Living in North London is not always conducive to frugal living. Take Muswell Hill, for example. The place is a monument to the middle classes; coffee shops punctuate a long row of estate agents, clothes boutiques, baby boutiques and cosmetic boutiques. On Friday I realised my one and only sports bra was sat in the washing machine and a great barrier to my work out schedule for the weekend. With little spare time and no inclination to be trying on bras while keeping a toddler in check, I bobbed into Sweaty Betty to get some highly engineered scaffolding. There, in a shop that sells itself above my means, was the answer to my current conundrum of whether or not to join the gym.
I don’t especially agree with paying for exercise, it should be the most frugal of activities where you put on some running shoes (and a decent sports bra) and put one foot in front of another at increasing speed. However, a whole industry has been made out of making exercise very un-frugal and I too have been victim to the ‘year-long gym membership’ in the past. Joining a gym, using it for about 3 months and then never stepping foot inside again, counting down the weeks until I could hand in notice like a little chubby truant.
Instead, I went running sporadically in the clement weather and in a fit of January resolution making, bought a Davina DVD for a fiver. I actually use the DVD twice a week or so and see it as a personal challenge to get through the thing without cheating by way of sitting and watching it with a cuppa when I start to break the slightest sweat. So I know that if I joined a gym with all the best of intentions, I would talk myself out of actually going because there would invariably be a bottle of wine urgently needing my attention at home.
Yet, upon my visit to Sweaty Betty, I found that with my purchase came membership to the Sweaty Betty club and therein lies free exercise classes. Yep, totally free exercise classes once a week in store. I am trying out yoga tomorrow and hopefully ballet fit later in the week. Sure, I will probably stand out like a sore thumb with my ‘kit’ being some incredibly battered up muddy trainers, holey leggings that have seen better days and a vest which cost less than the bus fare to get there. As I watched my husband do some post-run stretches on my yoga mat tonight, I wondered whether I should give it a scrub first before taking the stinking, cat scratched and stained excuse for a mat down tomorrow morning. But I think I hear a glass of wine calling me.