How to visit a gym in 27 easy steps

It may become clear to you that I’m trialling different forms of exercise. The truth is, I’m working on losing weight and I’m currently road-testing a few different exercise options to find my best fit (and a fit me). Today I visited a gym for the first time in…well, probably three years. Here’s how it went.

1. Procure babysitting for kidlets (thanks Aunty Lizzie!).

2. Gather essential gym equipment (towel, water bottle, earphones, lip balm) and leave house. Resist urge to notify Facebook of your plans.

3. Realise you have four gyms within an easy ten minute walk of your house (including two of the women-only variety); select closest and walk there.

4. Enter premises and ask for a casual pass.

5. Politely decline to see their various membership options to work out which would best suit your lifestyle; request a casual pass.

6. Explain that a membership is not really appropriate at this point of time as you cannot commit to coming regularly and cannot justify the expense of making a regular charitable donation joining.

7. Fill in form requesting complicated medical history.

8. Glance at booklet with membership options you’ve been given “to read later, just in case”. Try not to faint at prices.

9. Pay exorbitant admission fee for casual pass. Realise you could be chased up and down the pool by a Prestigious Private School of Sharks almost five times for the price of this visit.

10. Walk through gym. Feel your senses assaulted by the stench of sweat, glisten of Lycra and glare of fluorescent lighting. Place belongings in locker and begin exercise.

11. Turn on music and place headphones in. Tug t-shirt down self-consciously.

12. Take headphones out as the migraine-inducing music is too loud.

13. Begin on treadmill. Try and avoid looking at insanely fit beautiful people barely breaking a sweat as they run.

14. Get off treadmill as you prefer going places when you walk and get a better workout pushing 30kg of pram and toddler while wearing an 8kg baby.

15. Begin on cross trainer. Get excellent workout (you know this because your fingernails have started sweating). Desperately hope you can stand as you dismount.

16. Walk past free weights section on your way to refilling your water bottle. Avert eyes from the Muscles.

17. Take phone call from husband. In an exercise-induced stupor accidentally tell him the full cost of your gym session. Feel his shock immediately. Promise him it’s worth it. Secretly hope you’re right.

18. Get foam mat and complete your daily push ups and plank challenge. Mentally curse the sadist who created the plank.

19. Begin workout on stair climber. Begin to miss your sharks and how they make you feel wanted.

20. Remember you live up three flights of stairs that you can climb for free any time you want. Get off stair climber.

21. Begin workout on stationary bike.

22. Realise cycling is more fun when you have a destination. Get off boring bike.

23. Return to cross trainer for another (slightly slower) workout.

24. Begin workout on rowing machine. Row 1km.

25. See husband at entrance to gym with coffee.

26. Collect your belonging and abandon expensive Hall of Torture, satisfied with the energy expended.

27. Look forward to seeing your sharks on Monday. Hope they forgive you for cheating on them.