Saturday, May 05, 2012

I Am A Member of the Food Court Gym

One sign that your country is going towards becoming a high income nation is the increase in gym memberships. Gym memberships here, gym memberships there, gym memberships everywhere.

When I was still in high school I saw this Fitness First towel at home and I found it weird, because the body weight per capita in my household didn't suggest that any of us ever worked out, let alone had a gym membership. Then I found out my dad was actually a member of Fitness First, and that he was paying a ridiculous annual gym fee. Did it work? Well, let me put it this way: that was a very expensive towel.

So I just came back from Malaysia. It was a great week and a half, and was worth every cent. The moment I landed, I called a friend to pick me up at the airport and he was there almost immediately. I asked him if he was actually going somewhere else, he said, "Yeah, I was actually going to the gym."

And ever since, almost every person I met in KL had a gym membership. Once I was waiting for someone in front of a gym (by the way, what is it with gyms and glass walls? It's like a transparent frontier between the big biceps and the big bellies. And needless to say, I was extremely self-conscious the whole time I was waiting there) and I overheard two guys talking behind me. "Oh, this is my gym by the way," said one. "Oh really? Mine is in (I forgot where it was)," said the other. Both were the office type, with love handles showing above the waist of their perfectly creased pants in the shape of muffin tops. That's when I knew that 'having a gym membership' and 'going to the gym' are two very different things. It's like owning an iPad. A lot of people own an iPad. But only a few actually put it to good use. Others just use the iPad as a show-off piece of technology that they bought just because they could afford it.

And that's exactly what's happening in Malaysia. Gym membership is the new 'sport rim'.

This shows that our economy is improving as people hardly get out of the office, thus they are more and more productive. This in turn makes them burn zero fat as a result of a sedentary lifestyle, thus they have to steal time to go work out. Hence the spike in gym membership number. But the sad thing is, our obesity rate just keeps rising in spite of this, meaning that most people don't actually go to the gym.

Exhibit A: Me. I have a gym membership, but ever since my skiing accident 3 months ago, I was "forced" to stop any physical activities for a while and I stopped going to the gym.

And I never returned.


WP said...

I just don't bother getting a gym membership. My gym is the park opposite my's free! :P

Though I think I wouldn't mind joining the food court gym...

Kahuna said...

Well technically even your living room could be a gym. But in today's world, it's not a gym unless you pay RM150 per month to never set foot in it ever again :)