The Cat Ate My Gymsuit

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I’m good at making excuses for not working out. Some of my favorites: “I didn’t have time”, “I will get to it tomorrow” (as if I will be rewarded with more hours the next day), “The cat ate my gymsuit” (I don’t own a cat), and my all time favorite…”I can’t go running because my arm hurts!”

Since being in London I have done lots more walking than usual but with “P” working from morning until evening it’s been really hard to get in a good solid workout. I enjoy getting my workout on early in the morning as it’s a good way to start my day. UNFORTUNATELY I have yet to purchase a jogging stroller and I can’t find a single place that will allow me to workout with my 6 month old close by. Ok…yet another list of excuses!

I have been so tempted to just throw my trainers (sneakers) aside, grab a tub of Bon Bons, tune into Jeremy Kyle on the telly and call it a day. I mean really, don’t I get a little credit for walking to get groceries and trekking up the six flights of stairs to get to the flat?

The good weather makes the guilt set in and my dream of being a proper lay about (couch potato) is short lived. With the weather being beautiful for what seems to be an unexpected lengthy summer (going on two weeks of pure sunshine), “Go England!”, I decided to walk to the outdoor gym. Sunshine+Baby Friendly Gym=NO EXCUSES.

I was thoroughly impressed. I am by no means a gym junkie but this place offers everything for the reluctant as well as those that religiously hit the gym. Outdoor gyms are very popular in London and you can find them in many neighborhoods. I didn’t really “get it” at first considering the weather typically isn’t good enough to frolic in let alone do chin ups and leg presses.

I was instantly amazed that I could park NuNu’s pram right beside me as I put in my best attempt at pull downs and sit-ups. There are some serious pluses to working out in this environment.  I am joined by other parents and their children, and people of various ages and stages of muscle tone. The machines are all powered by body weight so you won’t hear any clinking of weights being thrown about. Also, it’s open air and on a good day you will have a nice gentle breeze that will whisk away the usual smells you will get in an indoor gym. The greatest benefit is that it will save you the colossal membership fees associated with joining a gym in London.

This particular space is gated and has 4 “Zones” (Upper Body, Cardio, Lower Body and Core Strength). I moved along through each one, pushing NuNu along the way. By the time I got to the second zone she was fast asleep and I continued my workout.

Zone 1: Upper Body; Pull Downs, Chest Press and Pull Ups

Zone 1: Upper Body; Pull Downs, Chest Press and Pull Ups


Zone 2: Cardio

Zone 2: Cardio


(left to right) Zone 3 Lower Body, Zone 4 Core

(left to right) Zone 3 Lower Body, Zone 4 Core

The following day I’m super stoked. Going to the gym! I jump up, put my trainers on. I’m ready! Then I look out the window and I see an overcast sky. Looks like rain is coming. Oh well there goes my enthusiasm…maybe I will go back tomorrow…you know, when I have more time….

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, by Paula Danzger (1974)

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, by Paula Danziger (1974)

I don’t exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor” ~ Joan Rivers