picosgemeos: (Montanhas)
Good morning world. #autumn #sunrise #canal #london #hackneywick #narrowboat #olympicpark

He wakes up early, when it's still dark, determined to visit his gym. Light breaks through the horizon when he leaves his tower block at 7am.

He takes East London's canals, following the coots and cyclists down the litter-strewn paths. The foxes must have had a wild party the previous night.

He arrives at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: his gym is a solid copper box surrounded by cranes, a beckoning giant in the distance.

He carries everything on his self – protein shake, gym clothes, toiletries, towel, shoes, work clothes, weight lifting gloves, iPhone, earphones – everything but his membership card.
picosgemeos: (Montanhas)
Stratford awakes.

I leave home at 6.45am. I take the Hertford Union canal path, the sun just a hint beyond Stratford. It takes me exactly 15 minutes to walk to my gym at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

A shadow disappears under a foot bridge: a morning jogger. Coots skitter over the canal’s water; Styrofoam and bottles gather with the moss, press against the lock’s wooden gates.

The narrow boats that used to be moored underneath the A12 motorway bridge are now gone. The cars speeding above sound like rain.

White light approaches, shimmers off puddles – a cyclist heading for the city.
picosgemeos: (Montanhas)

Image by One Jam Tart

On the walk last night from Hackney Wick station to the Olympic Park, I thought to myself: “this will be my new routine.”

On the bridge above the River Lee, a hooded man followed his dog’s gaze over the moored narrow boats. In the distance, inside the Copper Box’s lit up layer, people ran on treadmills and stared at the darkness.

Cherubs hovered in the Copper Box’s reception area, dressed in green uniforms; they handed me a form and asked me to wait for one of their colleagues in the café.

Twenty minutes later: a new member of their gym.

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Ollie

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