Like many compounds in Dubai, ours has a gym that I visit erratically. It overlooks the pool, so while you’re working out, you can watch swimmers and sunbathers, which makes it marginally more interesting, I suppose.
For a while, it was a running joke that it was harder to gain access to the gym than it was to drive into our compound. If you’re behind the wheel of a 4×4, merely looking like an expat is usually enough to get you waved through security into our compound, whereas the gym became all draconian, requiring paperwork, access keys and a signing-in-and-out system.
All rather off-putting, especially if you’re not particularly gym-inclined in the first place.
Today, I got past the security guard perched outside the gym with no problem, and stepped on the treadmill to start my back-to-the-gym campaign.
Admittedly, it was a soft, leisurely start and so as the conveyor belt revolved at a fast walking-pace beneath my feet and my lungs contracted, I had time to read the gym rules.
I just love the rules that are posted in public places in Dubai. They’re always amusing…here are a few of my favourites from the gym:
● Wear proper gym attire (athletic tennis or cross training shoes only, T-shirt, shorts, or sweat pants. NO: Jeans, sandals, open-toe shoes or boots) … [Boots! As if! Half expected heels to be listed too]
● Do not put hands on mirrors … [you cheeky monkey]
● Only water bottles to be used in the gym & on equipment. Cups are prohibited … [so leave them at home, naughty!]
● Do not use weights on cardiovascular equipment … [do people actually do this?]
● No bags (gym bags, purses or back packs) allowed on the gym floor … [don’t say you weren’t warned!]
Though, perhaps the funniest thing was the sweet cleaning lady in the restroom afterwards who started wafting a big wad of tissues by my bright-red face, fanning me as though I was about to expire.
In my defence, the AC was broken – yes, really! And humidity levels are in the ‘high stress’ zone this month.