The Challengers of the Unknown

To some of you, this title might ring a bell about a group of comic “super-heroes”. I personally never heard of the Challengers until I googled the name just now to try and find the song “Challengers” by the New Pornographers, which is an absolutely wonderful song and it’s really been affecting me of late. Give it a listen!

I’ve been in a rather curious mood and disposition of late. It makes me think a lot, which is good because the more I think the less I talk, and I can talk a whole lot at times (No like seriously, it’s really annoying, sometimes even I want to punch me). Right now I’m thinking about adventures, new beginnings, growth… so this post, if you haven’t guessed it, is just about that.

“The Quest”

If you think about it, a “quest” is probably one of the widest terms there is. It could be going down the street to get coffee, or making sure you sneak into the house at 3am without waking anyone, or driving on your way to propose to who you hope will someday be your wife. The point with the quest though is there’s always three parts to it; the initiative, the search and the answer. “I want coffee. If I walk down the street, I hope to find some. Got some”. The quest requires drive and determination not to simmer out and become a failure. The quest doesn’t always involve physical exertion like a journey, it can also be a mental and intellectual quest, like that of the Philosophers Stone (not the Harry Potter book… but that stone thingy that was in the book). A good quest always has a bit of drama or a hiccup along the way of some sort; you got some gravel in your shoe on your way to the coffee-shop, the neighbours dog started barking when you entered the house, you’re so distracted by the fact that you are going to ask a life-changing question to this woman that you run a red light etc. But a quest that goes smoothly without a single bump in the road is simply… not a proper quest. I mean just check the story-books! Things always went wrong before they were set right again! Is it possibly this way in life too?

Growth.

Ooooh! First off on the note of grow, it reminds me of my friend Sarah‘s blog, which is really super-awesome. She’s the one who inspired me to actually start writing, because her blog is just that awesome. Check it out here. (That is a link to an awesome little artsy project she started, you can follow the results in her later posts). And I don’t know if it’s just me personally being weird but whenever I hear the word “grow” I get a picture of this generic-looking tree seedling sprouting from the dark earth, like this;

Whoa, except for like, a smaller picture. Anyways. I like the concept of growth. Once upon a time when I was a princess of a small country my Latin saying was “Vivo, Cresco, Floreo” which means, “I live, I grow, I burst into flower”. Sort-of-ish. And you know, without growth you will never get anywhere. One of the laws of thermodynamics is that every system, from the moment it is invented, starts its fall into decay. But what is necessary for a world like this to function if everything goes sour from the moment it’s even thought of? Growth. People developing themselves, developing technology, developing theories… every time a system dies, just grow a new one. Because as we have all seen, when you have an old and dying system and just keep patching it up instead of replacing it, things go horribly wrong eventually. And finally to quote Barney Stinson… “New is always better”.

The start of something…

New is always better. No. That is not true. But new is always different, exciting, upsetting, makes you think and see differently. Several years ago I came up with a little motto that I have held close to my heart since; “When you run away from your problems you only get new ones. But at least they’re new”. And that is the thing. Even if a situation is bad, at least it is a change in your life, and change helps you learn and develop and whatever horrible thing might have happened to you will help you in the future. New is generally always scary, because we’re unsure of how to act or what to think, and as humans we like being sure and safe. But new stands for youth, vibrant, shiny, glowing, alive. I like new! It can above all things be horribly sad, because for new to exist old has to go away. And letting go of something you’ve known and taken for granted in your existence for a long time can be extremely painful and almost traumatic for a person. But for me, even that pain is worth it, and it can be quite a magnificent thing. Isn’t that why a sunset is somewhat melancholic and nostalgic,  whereas the sunrise is and will always be a magical thing full of hope and strangeness? The end of something has to happen for the start of something new to be.

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Ranting I

I’m going to make a little break in my regular columnist posts to do a bit of personal ranting about my life.

The past month or so I’ve been freaking out a lot about moving back to Sweden. Not because I don’t want to, just because I’m uprooting myself once more, stowing away my life in Canada over the past 2 and a half years and acting like that is ok and I’ll be fine starting over from square one. But square one is a scary, uncertain place to be. Even though I have a beautiful home lined up and a small handful of people I love dearly and have known for a long time, I still don’t know if I got accepted into the courses I need to complement with to get into university next spring, I still don’t know how hard it will be to find a part-time job, or manage my time and money, and find new and exciting people to develop friendships with.

For the longest time I’ve had the feeling that I am of no country. Though I am “fluent” in both English and Swedish, I’m not fully sufficient in either. I’m used to the Canadian cuisine now but it took a little while, there’s still a lot of Swedish food I miss but I bet I’ll get a hankering for poutine soon as I set foot in Stockholm. I forgot what day was Sweden’s National Day and then asked “what’s happening on July 1st?” I was met by laughter. I get reminded daily that I’m not a Canadian but I’ve tried so hard to chameleonize my way into the life here. Yet when I get back to Sweden I will be met by the same curiosity. “Oooh where’s your name from? What, you’ve lived in Canada for 3 years? What was it like?” My strange first name has already previously made people assume I’m not from Sweden, though I’m born and raised there by Swedish parents. I guess my brunette hair and dark eyes don’t really help the traditional Swedish look.

It’s just… I’d like to fit in sometime. But I guess with my original upbringing and weird little life story that is something that can’t be achieved by now. And the grass is always greener on the other side right? I bet if I did fit in I’d want to be different and exciting. Ah well.

Besides this whole Sweden vs. Canada theme in my life, my computer finally responded to my horrible treatment of him and went into a coma for 3 days. My boyfriend and a friend of ours had to come to the rescue and they finally reinstalled the whole system. So a clean start from square one even with my computer. It’s a funny coincidence. I also started performing at a tiny local bars open mic on Wednesdays and it was fun last night, though I ended up blanking on part of the events, a little too much drink in me perhaps. And I’ve been rereading a book that I read a long time ago and I still love it just as much, the first in a series of 7 called the “Foundation” by Isaac Asimov. Very good author, very good book-series. And finally, a constant theme the past week or two is I’m always tired. Always. I don’t know why, some nights I get sufficient sleep, some I’m bad to myself and only get between 4 and 6 hours. But when I do get enough sleep I wake up still extremely tired and just want to go back to sleep. I hope this will change soon.

Now I’m going to do something that does not require brainpower. I hope this counts as a blog post because it’s kind of just ranting and not very specific. But at least it’s a small update as to what is happening in my life and not just “what I think about this random thing”.

Story-time I

As a followup to my latest blog-post, here is the short-story I wrote years ago related to the “side-walk” theme. Also, this gave me the idea to post other short-stories at random intervals, ones I have written and ones that I might write in the future! Henceforth they shall be referred to as “story-time”.

So here goes, from a rather old archive of mine – from a time when my first name was different and I wasn’t quite as good with English as I am now. So please excuse bad grammar or curious expressions that will turn up in parts of this story. Seriously, it’s not very good, looking back at it, but I was like 16 when I wrote it so I hope that’s a good enough excuse – a story that I really enjoyed writing and have thought of fondly ever since;

Kate

She emptied her orange-juice in one draught, put on her coat and hooked the bag over one shoulder. The train slowed down and jerked its brakes leisurely just as she got up, making her sway and looking around uncomfortably at her fellow passengers. Well, not fellow, she didn’t know them, and most of them were female. Blinking and screwing her eyes up, she moved forward and grabbed the cold handle just before the doors. They opened, and the hateful tune of “dzoo-poo” hit her ears. She’d always loathed that tone, never more than when she was exhausted and cold – the way you get when you sit in a train for 5 hours. She threw an uninterested look at the bar, noting how sloppy the salads looked, and stopped to rummage around in her bag for her energy bar. She didn’t find it.

The strangest sensation ever hit her; it was like a wave of lukewarm air, pressing from behind, streaming all over her. It hit her so suddenly she had to steady herself on the shining new Coke-machine standing beside her. It kept on streaming over her, that soothing and yet exiting wave. Slowly, she turned around. There wasn’t anything there, though just for a split second, a strange light seeped through the ceiling of the terminals roof, then disappeared. For a moment, she was frozen in time, then she started walking again, slightly hesitant, pushing of from the gleaming bottles air-brushed on the cold automate.

Thomas

He stepped through the swing door and embraced the night outside with depression. He drew a breath, feeling the air trickling down his throat in ice-cold silver drops, and almost throwing up at the mixed scents of the night; the boring woman to the right drenched in perfume, the little kid with the hot-dog and the always reeking stench of the gleaming cars crawling by. Stopping a cab, he gave the driver an address and slammed the door. The driver looked at him kind of weirdly,  but he just ignored him and leaned back on the dirty, cigarette oozing seat, listening absent-mindedly to the crap that went on the radio. He’d just missed the most beautiful girl ever. He’d stepped of the train, seen her for the flash of a second and then lost her instantly in the crowd. He’d actually ran over the whole station, (like the jerk he was), but of course, he hadn’t found her. The cab jerked to a stop, he got out and paid. He crossed the street. Ten minutes later, he died from a skull fracture in the back of an ambulance.

Jane

 

“It’s okay honey, take a break now, I’ll handle everything”, her husband said, giving her a fond kiss and stalking of down the corridors. They both worked as doctors on the Rutherford Clinic, and she’d just seen a sad case of road-kill. It was always so violent, she never got used to it. And she’d seen beneath the blood that covered his face that the man must’ve been very good-looking. She wondered why the good-looking always had to suffer. It was as if God thought he could do what he wanted with them, just cause he’d given them the favour of a pretty face. Now she was overreacting. She’d always been weak for the dark guys. The fact that she could find a dead body attractive at all just showed how exhausted she was. The sheep-faced nurse looked into the room where she sat.

“You’ve got a private call, your son Dr.” the nurse told her dispassionately and left. The nurse had an affair with her husband since three months back, but it didn’t really matter to her. He was more loving than ever, guilt mixed with romantic dinners and long walks in his world. She pushed herself of the bench and picked up the phone.

Spencer

 

 

“Mom, I’ve just…” the connection broke. “Shit”, he mumbled and shoved back the mobile into his pocket. It didn’t matter, he could talk to her later. He had so much time on his hands now. Life was still messy, but he’d straighten it out. All in time. He pulled his fingers through his hair and drew a deep breath, letting the night air trickle down his throat in small golden droplets like a blessing. The stars were paling in the east, you could see a vague light over the jagged silhouette of the city. The trees were soothing, crooning to him of the girl he’d met, the wonderful girl. He’d just been sitting there on a bench, considering to take his life, illuminated by a flickering lamp post, when she’d walked up, sat down beside him, as far away as she could get on the small bench. She’d opened her bag and picked out and energy-bar with a pleased smile. Then she’d turned to him.

“Hi”, she’d said.

The Sidewalk… a meeting-place and parting-point.

First off, I’d like to apologize for not writing in what has been a rather long time, considering my previous frequency of posting. I’ve just been ridiculously exhausted of late, and so, since writing requires a certain amount of brainpower, it’s been pushed aside for other more basic things like trying to sleep, trying to smile and trying to function at work. Despite still being chronically tired, I will make a real attempt to post more often. Now…

Throughout my life, sidewalks have held a lot more meaning to me than just a slab of concrete next to a road, created in order to ease the trials of people travelling by foot. Sidewalks are the highway of humanity, where people are paraded on display to each other and where the strangest little stories are created. So in this belated post, my sleep-deprived mind will be rambling about sidewalks. (And for anyone who read this post and enjoyed it and didn’t think it was really stupid, I have a short-story that I wrote a while back about sidewalks, and I’d be happy to share that with you upon request).

Follow the current.

Few things will increase your personal navigation-skills as the sidewalk. From watching out for little children and dogs hidden behind other people’s legs to darting out of the way of that large biker who seems unable to step aside for anyone, it tests our alertness and agility in an unexpected dance-pattern. I really enjoy this neat little dance, because even though it is just getting from one place to the next, there are so many tiny trials and tribulations along the way, all disguised in the form of singular humans, that it becomes a small adventure to me. And just being carried forward in that stream of people struggling in the same direction as you is like an out of this world experience. If you have ever been to a large city, you know what I mean. The beat of the feet on the sidewalk is the true city’s pulse.

Look and let your mind loose.

One of my favorite things in the world is sitting down outside a cafe in a strange city and just people-watch. Just sneakily take a quick peek at people and then in your head asses exactly who they are, where they are going, where they’ve been just now and what their immediate future holds in store. Oh yes, 95% of the time the stories that come to mind will be completely off the mark. But even so, it doesn’t matter in the least. These are all strangers that you will only see and hear for a few brief seconds, and they will never have to be informed of the twisted plot that your brain just created for them. It’s a wonderful way to pass an afternoon, and get yourself used to the multitude of mankind that flourishes on the big-city pavement.

The physical aspect.

I am rather accident-prone. *coughs*. Well pretty damn accident-prone. Not that I’ve broken anything. I just get minor cuts and bruises on average twice a day, and if I move, more. I still remember with some fondness the story of how I was walking next to my brother on the flat sidewalk and all of a sudden just disappeared. I had tripped. On nothing. It was like my knees just bent of their own will. But not all places have smooth and easy to traverse on sidewalks. St. John’s where I live right now is actually quite bad for it. The front of my shoes are all beat up because of the cracks and snags in the concrete. If you walk in the right parts of town you’ll find people’s hand-prints and names scribbled while it was still wet and fresh. Downtown there’s a guitar, immortalized by the perfect shape it left on the pavement. And if you don’t look down to study the bumps and slopes of the grey landscaped in front of your feet, how are you supposed to find all those lucky pennies that have fallen heads up?

The journey.

From when sidewalks were just a path trampled through the grass next to the dirt-road, till when someone decided they would manifest it with concreted or stone, it has been the friend and confidant of people like me who enjoy to experience the world they are in while travelling through it. It gives us a chance to set our own pace, to meet new faces, to have those few seconds of smiling at a strangers dog as they pass you and the stranger smiling back. It’s where someone will stop to ask you for the time or a cigarette or directions, and you might end up having the most exciting conversation of the week. It’s the place where you see someone so outrageous you will have to hold your breath for several paces before you can burst out laughing without them hearing. It’s the place where you can get from one point to the next but make sure that you experience every single step of the way. I know I do.

Of bad weather and how to make it good.

For 3 days now, St. John’s, NL – where I currently reside – has been covered in a thick layer of fog. To many people this has been depressing. Even to me on the third day. But sometimes fog can be the most wonderful thing. So can snow, rain, thunder… so this post, I dedicate to the good sides of bad weather.

 

Fog.

Fog can be very depressing, dreary, heavy, boring… or, you can think about how mystical and quiet it is. The first night of this 3-day fog I went out for a cigarette on my front porch at 3 in the morning. I had a large cup of jasmine-tea with me and as I sat down, I noticed that right across the road from where I live, a street light had captured the glimmering droplets on a tree in its glow, transforming it into a miracle of sparkles. On top of that, the fog surrounding the tree turned the light into solid beams. It literally looked like the tree itself was glowing. So I just sat there in the silence, enveloped by fog as it mixed with smoke and steam and watched this glorious sight right across the street. It was a very tranquil and magical moment. So next time you go “yuck, it’s all foggy out and my hair will get damp and…” just stop for a second and think about how calm and soothing everything gets when it’s covered in a thick blanket of fog.

Rain.

Ever since I was a kid, running out into a heavy shower of warm summer-rain was one of the best feelings in the world. Just standing there and freely allowing this natural shower to drench you instead of running and hiding under a roof as soon as there’s a chance of getting wet. There are so many different kinds of rain. There’s the “menacingly beating on the roof you really don’t want to go out side right now” kind of rain. The “softly falling around the house you probably want to take a nap” kind. Or the “I’m light and warm, why don’t you come outside and take a walk?” So many more different kinds. And just think about that wonderful fresh feeling in the air and earth when a heavy rain has just stopped falling, as if everything got washed and clean and all the tension has left the air. Last but not least, we mustn’t forget puddles. If you didn’t with glee run around and splash as hard as you could in the biggest of puddles at least once or twice as a kid, go get some rubber-boots right now and try it. Seriously.

Snow.

I don’t really think I need to say much about snow for people to think of the positive qualities of this weather. From those first tiny flakes that make you go “oh my god it’s snowing! it’s snowing!” to that heavy snowfall that shuts down schools and work, it can bring us joy in so many ways. Snowball fights, snowmen, snow-angels, snow-forts… or just that wonderful cozy moment in front of a fireplace/tv with a cup of hot beverage of choice when the snow is soundlessly covering your house and making you feel cuddled. Though my favorite snow moment is when you’re out walking and slowly this snowfall starts building up until they are gigantic fluffy flakes that cover your clothes and the world around you as they in a slow and stately manner float towards the ground. Just that sight, as the big flakes coat everything around them in such an un-intrusive way. I love it.

Wind.

When I was young, I used to think I could talk to the wind and it would understand me. (I still do sometimes but then I’m weird so…). I had made up this little language. And there was this one song that I would sing over and over as the wind crashed through the trees overhead;

  • Vaja nujubrava, of farand of rashag of ess. (travel great wind, over land and sea and search)
  • Ess ogonom em limonogo, lefa, lekara, leijong. (search for the voice of the water, air, fire and stone)
  • Vaja nujubrava, of farand of rashag of ess. (travel great wind, over land and sea and search)

Yes, I was only 8, and yes I was a weird kid. Anyways, I always had this special relationship to the wind, like we were friends or something. And when it blew in different ways it would mean different things. Winds are playful, they can be mighty and destructive or gentle and sweet. Kind of like a 5-year-old with a lot more power than any 5-year-old should have. But next time the wind blows, think about the way it feels and sounds, and what it might mean.

Thunder and Lightning.

I saved this for last. Because as much as I love the above mentioned weathers, this one… is just so awesome! Mighty crashing, booming sounds on top of blinding flashes of light! How can anything be more awe-inspiring, and make you feel as insignificant yet great, as lightning? I remember well many summers when I would run outside as soon as I heard that distant rumble, to catch it at its peak and feel it roaring around me, through the grass under my feet. My parents would yell at me to come back inside. I was never scared, only fascinated and overjoyed. The chances of getting struck are after all not that super big, unless you’re standing in the middle of a field with a copper-rod on your head.  But the sensation of all that deep wave of sound rolling over and into you after flash upon flash of lightning… it can’t be matched by anything else.

 

Spring is in the air… Summer’s in the hair!

First I would like to apologize if some of what I write in this post comes off as offensive. It is not meant to hurt or anger anyone.

And now I’m going to cut to the chase. This particular little rant is all about hair.

 

“You can take my life… but you can’t take my hair!”

Throughout history, legend and into the real contemporary world, hair has held a lot more meaning than a bunch of dead cells on top of our heads. Oftentimes people get so attached to their hair that cutting or changing it becomes something almost traumatic to them. I remember well when my mum  cut a huge chunk off my hair once, and I moped about it for days. Even worse when she cut one of my brother’s hairs. He would flinch as if in pain and sometimes cry. Did you ever notice that most guys with long hair have it long not because they’re too lazy to cut it but because they are so strangely attached to their hair? I wonder why long hair is a bigger deal for a guy than for a girl. After all in a hunter/gatherer society the longer the hair the more unpractical, since it could get caught in branches, blown into your face and block your view, inhibit your movements etc. So according to logic men should wish to strive for shorter hair instinctively, yet to some the longer the more status.

One hairdo says more than a thousand words.

Just as with clothes and make-up, hair is a very important statement in who we are. It can tell the world “I really don’t care what I look like” or “I’m too busy to have time for anything but a pony-tail” or “my hair is my helmet. It makes me feel safe and shielded from the world”.  Also, some guys have this amazing ability to scream “I’m a douchebag!” simply with their hairstyle! And here’s something I have noticed (I am very sorry if I offend anyone by saying this, it’s not meant to offend, it’s simply a speculation); lots of lesbians have a tendency to wear their hair short. It sort of doesn’t make any sense to me because if you’re attracted to girls then why would you want to look more like the stereotypical guy? It just doesn’t make sense to me when someone says “guys suck so much that I am not interested in having a relationship with them” and then go and do your best to look like one (and I’m referring to more than just the hair here). However, there might be other reasons behind this that I am completely unaware of and I’m sure this is very ignorant of me. Just something that’s been boggling me. Just as how some girls try to grow their hair as long as possible because they don’t think they look feminine without it that way. I think you should have your hair in a style that makes you feel comfortable and you think looks good on you, and not as some kind of statement. Words are for making statements.

Mythical locks.

We have Sampson and Rapunzel. For both of them their hair was a source of strength and symbolized something much more than it just being there. For Rapunzel it was a means of escape and freedom, and also what made her special. For Sampson, it was his actual strength, and without it he became powerless. What does this say about us? What does that say about my little sister who was so shy when she was little that she grew her bangs super-long so they could cover her eyes? Her hair became a shield and the day that she proudly cut them off (and made my mom freak out because well, it really did look like a 7 year old cut it) was the day she shed that shield and was comfortable with being seen in the world. Many many years later the younger one of my brothers cut his hair – surely after some persuasion from his fashion-savvy girlfriend – and with the hair gone I saw a bit more confidence in him. It was like he started walking straighter and smiling brighter. So for some, a haircut is losing what feels safe. For others it’s a way to be able to open up to the world and feel more free and comfortable with themselves.

According to me…

My hair wasn’t always curly. I remember well how fascinated I was when this one lock close to my face started becoming wavy. I think I was about 8 or 9? Then slowly and with the years the rest of it curled up and it turned into this mass of large waves. Even though it was difficult to take care off and often more of a hassle than something I was grateful for, it was also something people associated with me. I never did anything to it till August last year when I dyed it red (I’m a brunette naturally). After that I went kind of crazy and tried to go blonde but failed mildly and it became some sort of dirty brown-blond that I around Christmas turned into a chocolate-brown and now it’s slowly faded back to my natural color. I decided I didn’t want to dye it again, it was fun to try but a try was all there was too it (to be honest I’m too lazy to maintain my appearance that much). And then last night, something I’ve wanted for the longest time happened. My lovely and dear friend Sarah agreed to cut it for me (Thank you so much!). And not just a trim. My masses of hair that had previously fallen to well past my shoulders now tumbled to the floor and got transformed into a straight bob cut with bangs. Very far from the way it looked when I let it do its own thing. Very light, relieving, perfect summer hair and I only need a quarter of the hair conditioner I would use before. The transformation feels very significant, like I can be a new person with this new look, and yet it’s just hair. It’s just removing and reshaping a bunch of dead cells on top of my head.

Just push yourself! And give us money for it!

I hope that the title was enough of a hint. Otherwise, this post is about gyms.

Just get on that treadmill and you will look like a superstar!

No my dear. It is not that easy. It takes hours upon days upon weeks and so forth to achieve that super-fit body, not to mention all the photo-editing, lighting and special effects. Chances are you’ll never look like Megan Fox or Brad Pitt. And be glad for it! Because this way you’re probably still gorgeous but people will appreciate you for more than that; your wit, your personality, your skills and craftiness, and you just being you. If you were ridiculously attractive (and no offense, you might be) people will never get past that and they will always swoon a little in your presence because of that fact (no matter how much they tell themselves it’s not important. It’s like seeing a delicious dish of food, we want it even if we’re really full!)

You are perfect the way you are… but we’ll make you better!

Personal trainers are for real. There are people out there with the proper education and experience to help support you in the goals you wish to reach regarding your physical condition. But in very many gyms, these personal trainers are just fitness nuts that have taken a few courses (or one), gotten the certificate and then go on to take notes and use preset formulas and schedules to try and get you into “peak” condition. Of course, they won’t go into detail to make sure this actually works with your health, diet, lifestyle, job, family, mental condition etc. But they will make sure that you are up to standards and that they look good and get good references. And a lot of money. For doing something that anyone with an inkling of interest could sit down and do. Now there’s the real stuff too, people who have put many days (and long nights) into learning about this, who have tried this on themselves and friends and who have learnt from the best. I’m just saying considering how many there are out there (at least 10 at the gym I go to) they can’t all be doing the very best. And there’s too much self-interest involved. “Hey miss, I’m a personal trainer. Let’s have s**”.

The mutual zoo.

Few places will make you as painstakingly self-aware as a gym. Not only are you (I) constantly taking sneak-peeks at others to see if they are more or less fit than you are and how well they are doing on the machines. No. You (I) have that constant nagging feeling of that someone, out of those 20-30 people in there working out, is looking at you, at any given moment, giving you that same harsh critique in their head. “Hmmm, her ass is a little saggy but it seems like she’s got a nice flat stomach. She needs to hit the stair climber more. Guess she’s just too lazy. I mean look at those sloppy sweatpants…” and so forth. How are you suppose to be able to relax and focus on your own physical health and awareness when there’s a constant hum of negative and judging thoughts around you? (And in your head. Oh my do I ever judge myself when I’m at the gym. Mirrors, scales, fitness tests… there’s any amount of equipment to help you feel worse about yourself.)

So just sign here and here and your life will be so much better…

Money. So much of it, for such little time spent there, such little wear on equipment, so little use of the staff. Yet they ask for a considerable amount and ask you to sign up for a way longer amount of time than you’re likely to spend going there before you realize that, oh yes, gyms kind of suck. Of course you don’t read the agreement because well, they are probably nice and everything is fine, just look at the hundreds of people that go here, and then one day you (or a friend of mine) goes there to cancel the gym and finds out that the person who told her that she needs to come into the gym in person and sign something… needs to have an appointment scheduled with her to sign something, so I’m sorry, we can’t cancel that for you right now, but we’ll make sure that this lady gives you a call. And if in the meantime we happen to make another withdrawal of your membership fees that is too bad. And if we then spend an hour trying to convince you to stay then that is for your own benefit.

Ergo;

Gyms are evil corporations who do not care about the general fitness and health of the population (in that case they’d be government funded and we wouldn’t have to pay to go). They just want your money, and for you to tell your friends how great it is so they can also get your friends money, and for people who are already really fit to get even more fit and give them more money. And I am cancelling my membership when I get my next paycheck.