Last month, my treadmill broke. This was traumatic because I’m very
fond of it. Obsessively fond. I’ve never enjoyed outdoor exercise. Nor
have I ever had a personal trainer. Gym phases and yoga classes? Most
certainly, I’ve been there. But for the past few years I’ve had an
exclusive exercise relationship with my treadmill.
There are several reasons for this. Firstly, I like to exercise alone
and in private. No chatting. No need to brush your hair. Secondly, I
save time by not leaving my house. Thirdly, I can dismount my treadmill
at any moment and instantly be in the same place I started. And lastly,
I like exercising in front of the TV so I can pretend I’m not
Nike may have said ‘Just Do It’ but depending on your exercise personality, we all Do It in different ways, don’t we?
My exercise personality could be summed up like this: anti-social and in-denial with a side order of control freak. The polar opposite of me are the people who exercise in groups while being shouted at. Boot camp people.
I’m endlessly fascinated by the exercise personalities of these extremists and quiz them at every opportunity. Why do they do it and are they insane? “I’m unmotivated yet competitive,” explains one male boot camper friend. “I won’t initiate exercise on my own but once I’m there I’ll leave nothing in the tank. If you’re sacrificing sleep to get up at 5am, you may as well go hard.”