In a city where you can buy boot leg novels, knock-off-this and knock-off-that. Where there are still cigarette girls carrying trays of cigarettes, held close to their chests with straps, selling right on the street, there is a super cool park that has outdoor gym equipment.
We’d made this discovery in the morning while the city was quiet and no one was around but when I went for my run, just before sundown, the park was absolutely packed. Not only was every piece of equipment being used, but there were actually people waiting.
Everyone participating was obviously there with an agenda – a workout or routine of some sort. It was super, super cool. Some people were wearing workout clothes and others looked like they had simply come from work and put their bags down and hopped on a machine. I couldn’t help waiting my turn to join in. I set up my own workout of running a lap around the park and then doing a circuit of weights.
Not only were people out running, walking and using the ‘gym’ but there were also people doing Tai-chi, playing badminton and hacky-sack. The whole park was alive, incredibly active and buzzing with energy.
On my last lap of the park I ran slap-dab into the middle of an aerobics class. The music was pumping, and there were people of all ages, and walks of life, moving energetically and in synch. Again, I got the sense that people were on their way home from work and had put their purses down in front of them and were bouncing around in work clothes and street wear.
I just couldn’t resist. I had to join in and I loved every moment. I found the whole experience completely exhilarating and when it was over I ran back to the hotel, dodging traffic!
not the norm
aerobics in a Saigon park