Wednesday, 10 May 2006

The times they are a-changing

I joined a gym last week. Well, my mother transferred her membership to me due to her impending move to Darwin. I really needed to get fit again and so this whole joining up thing was well over due.

The thing about this gym, however, is that it is located in a venue that has previously hosted a significant number of nightclubs in Canberra. The first place that I can remember being there was Mystiques - a fairly dodgy place from all accounts in which someone I know was once busted for underage drinking. It was replaced by Asylum - a club that was somewhat ahead of its time and hosted Smile on Wednesday nights and was one of few venues in which Canberra's early rave scene took off. Asylum only lasted about 18 months, and was replaced by another club. I can't remember its name, but it was very cool for about 2 years or so and I spent a lot of time there in first year uni. Finally, the Gypsy Bar took up residence until it too went under after many years of providing live music to Canberra and some pretty funky retro nights. The reason that I mention this is that these clubs (well, except Mystiques) featured strongly in my early adult life and while my new gym has refurbished the place, the structure of the building and the ceiling have remained unchanged.

This was significant when I attended my first class. The class was a sort of combination yoga/pilates/tai chi and was held in a section of the building that used to be one of the two main dance floors. At one point we were lying on our backs doing some kind of twisting action and I had the chance to look around the room. Three of the people in the class were extremely familiar. I had known them at school, and they had often been out at these nightclubs-of-old back in the day. Since I was on my back, the view of the ceiling brought back the memories of the place quite vividly and I was struck by the changes not only to the place, but also to my life. There we all were, dressed in trackies rather than sparkles, rolling around on the floor to love ballads rather than dancing to techno, and it was midday rather than midnight.

I think that says it all really.

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