Monday, 22 July 2013

The Gym/Club disguise

After ten months of sitting on my arse eating chocolate and doing no more exercise than walking the ten paces between my house and the school bus, I've decided to take drastic action by joining a gym. Eek! I'm certainly no fan of the gym atmosphere: the repetitive grind of the treadmill; individuals keeping themselves to themselves and probably pretending they're somewhere else; everybody inserting exercise into their lives because it isn't there naturally. It's true, the gym is a pretty hateful place. But never fear my friends, the one I've joined is no ordinary gym! Pure Gym in Coventry is in an old nightclub building, a nightclub that entertained me for many happy hours between the ages of 16-18. My main nights there were Thursdays, and I have fond memories of staying out till three then dragging myself into sixth form the next morning to giggle my still drunk self through group readings of Shakespeare in English class. Those were the days.The building still has the layout of the club, with all the equipment pointing towards the glitter ball in the middle. I was told the other day that at night they even dim the lights. Ooooh! My way of enjoying myself is to pretend I'm back at the club, the songs they play making for easy inspiration. Yesterday I jogged to Base in the Place London by Public Domain, instantly transporting me back to the days of 'raving' around my heels and handbag. Sigh.

And in those heyday years of the 'superclub' Ikon, it came complete with podium dancers, stilt walkers and a strict dress code. It was so cool.  
But rather than focus on the depressing downward spiral trend of all things Coventry, I am instead being grateful that through the powers of reminiscing, my gym experience is more exciting.

Transformations of a building from one thing to another is a delicate and problematic business. For me it is never more delicate than when a disused church is taken up for another purpose. In Leeds I remember a big old church that was part of the Theatre department. Fine by me. And in Nottingham there's a lovely Pitcher and Piano pub in an old church building. Also fine by me. What was not fine, however, was when a new nightclub opened in Leeds in an old church building. Its name Halo struck me as a bit insulting from the off, but I'd seen nothing yet. The club had stripper-dancers dressed as Nuns, and the stained glass windows were one by one getting smashed thanks to the lairy clientele the place was attracting. Now I'm not particularly religious, but I couldn't help feeling that it was all a little disrespectful, not to mention a terrible waste of a beautiful building. Makes me mad.

Anyway, that's enough ramblings. I'm off to party at the gym!


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