I decided to exercise my prerogative as boss yesterday, and I nipped to the gym at lunchtime for a run. I had even idly thought that, since it was a nice day, I might try running outdoors from the new Cooncil gym, given it is located right beside Holyrood Park. However, as I drew up, the path to park from gym was blocked by a huge great wood-chipper-machine-thing which was eating the nearby trees so I copped out and opted for the tready, despite the fact that there are other paths into the park. For I am nothing if not easily diverted from my task.
I had downloaded a free audiobook for the iPod to see if a story would distract me more than music (a Dorothy L Sayers book, if you are interested) and ease the monotony of a treadmill run. It worked to some extent. I managed to run at varying speeds and with just a couple of short breaks of brisk walking, for 40 minutes, and I didn't even leave any teeth marks of frustrated impatience on the treadmill's handrails. The story was quite fun, although the lady reading it was american and it was a bit weird hearing Lord Peter Wimsey speaking in a north american accent. And she couldn't pronounce Balliol. But these are minor gripes given that the download was free. I will get more of these, I think. Chaucer read by a New Yorker, perhaps? Jeeves and Wooster performed in a Louisiana drawl? The possibilities are endless! (I wonder if there would be similar entertainment to be had for Americans from reading American literature in UK accents? Philip Marlowe done in a thick Birmingham accent would be fantastic!)
The explanation for this post's title came after I had finished torturing my legs in the gym. I stretched briefly, got my kit out of the locker and was heading for the changing rooms for a shower when I was intercepted by the lady from the front desk. "I would wait a few moments if I were you" she said. "The school has just gone in" As I have mentioned previously, being a local authority gym (and therefore cheap!) it is used by local schools for PE lessons. So the changing room, which is communal, was full of 14 year old girls.
OK ladies, hands up which of you are confident enough in yourselves that when you are red-faced and sweaty after a run, you would willingly march into a room full of 20 or so 14 year old girls, strip off and get showered? Did I mention the showers are communal too? No curtains? So that's.........as I thought. I went to the loo, handed my locker key in and then lurked in the hall, stretching and chatting to the lady at the desk until the schoolgirls had all bounced and giggled into the sports hall for their lesson. Then me and my red face and my jiggly bits and stretch marks slunk quietly into the shower. Alone.