Give me a gym without any noise, and I’ll train

Helen McDermott is fed up of noisy gyms. Picture: PA/thinkstockphotos.

Helen McDermott is fed up of noisy gyms. Picture: PA/thinkstockphotos. - Credit: PA

I've mentioned here before how I'm not a great one for holidays these days, especially not abroad. That being said, I do occasionally play truant for the odd day and take a break, a change of scene, a change of air. There's one place I've been going to for nearly 40 years. Do you know, I can't believe I've just written that, but it's true; I was 16 when I first went there and I've been back every so often ever since.

It was called a 'beauty farm' in those days, and then they changed it to 'health farm'. I suppose they kept calling it a farm because it had a wholesome ring to it, but now they've dropped the agricultural label in favour of 'resort', offering 'spa breaks' and 'pampering'.

The reason I went there at such a tender age was to recuperate. I'd been knocked down on a zebra crossing. A car had stopped to let me cross when van overtook it and hit me full on. The result was a serious head injury. All I remember of the event was waking up on the road surrounded by some very anxious people. They said at the hospital that I was lucky not to be even more damaged, putting it down to my fitness through ballet training.

But it did affect me mentally, so mum felt that a couple of weeks at the health farm might help.

Nowadays they do pretty much the same as they've been doing for all those years, except that the names of what they offer have become more exotic. Simple massage and facial treatments have now become mystifying experiences such as 'Aurabsolu glow power booster facial'. Ho, hum.

For all the changes though, I do like being able to walk around all day in a bath robe and flip-flops. And more than anything I like the peace. I did think I'd have a go at the gym, but that's where the peace ended, at the door. There was not only hideous, loud, thumping 'music' but also television sets blaring and the din of the various machines.

I once tried a gym where they promised a music-free zone for miserable old folk such as me, but they were lying. Most gym-goers seem to have personal stereos and earpieces, so why that additional din?

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Here's a plea for help: is there a gym where I could work out without the noise? If so, do please let me know. My body-sculpting future is in your hands.