According to a statistic quoted in The Wharf, there are 3.1 gyms per square mile in Tower Hamlets, making us the second borough, behind Islington, to have the most gyms in the capital. To paraphrase 1990s sitcom psychiatrist Frasier, how does that make you feel?
Pride is one response. An embarrassment of gyms says that we Wharfers are strong. We are healthy.
We really, really like spin class. But then for an area that has not one but two Protein Haus branches, it’s hardly a surprise.
We are fitspo. We are posting post-workout Selfies. We are on-brand with E14 being alpha central.
But then shame is another response. It’s a bit vain isn’t it? All this pumping, squatting, sweating and shredding.
This obsessive pursuit of physical perfection. Almost as if we’re trying too hard. As if we have something to prove. How many gyms does one postcode need?
Maybe it’s time we hit the showers and cooled off. Remembered there is more to life than running machines and burpees.
Take a stroll outside. Take in the river and the sky and the birds. (You can do it while jogging, if you really must.)
And finally, there is fear. Because I look at that number of gyms and feel terror. It’s palpable.
Every workout is a shot at regaining our youth, holding onto our energy, and our lithe figures.
We are frightened of growing old, of being redundant, of dying. So we fight with our feet, and free weights.
We are invincible. We are immortal. We will win.
But we won’t will we? In the meantime they’ll still keep taking your membership.
Follow Angela on Twitter @TheAngelaClarke .
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