Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The city of no excuses

Imagine a gym, where from all around you can hear bird song instead of the pumping beats of questionable singers in questionable music video clips. Imagine a gym, where the cool breeze carries with it the sweet scent of flowers instead of the sweat of the guy next to you filtered over and over in dirty air conditioning ducts. Imagine a gym, where you can go any time of day and you don’t have to wait for the machines. Imagine a gym where you don’t listen to the grunts of the person next to you, because your cardio is the long walk between the machines. Just imagine a gym where the ceiling is tree branches, the floor is grass and the view is flowering shrubs and dogs playing in the creek. Just imagine a gym in a city where there are no excuses. This is my city.

Presumably in order to combat obesity in this city, the Council is constantly providing fun ways to get people active. We are already blessed with a sub-tropical climate so the outdoors beckon at any time of year. On top of that the Council provides us with bike paths that run for over 500km, free activities in local parks where we can learn anything from rock climbing to tai chi, grass ovals with 400m running tracks and now a gym that is the stuff that infomercials are made of.

Bright, colourful gadgets in the park where every piece of gym equipment is the type you see on tv. Well, used to see on tv anyway, from that disk that you spin on to work your core to that funny bike looking thing that you pull towards you and even the cross trainers where you feel like each body part is flailing in a different direction. All the moving parts are simple, even the strength machines where normally you adjust the weights work by lifting your own body weight. They even have a rowing machine, although it’s a bit clunky.

So does this sound like the city of no excuses? I think so and I am really loving being able to mix it up and do what I feel like wether it’s fulfilling my infomercial dreams (I always had a secret desire to try one of those disk spinning things, although I suspect it doesn’t actually do anything) or decide that even going to a ‘happy place’ doesn’t work when jogging around the oval. And scaring people by whizzing past on the bike ways is also a lot of fun.
I wonder if other cities in the world are working as hard as the Council of the city of no excuses to get residents active? Is it something the residents can ask for themselves? Does it help to get people active if they are provided with facilities?


  1. Sounds like a great place to visit! I had a park like that near my four houses ago house, I walked through the course once in 10 years. If I lived there now I like to think I'd walk it daily.

  2. That sounds heavenly. I'm packing my bags right now!

    - Sagan

  3. Scale Junkie: That's often the case. It took me a year to discover this gym in the park. It's a 10 minute bike ride from my house!
    Sagan: You're most welcome!



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