Pure Fitness, Subway (MRT), Light bulbs, and Dreams – End of Week 12

At the beginning of this week, I started a 7-day pass for one of the gyms nearby. Pure Fitness has a new 32,000 sq. ft. facility about a 10-minute walk at Asia Square. It would be a 4-minute walk if it weren’t for the construction of a new downtown line subway (MRT) station being built between us and the Asia Square (Citibank) complex. I don’t even know if the new MRT station will be done while we still live here but if it is, it will be a 3-minute walk to that one! Cool.

Today was my 4th experience at the gym, as I took a day off in-between, and I have to say it is one of the nicest gyms I have been too. Granted, my experience is a local Bally’s or 24-hour fitness. I think, if I had ventured to SportsClub LA or the one in Irvine, it would be closer to this. The first day I showed up to try a kickboxing class around 1:00 PM on a Monday afternoon. I was smart to do so right after the UK and Aussies were going back to work. This gym is in the heart of the financial district. I won’t say anymore about that.

As I walked in wearing my gym clothes consisting of some gray shorts and a white t-shirt which says “Think Differently” on the back (a few people might get that!), the first thing I noticed was everyone was in black. Black T and black shorts. They all matched. Luckily not black socks. Black socks and white sneakers always make me think a 290 registrant (think Megan’s law). If their heads had been shaved, I would have thought I was back in boot camp but I know we wore blue.

It seemed a little strange to me coming from gyms where you were lucky if the person next to you didn’t have brown stains under their armpits or holes in their shorts. There were a few exceptions at Pure Fitness but for the most part everyone was similar. Now I know why bright orange or blind-me yellow sneakers are so popular here. They need a little color with their uniforms. Once I walked to the locker room (they give you a key when you check in), I immediately noticed the shelves held different sizes of black Ts and shorts. Now I get it. I thought maybe as a gift for joining a gym with fees around S$150 per month, they gave you a pair of shorts or two! I put on a black t, kept my gray shorts (for the rebel Ang Mo that I am), and proceeded to class.

Before you completely freak out about wearing the shirts and shorts, I worked in a hospital before this where the surgery teams all wore the same scrubs. These were also on shelves as you walked into the respective locker rooms. I was lucky enough to watch a few surgeries over the course of a few weeks and therefore I had to wear the scrubs. The scrubs are sent out to a laundry service, much like the t-shirts here, therefore I don’t really see it as an issue. Granted, the shorts I do see as an issue actually so I may meet you in the middle on that freak out. I think it a great idea, this color matching of clothes. As Stephen Colbert might say, I don’t see race. Plus, if you come from work and have to go back, suckers, then you just need your tennies. They even supply cold washcloths you might need before you pass out from exertion in a class. I admit I looked like a beet and needed one of those. There is no overt showing off of clothing styles (except the girl in the pink…well I am not really sure legally they could be called shorts) and this makes it much less of a meat market like the gyms in the U.S. That is a good thing (Hi honey!).

Over the past week, I took the kickboxing class and today a TRX class. You would have to look the TRX up but basically there are two straps hanging from the ceiling that allow you to work out, mainly while leaning very forward or back, in a way to focuses on your abs and kills your arms and legs. Really, I hurt already. Have I mentioned I washed my paper 7-day trial card after my 2nd trip? Took 15 minutes to find it stuck in the dryer. Luckily they let me in with my “contact number” which is I guess is different than my phone number. Actually, what else could you answer your contact number with? “Hey I have tin can number 2. Call me before the rust permeates my ear.”

The other few days were just running amok trying out all the different equipment from heavy bags, to weights, to machines, to the indoor 50 meter sprint track; all good stuff and fun. Remember, I don’t work therefore I can spend from 1 PM to 2:30 PM, or so, in a gym  only 20 other people are around. And this place is big.

Tomorrow I am dragging YAW to try a few days and yes, I will take the Bollywood class with her. Ugh. The things I do. One nice thing about this gym is the nearby food court (down 4 levels – the gym is on floor 6). Now I have worked it out where I can eat a snack before then grab a fresh meal after!  Ah, the life of leisure.


That was a much longer update than I expected, therefore I will hold my new stories about why I can’t change a light bulb in Singapore and my recent mobile phone dream. Good stuff.

I will leave you with one subway story. Make sure before you visit that you walk a lot and use the stairs a few times. I finally rode the MRT (subway) during rush hour this week. The station I use has three escalators from the entrance to the ticket machines and then a pair of up/down escalators to the platform. Normally, the set of three escalators to the ticket machines have 2 down and 1 up. Sometimes reverse. I was swimming upstream the day I went. This means even as I was walking toward the station, thousands, and yes I mean thousands, of people were passing me towards the financial district.

When I got to my MRT station, ALL the escalators were moving in one direction – UP. All these people flowing at me – I am so glad I am taller than most so that I can see my goal! When this occurs, you take the stairs. All of them. Each set that eventually leads you down to the platform.  Step by step. It was also one of the first times that the sign showing times for the next train arrival said “Do Not Board”. I think that train was full.

Happy Friday!