Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Yesterday, I decided to bite the bullet and, after five months away from it, went back to the gym to rejoin.

They gave me forms to fill in. Name, address, credit card number, bank account, sort code. All the usual.

As on most gym application forms, there was a series of boxes to indicate my general state of health and to reassure YMCA Central that if I died or was otherwise taken ill, that they would not have the pants sued off them.

Stupidly, I confessed to a joint problem. Just recently I have had a problem with my knee which makes it difficult for me to get up stairs. It's not a major problem and it is being dealt with.

"You've ticked this box. We can't process your application until you have seen your doctor."

Normally, ticked boxes would mean a quick explanation of the problem followed by an "oh, that's all right". Not this time. Obviously a change in policy.

The girl gave me a form to take to my doctor and explained to me v - e - r - y - - s - l - o - w - l - y what I would have to do with it. I held back from saying it was a knee injury and not brain damage. I have spoken with these people before. They can't deal with higher language functions like conversations.

Then she asked me when I wanted my membership to start.

Has she ever been to a doctor? Does she think that I will be able to just drop in to my surgery and get my doctor to sign it in five minutes? I have to waste a morning doing this. I have got to arrange my day so I can work at home or take a day off or go in to work very late. I might even have to wait until I am sick.

I somehow doubt I will do any of that. They can go whistle. I'll just have to get fitter some other way.

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