My first day at the gym – Abiodun Kuforiji Nkwocha

My first day at the gym – Abiodun Kuforiji Nkwocha

My kid sister asked me how I come up with my articles for sabinews.

It was difficult to explain. But by the end of the next day, I had a rough idea of how it happens.

Real life is much more interesting and unbelievable than fiction. It is like we are all acting out some script written by the best storyteller of all time.

The day after the conversation with my sister, I went to the gym in the morning. It was my very first day. I am trying to lose weight and I felt it was time to take things up a notch

The receptionist is a diminutive girl called ‘Pikin’. I kid you not (pun not intended but how perfect was that?).

“Why do they call you Pikin?” I asked

“Pay ya money first, I go tell you.”

She gave me the laminated list of all possible payment plans.

I sat down and started wondering how much losing weight meant to me.

fat belly

As I was engrossed in my thoughts, a man wearing yellow sportswear came close to me. He placed a knee on the couch and leaned forward as though he wanted to close the window behind me. Before I knew it, my face was almost inside his armpit. I started to scurry away but he restrained me with his hand.

“Stay there, make I do something.” Like one under a spell, I stayed.

He held my head, with a hand under my chin and for a split second I thought he was going to break my neck like they do in the movies.

What he did was the grandson of breaking my neck, he twisted it till I heard several creaks. I let out a muffled scream in protest but that did not stop him, as he twisted it in the other direction and ‘cracked’ my back and elbows. My knuckles were the last and when he finished, he left without saying a word.

But that was not the interesting part, THE MAN IN YELLOW HAD ONE EYE.

I bet you even if I was writing fiction, I would never be able to come up with a Fetty Wap character that likes to make all the joints in a woman’s body crack. To be honest, it did feel good afterwards but an introduction would have been nice…

He turned out to be one of the instructors. He gave me a discount and I forgave him.

I learnt quickly that there is no such thing as personal space in a gym. And also, self-consciousness will get you nowhere.

That day, I saw all kinds of shapes and sizes. And they were all in gym wear. I was wearing my black sweats and a black top, not exactly gym wear or the deeper life of gym wears. They were in second-skin spandex outfits that left nothing to the imagination and if there is anything that I am in one word it is an ‘Imaginator’. If I looked close enough, I could have done accurate sketches of kidneys and livers. I soon realized that those are the appropriate things to wear. After 20 fast jumps, I suddenly found my shokoto was doing full sag under my bum and my top decided that it wanted to “off” itself.

I am not usually envious of other women’s bodies, but I found myself getting annoyed with a particular lady. She looked like J-lo, only with slightly bigger badunk badunks. Her body was taut and she was in great shape. I was annoyed because she talked incessantly about her non-existent big belle. She wan make I go commit suicide, abi?

The issue of personal space became worse as I found myself facing a potbellied man with my hands on his shoulders while i kicked my legs as high as I could. I refused to look at his face and he too did same.

“Frank, let us do the abs exercise now…” A woman whined. She was lying down on a mat. The Frank guy came and held her feet.

“Open ya legs wider, no wider. Eh hen, you don get am, after the count of three….”

Do I want a flat belly so badly that I am willing to allow a stranger to be staring straight at my crotch while I huff and puff?

The answer is a big yes. To see no be to chop, abi? Besides it all started with crotch staring, this weight. First husband, nine months later a doctor and finally a gym instructor… I have come full cycle.

I bumbled and fumbled my way through the class. I sweated and forced my home made body into different positions I did not know existed.


That was funny but at that point, I did not have a sense of humour.

“OK NOW, MOVE YOUR LEGS LIKE SCISSORS, ONE TWO ONE TWO… you are not doing it Oga Paul.”

Oga Paul answered in a bored but mischievous voice…

“I dey do am now, see, even fashion designer no fit compete with me..”

That was also funny, but I was too busy trying to keep my legs in the air.


Biko, I have to be alive first na. If you kee me, no life, no pain, no gain.

And it is like Nigerian songs were made for gyms.

“She carry front, she carry back…”

Even middle sef, she carry, dat is why she is here.

“From Lagos to London, she shake her bum bum”

Slight correction, her bum bum shakes itself, even to Ulakwo, Jos and Dubai…..

“Your waist your waist, all I want is your waist…”

Iyanya, you are my soul mate. You captured the whole reason why I came, all I want back is my waist.

“Orobo Orobo ko bad o…”

Hollup Hollup Nigga…. GERRARAHIA!

When we finished, I dragged myself home walking like a robot, ate lunch and promptly fell asleep. I did not wake up till it was almost midnight. I ate two fistful size of fruit and fibre… and slept off again. I woke up at almost 2am with the sudden realization that for the first time in my life as far as I can remember, I spent the whole day without having a bath!

I looked at the bathroom door and it stared back at me.

We told each other goodnight and I went back to sleep.

This fitfam huzzle is not it at all. But I will still go back tomorrow. I must chop my money.

So like I said earlier on, life is interesting. That is why there will always be new songs to sing, new movies to watch and plenty more articles to write… (I wrote this after I was able to start using my fingers again… yes, the gym was that baaaaaad)

NB. Did I mention that gym instructors have buns of steel? I did not touch any but I know metal when I see it… And apparently they call her ‘Pikin’ because she is a small waif of a girl, minus her chest. Her chest is nothing less than 25years old!






About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

Related posts


  1. Miss B

    Waiyo i cant stop laughing. But gaskiya no pain no gain…… started aerobic hmmmmm if u had seen me that sat after gym?u W ld wonder if I carried a sack btw my legs. We need it all

  2. Ronke

    Exercise DVDs are also great for when u can’t go out but are feeling motivated and they help familiarise u with gym moves. Get the boys to watch 🙂

  3. lynda

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha I laughed soooo hard all through this read in a very long time. Keep us updated o on progress. No pain no gain.

  4. Eketi

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this!
    II also desire a flat tummy and slimmer arms. But I almost died after two days at the gym. So I’ll stick to prayer and fasting. I shall PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *