The Mariot

I’ve just got back from the gymnasium in the Mariot Hotel (Cardiff City centre), and what an experience it was too!

I’ve not been to the gym for ages, due to the fact that living within the city centre is expensive enough in itself and I’m too lazy most of the time to get out the house and just run. I figured, seeing as my younger brother Chris is, by far, a damn sight more buff than me, it’s time I actually pulled my finger out and got fit.

Picture Me in Speedo’s. “Ah yeah” *cool expression* XD

So how did it all begin? My friend, Lauren Entwistle, joined the gym yesterday evening, at the Mariot. After discovering she gets a number of of VIP tickets – allowing a friend to come along for free – she decided it was a great idea for me to come along with her. We’re like brother and sister, although most of the time she plays mum. (Yes, I’m a lot older than her, but it’s funny half the time).

So this morning we arranged to meet at 10am at the Mariot and use it’s illustrious facilities. We were each given a towel and a locker key, and then made our way to the changing rooms. I expected a scattering of hot young talent – you know the type; smooth pecks, tasty looking shoulders and a cheeky smile to die for – but the place wasn’t that busy at all. In fact it was slightly empty apart from a few middle aged guys. Well, it was 10am in the morning. Shame, I thought. I was hoping for some eye candy!

After locking my stuff up, I joined Lauren in the main gym room. We started on the treadmill, which was great fun, and I got up to a fast walking pace. Didn’t fancy running – it was only the first day, and I’d be running up and down stairs for 6 hours in work (Nando’s St Davids 2) later on. I got up to quite a pace and even increased the height considerably – well, I am a ‘valley boy’, so I should be used to steep inclines. I used to sprint back and forth to school as a kid.

We completed a 20 minute workout and the machine came to a stop, though my legs still felt as if I were moving forward at great speed, even whilst standing still. Next up was the walking peddle thingy machine… I think people call it a Gazelle. It was slightly tricky to stabilise on it, as it felt like I was hobbling from side to side, but I managed to get the hang of it eventually. We didn’t spend too long on it though, as apparently (according to Lauren) you shouldn’t push yourself too hard on the first day. So we moved on to do some stretching and sit-ups with a medicine ball.

I’ve not done sit-ups in a long while, and it’s not one of my favourite things to do. But doing them with someone else is a lot better. We used the medicine ball to give some weight and Lauren stood on my feet to help me. I really don’t have much muscle in my stomach. I’ve never had a six pack or even a four pack. I’ve just been thin and pretty much average. Being a guy who detests violence, I figured I’d never need to be built like a brick shit-house. But then, it’s important as an actor to keep in shape and refine the tool that is your body. I’d better get started then!

We then got changed for swimming. Now, I’ve not been swimming for well over five years – since way Way WAY before I came out with my bisexuality. Hence why I didn’t go swimming much at all. Apart from the fact that I can’t swim (I sort of splash and float like a concrete brick), I just felt very conscious about the fact I’d be surrounded by other hot guys with amazing naked bodies – I was never too pleased with this incarnation of mine. But that was back then, and not now. Though I still can’t swim (much) I’m a lot more comfortable with myself and sexuality. (Bit of a daft reason not to go swimming in the past, to be honest)

Before we hit the pool, Lauren and I entered the Sauna – a hot steamy room that I’d never been in before. God, it was hot in there, but it felt brilliant. Apparently the heat is meant to detox your body through sweat. The tiled seating was hot to sit on, and you could feel the condensation going up your nostrils when you breathed in. It was relaxing though.

We then used the pool, which wasn’t deep at all. In fact it only came up to my chest, in the deep end, so there was no worry about drowning. No diving either (for obvious reasons lol). I did a couple of lengths back and forth and realised I can sort of swim to a certain extent. It’s the breathing I have trouble with. Sometimes it’s like I panic in the water, short of breath, which causes the heart to go mad and you naturally wanna breath faster and whatnot. I just need to control my breathing and it should be fine really.

The last time I went swimming was at some mad boring ‘Christian camp’ called Hebron (which was in Cardiff), where they keep you in for a couple of days, sing songs, do activities and whatnot then have mass praying sessions and the odd “conversion” evening. It was alright at the time. But when it came to using their pool, some idiot called Damian (no, not the Anti-Christ) decided he’d be a show-off by performing a backward somersault off the side of the pool into the water. Well… he ended in the water alright, right after he smashed his skull open on the concrete side. Blood poured into the water, spreading outwards. He was rushed to the hospital and bandaged up. But they sterilised the pool, after, with enough chlorine to blind a horse! My eyes stung like mad.

Luckily, this pool at the Mariot was nothing short of pleasant. And the fact that we used the jacuzzi afterwards (I’ve never been in one before!!!)… it was like being on holiday! The best holiday ever!! I’ve not been that relaxed in a very long while, and after all the stress, and that mental breakdown I had last week – yes, it’s a hard life being an agony uncle (or as I like to call Doctor) to so many people – this was just what I’d needed to relax again.

*Leans back in the jacuzzi and sighs to oneself in relaxation*

Am I going to come back? Very probably! XD

DELTA FORCE (Cardiff)

It’s been an amazing day, and a wet one at that! lol

Today I went paint balling with mates from work. It was brilliant!!! XD

Luckily I only got shot twice – once in the shin whilst leaping for cover, and the second time in the leg muscle from my own damn team mate! lol – He wasn’t looking where he was aiming. I very nearly got shot in the back of the head by another team mate as well – there’s enough friendly fire to get yourself into the american armed forces!

We were up to out knees in thick mud and water and it hammered down with rain, but it was a brilliant experience 🙂 I think I’ll be needing some new trainers for work next week as they were pretty much consumed by the mud. I’ll get some cheap ones later on in the week.

The guys at Delta Force (Cardiff) were very strict on the do’s and don’t’s of the game. We werent allowd to take our helmets off until we’d all returned our guns and got back to the safety zone in the centre. One of us took their helmet off after a game had finished (outside the safety zone) and immediately got a bollocking for it. At first we thought this was harsh and rediculous, but then we were explained that the guns can still go off, and that 5 people in Britain have died from an accidental pain ball to the face – these paint balls leave you bruised and stung, even from a far distance, so at point blank range you’re likely to be dead or crying like a baby.

I didn’t even fire off that many bullets – I only had 200 paint balls for the day, as part of the deal we had. But the others in the gang bought 1000 odd more for like £70 (I was like, “screw that for a bag of chips!”). Considering they were running off, firing bullets all over the place, I did rather well in conserving mine 😀

So its been a really great day. I’d love to go back sometime.

I can now finally cross Paint balling off my list of things to do in life.