I hate the gym. I mean really hate it.
And I imagine that a lot of the people around me right now hate 'gyming' too. We're all here, blubbery bottomed and pasty, easing our bodies through the tiny gym turnstiles, collectively sighing, "Man, I really, really hate the gym."
We're the new recruits, the New Year glut of the guilty and the misshapen.
I have just signed up to do an eight-week body reformation challenge with Les Mills. And at this point, just before I begin the program, I've got questions. Like, what in God's name have I done?
Do I own lycra? Do I want to coat my buttocks in lycra? Do I want that lycra feeling when your pants ride up and it feels like you're working out in a cardboard G-string?
Do I want to lift, bro? Do I want to even know what lifting is, bro? Do I even want to say the word "bro"?
And yet here I am. It's the time of the year to join a gym. Most people have joined because they woke on New Year’s Day and thought, "Christ, I look like someone stuffed dumplings into a sock."
I've done this before. After a New Year's pang of self-disgust, I've signed up - and lasted three weeks maximum. But now I'm dating someone considerably more attractive than me.
When I snagged this guy I realised I needed to be fitter. Unless I wanted it to look like Hercules was carrying around a potato. Yes, that's a shallow product of insecurity. No, that's not an uncommon motivation for anything.
So that's partly why I'm here again. But the reason why I'm hoping that I'll actually stay gyming is because I hate it. Doesn't make sense? Bear with me.
I detest the fitness lifestyle. I loathe the boring, bourgeois routine of weighing grey food, putting it in grey Tupperware containers and lining them up in daily order in the fridge, like a sad little grey snake. The endless protein discussions bore me. The idea that six almonds is an indulgent snack disgusts me.
I don't like people with perky smiles bending in front of mirrors to check out their perky arses. I hate the overly large headphones and overly tiny singlets that guys wear to make sure everyone knows they’re real bros who really lift, bro.
I despise the personal trainers who pose near peaceful treadmill users with their leg up and crotch forward, just to remind everyone what a big deal they are, bro.
My dislike of gyms hardened into disgust after a series of bad experiences and romances with gym people. Plus I’ve never had a lifestyle that allows me to gym properly.
I don't have time to weigh my almonds. If I did, I'd find something better to do. Like drink.
Staying at the gym, let alone enjoying it, is going to be an enormous challenge. So that’s why I want to do it.
How often does a real challenge present itself? Am I tough enough to do something I hate?
I say I'm tough, but how determined am I? Could I ever like it here? (If anywhere can win me over then it's going to be at Les Mills; their believers are so passionate they seem almost hypnotised.)
And what if everyone's nice? Am I open enough to rethink such bitterly held opinions? It’s going to be one helluva test of my mental resilience and inbuilt snobbery.
And that part is going to be fun.