Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Saturday, 8 September 2012


Britta Huegel

Berlin, 8th September 2012
Dear You,
yesterday I went to my fitness club, Kieser, doing weight training. Repetitions I can do in my sleep - because I do them three days a week since over six years...
Once during the training I had to wait: a man was using the leg press, moaning and sighing. (Did you notice that too? That they start moaning and panting as soon as a woman comes near to their sports equipment? Trying to impress?) When he had finished he said to me: "Your turn! Have fun!"
I answered: "I will! I like it." He, astonished: "Then you are a total exception. I adore you!"
He had more reason than he knew: discreetly I waited till he was further away to put up quietly over 40 pounds more on his weights - my lean legs are very powerful, but why should I rub that in? Remembering Husband's excursions on Georg Simmel, a cultural sociologist, about the "Psychology of Discretion".
Of course Simmel means it different: he speaks of the necessity to keep a distance to another person, even an acquainted one, not trying to probe into your man's soul everytime when he looks grumpily out of the window. Simmel speeks of "private psychic property" - a term almost forgotten - and in modern times of the Internet young people will look as void at you as my (estimated) 14-year-old fitness-trainer when I tell him: "I hope that my weight training doesn't give me muscles like Tamara Press".
That Russian shot-putter and discus thrower is totally forgotten - nowadays I have to say Nadeschda Ostapschuk.
Or even better: Madonna.
(I'm speaking of the photo I saw in the SUN two years ago in Edinburgh).

Your aff. 


  1. Hello Britta:
    To our ears this all sounds somewhat alarming and not just a little bit frightening! What if all those weights were suddenly to fall on one?!!

    No, we shall stick to Tiddly-Winks for now!

  2. Dear Jane and Lance,
    you both don't need fitness-training: you are so quick and agile, almost ever the first to post a beloved commentary! I had to look "Tiddly-Winks" up - but when I saw a picture I remembered it from my childhood: in Germany we call it Flea-play, because the chips jump wide and hit the pot (if one is good at it).

  3. Very inspiring! Weights are something I would like to start but I just keep finding myself in the pool. It's so much easier!
    Penny x

  4. Dear Penny,
    I love weights, though many think it monotonous, (Kieser has many good machines), and for aerobic I do each day cross trainer and sort of paddling.
    But the pool is very fine, and I think you can get your complete workout there too!

  5. Dear Britta, thank you for your lovely comments and for visiting me on my blog. I've found yours interesting and shall continue to visit.
    Have a lovely week. Sharon x

  6. Dear Sharon,
    I appreciate that! Thank you for visiting!

  7. 40 pounds! Sheesh! I thought I was doing well with my little lifts at eight pounds (arms, not legs). BUT we did take the most wonderful bike ride today--on a repurposed railroad bed, now a pedestrian/bike trail, where there is no car traffic, I hasten to add. I hope that, while the evening light holds, we will have a chance to do this a few more times.

  8. Dear Sue,
    that's good that you cycle in a region where there is no car traffic - and I hope you wear a helmet (though I always hate their disastruous effect on my hair). Sounds very attractive, your route - and you have the fresh air and nature around you, much better than a fitness-studio!
    (And now I cannot desist to brag a little bit: at the leg press I shove 192 pounds, and at the oar-machine I pull 122 pounds, that is quite nice for a woman of my built and age :-)

  9. Come to think of it, Sue: it must be a different system. At Kieser I push with the legs a 'tablet' in front of me which is hold by the weights at the side; and I think I would not be able to bring pure free weights up in the dimension one can with an oar-machine.