16 December 2009

Pumping Ze Iron

So, I may have mentioned before that the workout facilities leave something--ok, everything--to be desired. Words cannot do the gym justice. And the place is so pitiful that I would be ashamed to be seen taking a picture of the place. If you are really interested, apparently there is this documentary called "Oxford Blue" (not to be confused with the movie Oxford Blue) which is about the Blues boxing team. I really want to see this movie, because I can't imagine what a movie about sports at Oxford could possibly entail.

But to try to paint a small picture of what Iffley Road Facilities (which serve over 20,000 students by the way) are like, I will leave you with a few verbal snapshots. When you walk into the gym area, you are standing on what could be one-fourth of a mezzanine. It doesn't really function as an efficient mezzanine (like the ones with a track that you can actually exercise on). It is just a walkway clutered with exercise equipment. On the right, you can take stairs down to the court, and on the left, there are doorways to the "Power Lifting Room" (aka the prison weight room cut in half) and the "Pulse" room (don't ask me to explain that one--there are cardio machines, weight-lifting machines and lighter dumbells than you can find in the "power" room--which costs an extra 50 GBP so you know I didn't pay it. That's right, the "pulse" room is the girls weight room.) But, if you want to use a glute-ham machine (I am sure they don't call it that here), or do abs, or just do whatever random exercise you can think of, you can go onto the narrow mezzanine area and workout there (oh, goody). Or, you can even practice your rock climbing on an 8 foot wall. Think about all of the choices you have!

Well, just to capture things for you, as you are walking along the mezzanine to get to the "Pulse" room, there is a sing that says something along the lines of "Please close this curtain during archery practice." That's right. Every single sport (even ballroom dance and trampolining) get time on the basketball court. Do the majority of these activites need "court" space. Simply put--no. But they all get it--even the people with arrows.

Needless to say, when I work out here, it's like a box of chocolates--you never know what you're gonna get. So, yesterday I went to Iffly to work up a quick sweat, and I decided to jump on a treadmill. My treadmill of choice was the newest looking one (I am picky like that), but as soon as it started it didn't sound good. I cranked the speed of to my usual location somewhere between 7.0-8.0 and realized that this thing MUST be broken. Despite the laboring sound-effects, the conveyor belt was barely moving. Par for the course. So, I jumped over to the next treadmill. Strangely, I had a similar experience. Wow, I thought, maybe I am just in such good shape (It's a MIRACLE!) that this just feels like slow motion.

Or, maybe it's because these treadmills are in kilometers per hour instead of miles per hour.

That's what I'm talking about. Brains AND brawn.

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