Getting PUMPED in Beijing

I knew that finding a gym in Beijing would be a challenge. Even though everyone here is thrilled that the Olympics are coming. they’re not so thrilled about going to the gym themselves. People here are much less self-conscious about how they look, for better or worse. On a balmy summer night you’ll see lots of guys with their shirts lifted up revealing tummies that I’d rather not see. And so many boys here could use a trip or ten to the gym to put a little meat on their bones…

But anyway it took two days and four people’s advice to find out that gyms even existed in the neighborhood. There’s some stuff on campus, but it’s all closed because either the facilities are going to be used for the Olympics or people are training there.

I embarked on my tour to find the best place. The first was a little too uppity, you know, like when a guy tries really hard to look cool but ends up just looking tacky? There were some HUGE guys in there who must have called Barry Bonds’ personal dealer to hook them up.

Place #2 is a joint gym/pool for the housing complex across the street from campus. I walked in and asked to see the gym, and the lady pointed over to a room that was 90% empty with just one bench and maybe 3 nautilus machines. It was the saddest fitness room I’d ever seen, like it was waiting for an equipment delivery that never happened. On the other hand the pool was nice, and as far as I’ve heard it’s the only one around besides the gross pool on campus

Body BalanceAs I walked out of place #2 and started getting desperate, I walked past these girls handing out flyers. My Chinese is still a little rusty so as I kept on walking and tried to decipher the flyer, I realized that it was an ad for a gym! I ran back to the girls and they personally walked me the 10 minutes it took to get to the gym. It was OK, it’s in the basement of the tech park that houses Google and some other software companies, and it had everything I needed (although it only had exactly one machine of each kind).

There was one last place that I had to check out, and it was a dungeon. I could barely find the entrance, and as I descended (it was underground too) into the place a wave of sticky smelly heat hit me. I wanted to run out right away but the welcome desk people already saw me so I mustered up enough patience to take the tour.

After careful deliberations, I finally decided that the one in Google was the best deal, so now yours truly is a card-carrying member at 调适健身俱乐部. Well, actually they couldn’t make the card right away so technically next week I’ll be a card-carrying member.

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~ by therandomoracle on June 14, 2008.

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