What a simple yet genius idea. Taking the gym to the streets. Taking the routine of running slumped over a treadmill, IPod taped to your ears, eyes listlessly stalking the mute TV on the wall and introducing you back to the world of outdoors.
Edinburgh’s Urban Gym has regrouped and restyled and its going to be pumping. There is no way this cannot work and work successfully. Racing around the cobbles, breathing out mist, laughing, and sweating with similar minded people. At the minute the group assembles at 6.30pm at Castle Terrace every Tuesday and Thursday evening, but as it grows in popularity, surplus days will topple on.
For a fee of £29 a month, you get to race, you get to make friends, you get to enjoy the benefits of a personal trainer telling you what to do. Over a pre-planned route, the coach Kyle Farningham, gets to lead you on a mini adventure, stopping at various points along the route to beef up those muscles with splashes of circuit training.
The beauty of it lies in the casualness of it all. The streets of Edinburgh are relatively empty, lit only by streetlights but when 6.30pm chimes people fitted in their jogging gear carrying nothing but a bottle of water emerge from the shadows and meet in the centre. Then off they run.
You pass people all dolled up, setting off for a night on the beer, or in their suits returning home from a day at the office. They turn and watch as you struggle to do push ups against a railing in the middle of the city. Yet somehow you do not even notice them, and you certainly do not care. Because you are on a high. The crisp air, the salty skin, the goose bumps, the lycra, the laughter, the panting, the run. It is a beautiful sight to behold, a slice of freedom in the city.