump because I have no idea what it is. I think our gym must offer it…must check that timetable….

    Hope you have another trip down Body Pump Lane sometime soon and that the knee behaves itself.

    Big kiss.

    Mrs Lxxxxx

  13. You always make it sound so.. FUN. I’m much too chicken to go to a gym around here in London… so it’s at home only for me. *hides*

  14. Wow, I absolutely love that phrase!!! Failure is probably my biggest fear in life so I will definitely use this as a motivator.

  15. Oh Shauna, your book arrived at 10.05am today, and apart from trips to kitchen for tea and toast, I have spent the whole day reading it – (sorry dogs,we’ll have a proper walk tomorrow!)and despite knowing the ending, I just couldn’t put it down till I finished! You are the best!

  16. Oh the class must be great – I was just building up to go to body pump myself, and I was caning my/your rowing record on a regualr basis, and I discovered that my new, ahem ‘condition’ did not allow weight baring exercises… I was so dissappointed. Just when I was starting to get fit and gymmy – I get up the duff!

    Oh well – I will have my very own weight set soon!

    Keep motivating me please though!

  17. Just to let you know that your book is even available in South Africa. I am eagerly awaiting my copy which should get to me in a week or so.


    Bwahahahah! Sounds like Jillian Michaels from “The Biggest Loser” here in the U.S. Terrifying yet sexily sadistic.

  19. Hehehe, I always say that even if it hurts, the muscle still works… ;-D And try to think to myself as well.

    I just returned from a vacation, three weeks in Thailand for the celebration of my graduation and believe me, returning to the training routine is hard… Can’t remember the last time I’ve had this long break. Even tho we DID climb and paddle and swim and walk and even jog time to time. But I guess it’s the two stomach diseases I got that really stole my strength. Oh well, I’ve got the rest of my life to workout so I’m not worrying. πŸ™‚ It’s coming back to me!

    And I just had to pop by to tell that I’m still alive, just have been so obsessed with my cooking blog and everyone else’s as well that I’ve totally neglected all the other blogs, sorry. I haven’t even had the time to order your book, but now I’m onto it! Finally.

    Anyway, take care Shauna, I’ll come and comment your book once I’ve read it. Xxoo and greetings from dark and rainy Helsinki!

  20. Okay, after reading this post I am now going to my gyms website to see if 24 Hour Fitness offers a similar class. This bod could use some pumpin’… Haha, that wasn’t meant to sound pornographic!

  21. Read the book yesterday – yes, bought it at lunchtime and finished it by 11.30pm (did some work and stuff in between but I am a v fast reader!).

    Loved it – you’ve definitely made me rethink my quick fix attitude to weight loss. I’ve lost a huge chunk on a VCLD but now want to fine tune and rather than jump back on to the VCLD am trying to listen to my body more and eat healthily and exercise – your inspiration is a great help.

    Cheers chuck.


  22. Hey Shuana, just wanted to say my Dietgirl book arrived this morning and I got stuck in over lunch – I’m really enjoying it. And may I say, you’re looking seriously foxy on the back cover!

    Beth x

  23. Damn you Mrs Reid, you made me cry ON A PLANE. Was finishing your book on the way back up from London. A plane FULL of business people in business suits. Sad tears, happy tears (and laughs). I nearly stood up and shouted at them to put away their management speak pretensions and read a proper inspirational motivation book and i’m honoured to call her a friend but i didn’t i had a cake instead (just a little one)

  24. Hey Shauna,
    Just finished your book which I loved. Had to send a copy to my sister in Melbs as she couldnt wait unitl feb when it comes out there! Nice work!
    Can’t wait til I look as good as you!

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