When I say I need a run, I mean it
I’ve had a bit of a rough week, with a lot of stuff going on, making my mood anything but stable. Yesterday I decided that no matter how much work there was on my desk by the end of the day, I would still hit the gym in order to burn some energy. I kept my promise… but just as I was about to leave for the gym a strange feeling hit me.. Did I really pack all my training clothes? I decided to have a look, and very well. I had packed all my training clothes, except for a sport’s bra. There’s no way (on earth) that I will hit a gym wearing a normal bra, so the remaining question was: could I bother going home, picking up a sport’s bra, and then head back to the gym? (It’s definitely not on the way, rather, I live in the opposite direction) However, after a moment of mental self-consulting, I decided that I very well could.
So I went home, found what I needed, spent extra time on a crammed metro and arrived at the gym one hout later than planned, but hyped about the thought of hitting the treadmill. I had dinner plans at 8pm, so I went over to the reception and asked to “rent” a towel a 5 kuai so that I could shower and head out straight after my workout. Imagine my surprise when the (RUDE!) guy behind the desk said:
-No towels today.
If it would have been any other day I might have shrugged my shoulders and left, slightly annoyed. This particular day, however, his words made me see red.
-That’s IMPOSSIBLE! That’s not OKAY! I need a towel. I NEED TO WORK OUT!
(again, I normally don’t yell at people, but…)
-Well sorry, we don’t have any.
-No, this is not okay. You always have towels. If you suddenly decide not to have towels you need to inform your customers in advance so that we can bring some ourselves! I didn’t bring a towel today just because I thought I could “rent” one from here!
-Well you have to find me a towel. I am not leaving. I need a towel otherwise I cannot workout.
-Eh.. maybe you should speak to the manager?
-Yeah, where is he or she?
-Eh… he will come in 3 min.
I waited for 3 minutes, feeling angrier by the minute. I simply refused to just go home.
The reception guy was really annoying:
-I know this situation is really annoying… (he said it in a sarcastic way).
-Why don’t you go and workout first, have a shower and THEN come and see if we have found you a towel?
-WHAT?! How am I going to shower without a towel?! (I wanted to say "do you want me to walk out naked and ask if you have now found me a towel?!" but I don't know the Chinese word for naked, so I left it like that)
(I guess his suggestion here was: "why don’t you do like all the other girls at this gym and dry yourself off with the hairdryer once you come out of the shower").
Then, 2 girls suddenly arrived (manager?). The reception guy told the girls they needed to find “this laowai” (pointing at me) a towel.
-There are no towels, the girls said.
-There HAVE to be towels! I know there are, somewhere! I don’t care what kind, you just have to find me a towel!
-But there are no!
The girls sighed, rolled her eyes and went away, only to come back 30 seconds later…. Carrying a LARGE, WHITE, TOWEL!
-Oh, I found one.
Oh my, oh my. At that point, however, I was too relieved to continue bitching about their lousy attitude towards problem solving, I simply accepted the towel and went to the ladies changing room.
Once at the gym all the treadmills were busy. However, I didn’t even consider the thought of giving up this workout, or settling for anything else but running. I simply located a girl who was walking along to a clock ticking down (she only had 4 min left), and I was rude enough to stand behind her and wait for her to finish and get off. A number of people realized what I was doing. Some laughed, some pointed, and some tried to sneak in between when they realized the girl would be done soon! But I was faster and once I got up there I enjoyed the best 7km run I’ve done in ages… ahhhh. Relieeeeeef!
Once I made that 8pm dinner I felt rather proud of myself and my nagging-attitude. If there’s a will there’s a way –this appeals to most of the “impossible to solve”-situations in China. It's not as if I have not been told that I "cannot run" before...