Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

Duff contracts at Fitness First

We signed up again for Fitness First again way back at the start of August when they’d one of their offers running… “sign up for BodyFirst, get three free personal trainer sessions by paying £35 now and you’ll get it refunded after 20 sessions”. Well, that’s what we were told at the time anyway.

It turns out that we should have been given a card to stamp for each of those 20 sessions which presumably lists a couple of extra conditions that we weren’t told about. First, those 20 sessions had to be taken within 8 weeks of signing up. That shouldn’t be a problem as we were attending 4 or 5 times a week so those 20 sessions were completed in late August or possibly early September. Except that 1) we didn’t have that card to get stamped, 2) their computer was down quite a bit towards the end of August so our attendance wasn’t recorded and 3) it’s quite common to get waved through without the membership card getting swiped. Net effect of that was that we have only 16 recorded attendances in the 8 weeks ie they swiped the card just twice a week on average.

Second problem was those “free personal trainer” sessions. It seems that they weren’t optional as, presumably was stated on the card which we didn’t get, not doing them within the 8 weeks means no refund of the £35. On that particular point, we were explicitly told by the membership guy at the time that we could take them at any time so I guess he doesn’t read the contracts that he’s signing people up to.

I’d say at this point that it was important to read all the conditions of a contract with Fitness First but seeing as we weren’t given the contract, we couldn’t do that.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Fashion parade at the gym

If you think that you’re just joining the gym to get fit, think again.

For a start there’s a clear pecking order dividing those who run on the running machines from those who walk on them, those who stick to those from those who use the cross-training machines, the divide from those who stick to that group from those that use the strength machines and then there’s the gulf between those who use machines and those who use the free weights. And that’s before you even consider those who only go to the exercise classes.

Then there’s the fashion parade that you get in some gyms. Thankfully there’s not much competition with the men’s fashion but the women certainly make up for any lack of fashion sense in the men with some clearly joining because it’s the fashionable thing to do rather than with any sense of getting fit.

But don’t let all this put you off… it’ll not be long before you find your own niche in the gym whether that be amongst those there to get fit or with the fashionistas.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

The Connswater greenway: a meandering route from the Titanic Quarter to the Castlereagh hills

The Connswater greenway is a project which will, over the course of the next two or three years, link up pretty much all of the existing smattering of parks and walkways from the Titanic quarter through to the Castlereagh hills.

Although it’s an area that I’ve been in and around for most of my life their booklet highlights a whole bunch of things that I never knew existed. In fact, it comes across as a much more interesting area than you would expect, picking out as it does interests ranging from George Best’s home and Van Morrison’s home and haunts through to a 400 year old bridge in what it a fairly compact area.

That bridge is the most surprising for me as I went to school right beside it yet never knew of its existence until Wednesday morning! To be fair, it doesn’t look that impressive these days but then ancient footbridges rarely do and this one crosses the river at a point where the flow tends to collect a whole heap of junk ranging from fallen branches through to the Tesco trolley which seem to get everywhere these days.

Whilst the majority of the open spaces exist already, many of them have seen better days and the walkways have generally fallen into disuse over the years. Thus one of the major tasks of the project is to spruce up what’s already there which is no small task given the span of the greenway. This will include re-routing some of the stretches of river to both create a more typical meandering look and to sort out the flooding problem that arises along some sections of the rivers. In addition to all the prettying up the playgrounds scattered along the route will have their numbers increased somewhat and upgrades to those that are already there.

One of the most staggering figures that was quoted in the presentation on Wednesday was that over 50% of the population in the area is “economically inactive” ie there’s a very high level of unemployment. Whilst this project won’t directly change that, it should help to pretty up the area substantially which may in turn attract more businesses to move to what was once an area with close to 100% employment thanks to the shipyard, aircraft factory and all the supporting businesses which they drew in.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

A small wheelbarrow for the football trophies…

Disappointingly we’ve been the only parents who’ve been there during the football coaching sessions this week but we’ve been well rewarded with a week long series of excellent football skills by everyone from the 6 year olds through to the 10 year olds taking part.

Our little guy has really taken to the game and managed to clock up 6 goals in one of the matches and he’s been picking up various prizes during the week with at least three trophies to be picked up this afternoon including both individual and team wins. Unfortunately, his big brother doesn’t seem to have accumulated quite so many so there’s a bit of disappointment in store when they start comparing trophy counts. We’re not sure how many are coming their way as there were just an amazing number of opportunities to pick things up during the course of the week and there’s a final tournament this morning before the prize giving in the afternoon.

The weather has been almost perfect for the week so far with just the right mix of cloud and sun so that nobody collapsed with heatstroke nor were we freezing. Supposedly it’s going to be pouring today so they’re relocating to the gym.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.