Gym or park
I have a free pass to all the 23 branches of a leading chain fitness centre. That means I should have no excuse not to maintain my exercise routine. Well, I do have one good reason - I prefer jogging in the park and around the neighborhood of where I live to working out in the gymnasium.
Not that I have never visited the gyms. I did make an effort to familiarize myself with those work-out machines like the treadmill, the sky walker, the exercise bike, the vertical climber, the rowing machine etc. They all come with state-of-the art consoles complete with information on my heart rate, my speed, mileage covered and of course, the calories burnt.
To tell the truth, I have never enjoyed any of my visits to the gymnasiums. I don’t like the pungent smell of sweat, the deafening music, the stamping of feet on treadmills, the dazzling big television screens and in fact, the whole combat vibes of a boot camp. After all, I am not preparing for any major sporting events. I just want some physical activities for my aging body. Exercising to me has to be pleasurable and relaxing but it simply isn’t like that in a gymnasium.
I know, I can talk myself into liking the gym. I can exercise there rain or shine undeterred by weather. I can have whole-body training. I can enjoy various television programmes. Then there are shower and drinking facilities.
But all these can hardly be compared to my jogging in the park. First of all, the air is fresh. When accentuated by the fragrance of the mock lime and the gardenia, it virtually puts me in paradise. If I go in the late afternoon, I can still savour the sun. In the evening, then I can have fun watching the lunar phases with the tune and the lyrics of Teresa Teng’s “The Moon Represents My Heart” vividly playing in my mind.
As I jog, I meet real people so unlike the combatants in the gym – people walking their dogs though sadly not always the masters but the domestic helpers, couples chatting as they keep in pace with each other, families playing basketball in the nearby court, a man flexing his muscles under the tree, a kind-hearted lady attending to the stray cats or some elderly ladies sitting on the benches catching their breath. We might exchange a few words of greetings and just smile as we pass by one another.
So with my favourite tunes playing and my eyes so richly feasted, I am actually enjoying the jogging as I sweat and pant! How can I be persuaded to give up all these to exercising in the gym?