in reference to the gym. Maybe it's the cartoon-ish (and therefore somewhat Belgian) illustration (recycled, above), or the fact that my friends know how much I hate working out (and love eating), or just the fact that it is a familiar rip-off Adam Gopnik's much more amusing tales of swimming in the Paris Ritz-Carlton pool. Numerous concerned parties have inquired whether I've managed to find a gym and/or provided many helpful suggestions.
So I thought it would only be fair to provide an update. In the end, J and I decided to join the hard-selling Passage Fitness First, mainly because it is the closest gym to our new apartment. Last week, I even took a class there, the purpose of which I could not decipher from its enigmatic name, High/Low. And even though all the classes have English names, they are certainly not taught in English - something that I knew on one level but still managed not to be fully prepared for. Something else I wasn't prepared for: Belgian gym culture.
Whereas in the U.S., and particularly New York, everyone goes to the gym (probably because we're so self-obsessed and narcissistic), it becomes quite clear upon entering a gym here that it is only a subset of Belges who work out. Which might account for the teenager who taunted J through the window of the gym while he was doing some post-workout stretching/crunches the other day.
So far, the best part has been the aforementioned cours collectifs. Once you enter the studio where the classes are taught, you have irreversibly re-entered the 1980s. This particular class was taught by the likes of instructor I have never encountered in the U.S. - balding but proudly long-haired, skinny but macho, certainly not fit by any stretch of the imagination, last seen in a bad Gérard Dépardieu movie, in which he would have portrayed the much older man preying on G.D.'s teenage daughter. (He did kick my a** though, and I am still having trouble walking a few days later.)
1 year ago