Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rugby players

2 posts! You're honoured...

I remember when I first joined the gym I had that nightmare that I'd walk into the gym, everyone would be super fit and they'd just laugh at my pathetic attempts. It didn't happen, but all I can say is that it's a good job my first morning in the gym wasn't this morning.
My gym is a hotel gym, and it's a hotel that tends to be used by a variety of sports teams. I've bumped into a few familiar faces in reception (and had moments of panic when I realise that an international rugby team is sitting by the windows that separate the pool from the restaurant as I emerge in my bikini). However, I've never walked into the gym to find six or seven professional rugby league players working out in there. Usually they do their training at facilities outside the hotel and just wander round the other bits of the place while I'm in the gym.
This morning it was Melbourne Storm, over in Leeds for the World Club Challenge next week (the same day as the wedding, as it happens). I think it was more of a post flight loosener than a proper training session, but boy did those guys look big and muscle-bound. I'm pleased to say that instead of running to hide in a corner, I wandered round happily in lycra and did my stuff. It's my gym after all, and they're not going to intimidate me out of it. Besides, I was wearing my Amsterdam t-shirt, and how many of them could run a marathon? Judging by their efforts on the treadmills, I'd at least hold my own in the distance running department (although they would clearly slaughter me on upper body strength). I'm an athlete too, you know...
And I am. That was one of the things that really struck me during the Great North Run. These guys might have their talents for one sport, but they're not superhuman. Their eyes were just as disbelieving when I said I run sub 4 marathons, as mine are when I'm watching the punishment they put themselves through on the pitch, or the weights they lift in the gym. OK, I'm never going to reach the top of my sport, but neither am I right at the bottom of it. I am more than good enough for the casual runner to say to me "you're fast, then" when I tell them my times.
It was quite amusing really, at one point one of them kicked over a water bottle (instead of using a sports bottle like the rest he'd clearly just grabbed a bottle of water from the mini bar which had no lid on it) onto my mat while I was doing sit ups on a ball. There I am, sitting on my ball while a professional rugby player on his hands and knees wipes the area round my feet with a towel. That doesn't happen every day, you know! (Neither does the sight I got when I went back in there this evening to dump some stuff in a locker, which was various rugby players in nothing more than pants - they've got a room behind reception they use, and for some reason they leave the door open while they get up to all sorts of things I don't want to imagine...)

Anyway, I'd better stop rambling. I've been out for a curry with running club and am a little more pissed than I should be.


Blogger kathrynoh said...

I tend to be more intimidated if there are really fit women at the gym than guys. Maybe because I'm not comparing myself so much. Still scary when they're professional athletes but also a good op to get a behind the scenes look.

9:39 PM  

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