Sunday, 30 August 2015

Outdoor gym

The first outdoor gym I spotted was the set of equipment next to Multikino Ursynów, in mid-2014. The second, which I not only glanced at, but also I tried out was the one in Ursus, on Easter Sunday this year (despite the chill). The third, which I grew fond of, was on a hill in Szczawno-Zdrój (back at times when the area was not famous).
The fourth one, I have been doing my best to use at least once a week, is next to the pond in Mysiadło. Photo by Kurier Południowy.

It has been here for almost a year. Locals were urging a very active councillor from Mysiadło to lobby for some exercising facilities near the pond. The very area, though located in the vicinity of lots of dwelling, has been infamous for being a hangout for local fans of alcoholic beverages, including those under age. With the appearance of some infrastructure, i.e. new benches, rubbish bins, the gym; after cleaning up the pond and tidying up the surrounding area, better days have come for the place. Local drunkards still sometimes hang around there, but the place is now often full of young parents walking or playing with their offspring, local pensioners and anglers.

The cost of the gym has not burnt a hole in gmina Lesznowola’s budget – for mere 25 thousand zlotys a few machines have been installed and to my surprise, they have not been vandalised. The facilities are in fact solid and have been solidly attached to the ground, so it would take months of workout to build up muscles strong enough to wreck or spoil them.

I typically go there each Sunday morning. Saturday mornings are reserved for swimming pool, so Sunday is ideal. I prefer the early hours, i.e. around 8 a.m., since odds of not having to wait until another community member gets off a piece of equipment are lower. Plus in the very hot August as we have experienced this year, 9 a.m. was often the last hour when temperature was bearable. Despite the small hour, however, I usually was not the only one to use it. The  morning-time users are generally older than me (from their 30s up to their approximately 70s), both females and males. Some stop over here during the morning jogging, some get off their bikes, take a few minutes of exercise and continue the ride, some come with their dogs and while a dog runs around, they work out. I don’t know how about later hours, but maybe youngsters also attend it.

Advantages, apart from the most obvious, namely that one works out – proximity, free usage and being in the open air, meaning one can also catch precious sunrays.

Drawbacks – scarcity of equipment (less than ten pieces) and no possibility to set the “heaviness” of the machines – either you strain too little or too much.

The outdoor gyms falls into the general trend of local authorities encouraging residents to keep fit. Cycling paths, sport fields (not only football pitches), swimming pools, outdoor gyms – having all of this around mobilises at least some sofa-ridden layabouts to move their arses and do something about their body. Just like investment in education theoretically should prevent structural unemployment, investments in citizens’ fitness should yield savings on health-care and elderly-care spending. The progress in medicine has already lengthened our lives considerably, now is the time to fend for the comfort of living, or to make it precise, to defer the moment it decreases as a result of ageing.


Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, did I miss a most important announcement > August 11? What, no blog entry? no footnote? No, oh-so-humble "yeah, I passed"?
I get it....there must have been skywriting, right? Not being a local, I missed that wonderful skyward display of joy.
So...'fess up.
You passed, right?
(holding back the congrats, until you confirm)

student SGH said...

Congrats are well-deserved. I actually shared the news with a handful of people and quickly (by the time I next posted a note on the blog) forgot about the joyful tidings. Currently the Charter application is reviewed by the Local Society, I assume this is just a formality, so by the end of the month I expect to fork out the annual fee (my employer, though it takes pride in hiring Charterholders, already refused to pay it for me, justifying the Charter is not essential to perform my job)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Thrilled to hear you will soon be Bartek, CFA. Tell your cheapskate employer that paying for their staff's annual dues (CFA, actuarial, or accounting) is the norm and standard practice in North America. #%#^%$.

You should be extremely proud of yourself! I hope you are finding all sorts of frivolous ways to fill all your newfound leisure time.

student SGH said...

Oddly enough in Poland paying dues also has become a practice among reputable employers and most employers. Mine is the exception that proves the rule.

My correspondence with HR Department went on broadly like this:

HR: Is the Charter essential to perform your job?
Me: No.
HR: Then there is no reason why we should pay.

I was one of many employees of the New Factory - five guys among my immediate workmates who are charterholders have been treated in the same manner.

I am proud. Rest - I'm catching up in the second half of the month (long-awaited holidays).