I recently joined Friskis and Svettis, a Swedish workout tradition that is pretty interesting in its roots. http://www.sthlm.friskissvettis.se/
From their English web page: Friskis&Svettis Stockholm is a non-profit organisation, and is entirely financed by our members. The organisation was founded in 1978. The association has approximately 60 000 members and 1 300 members are involved as “Jympa”/Aerobics instructors, Spinning instructors, Gym instructors and hosts.
I found out (unconfirmed but sounds likely) that most of the instructors don’t even get paid! They just take a membership in trade. Pretty cool if it is true.
I was never a gym hound, still don’t like gyms. About 3 years ago, in Vancouver, I started doing the outdoor Boot Camp thing, and over the next 2 years (until last July), I really got into it. I loved being outside, even in the winter, even in the rain. Admittedly, Vancouver never gets as cold as Sweden, but I had really hoped to continue doing this when I got here.
Of course, when I moved in September, I had no money to join a gym, and I had many other important things to do, like learn Swedish, find a job, adjust to the new living arrangements, get to know my new boyfriend and his family…and juggle the two homes (yes, two…). I knew that I was gaining weight, and the mental anguish of the winter finally hit me fully at the end of February. I was in trouble! I should never have stopped exercising!
I started my new job in January of this year, which was fantastic, but of course we only get paid once a month in Sweden, and every kroner of the first couple (actually 3) paycheques went towards many other things. Finally with the April pay, I was able to buy a full year membership to F&S. My company does reimburse me for half of it, but it still costs 3100 kr up front.
I started working out last week. The reason I chose F&S is that there are classes, activities, that you can go to at any of the facilities, and there are many to choose from. That is more my style! I like to have people tell me what to do, not leave it up to lazy pants me! When it comes to something that you have to do, like exercise, I have always preferred activities. I also need a time and place to be. Then I will be there. If you were to leave it up to me, I would have the intention of going to the gym, but never actually get round to it in reality.
Last week I booked 2 sessions. A weight training thing and danspass. This week I have gone spinning and a different danspass (dance aerobics) class. It has been good getting back into it, but the one thing I completely didn’t think about…I cannot understand what all the instructors are telling me! So they are yelling yes, but it since it is heard by non Swedish ears….
Oh well. It doesn’t really matter. I just watch their every move and prance around like the overweight foreigner that I am at the moment. No one knows me, and no one talks to anyone (that is too bad..) but for now I will let it be so. Before too long, however, the Blue Noser in me (a native or inhabitant of Nova Scotia) will escape and start talking to everyone.