Sunday, May 31, 2009

INSEAD gym: the true story

Apparently one of the searches that still leads people to my blog is “INSEAD gym”. Obviously due to a post I wrote back in February 2008. And boy, that became something to remember.
Back then, the gym was “hot news”. After being closed for the better part of the year, it finally reopened – and we were among the first ones to try it out. After my first few visits, I wrote a piece on it, which you can read here.
The day after, I went to the gym again, late it the evening. I was the only one there. The girl who worked there came over to have a chat with me while I was sweating and puffing on one of the bikes.

N: And how does it go with the new gym? A lot of members yet?
SHE : starts. But it really isn’t easy. We get so many comments.
N: ??
SHE: Yeah, there’s already a blog that completely criticized us.
< after which she began quoting MY foresaid post almost word for word>
N: Oh...that’s awful (heart rate speeding up even more, head becoming even redder)
SHE: Yes, it’s one of the *partners* Sigh! They are the worst!
< Obviously for some reason, maybe because I spoke French, it didn’t occur to her that I could be a *partner*> And now this piece on this blog is already read by the dean and everything....
N: Owww..
SHE: They really are something. They are worse than the students or the staff. I have the impression that it’s never good enough for them.
N: Ah well, it’s just the beginning. Maybe they are also used to a lot. Most of them come from big cities like NY etc, and are probably used to the newest, hottest gyms in town, no?
SHE: Yeah maybe...Still it’s really not motivating..
N : Ah, you’ll’ll get better!

Meanwhile in my head: Shit! Fuck!! This can’t be! They have read my blog! HOW?? How did they find it? How on earth did they come across my blog! And now she is telling ME...What are the chances? What do I have to do?? HELP!!

I rushed out of the gym, straight to P. “P, blog emergency. Need to talk to you, NOW!” P’s cool response was “Well, it’s a blog, it’s public, so people read it, right?” Right. At which point I finally realised that yes, indeed, it’s not some kind of personal diary. It came as a shock, really. I put everything into question. Did I have to stop writing? Did I have to leave all sarcasm and irony out? Did I have to consider my readers with every word I wrote? All of a sudden my blog became “known”, and I just wasn’t ready or prepared for that. I did some heavy thinking about it, and some writing (here). Looking back on it, I don’t think my post on the gym was that bad. Sure, I made a bit of fun about the guy teaching us and about the lady in charge – and I can imagine how they must have felt about it – but it’s not as if I didn’t say a single positive word. And to be completely honest: I still miss that gym. I really do.


Anonymous said...

Ha! Ha! Ha! That's the funniest post of all time on your blog! The gym staff were kinda weird. There was the manager lady who built herself a palatial office at the expense of floor space in the weight room. There was the evening shift lady who would disappear for an hour each night and come back with a giant tray of food from the INSEAD restaurant that she would eat alone in the aforementioned palatial office. Then there was the guy with plucked eyebrows and the high-pitched voice who spent his entire shift talking to his girlfriend on Messenger.

But the gym facilities at INSEAD were great. The new equipment was fantastic. How could anyone complain.

-Million Dollar Spatula

Anonymous said...

Took me time to read the whole article, the article is great but the comments bring more brainstorm ideas, thanks.

- Johnson