You don’t have to be a communist to appreciate the force of Marx’s observation: “The worker does not make use of the working conditions. The working conditions make use of the worker; but it takes machinery to give this reversal a technically concrete form.” Well, we may not work on assembly lines in factories as much as formerly, but I can’t help seeing the contemporary gymnasium, with its emphasis on training with machines, as a strange sort of nostalgia for that state: working out in lieu of… working
Will is a brilliant author, with a passion for walking and saving yourself the grind in more pointless pursuits. To be honest I don’t think I can ever see myself going back to a gym, but I don’t think my realisation is the same fit everyone.
Running on a treadmill and using a statuary bike is unfortunately all some people have access to. Running, or cycling around the streets of some cities needs to become a much easier and much safer pursuit – but I can see the ridiculousness of doing it at a gym.
During lockdown, people were doing sit-ups, press-ups and even lifting weights in parks and other open spaces, but as soon as the gyms reopened, many disappeared back indoors. I really cannot understand this. To me, the most bizarre sight in the world is someone on a running or cycling machine, rather than running, cycling,
I was hoping the community exercise that I saw in the spring and summer would continue, but I some people seem institutionalised to return to an indoor gym if they possibly can.