Monday, October 13, 2014


On an island with millions of people crammed along flat areas, we are bound to encounter land use and sharing issues. I join thousands of fellow residents who jostle along the sidewalks on the way into the office in the morning. Almost every day I see someone cutting into the bus queue or shoving to be the first person to board the tram. I've had colleagues close the elevator doors on me as I have entered the lift car. After six years in the HK rat race I can't be bothered to care most of the time.

On several mornings I wake up early to have a quick exercise session at the local sports ground. My routine hardly ever changes: I run a lap around the grounds and then do some calisthenics. There are far fewer runners in the morning than in the evening and those annoying people who can't stand being passed don't seem to wake up early so I don't have to be stuck trying to run around someone for 100 meters while dodging other runners going in the opposite direction. 

Lately I have encountered a new problem: exercise classes. Most of the outdoor fitness classes choose to operate in areas where they can peacefully coexist. the Tai Chi groups practice in the paved gathering area near the children's playground and in the hockey pitch while several circuits groups take up corners at the rugby and football pitches. Unfortunately a new exercise group has cropped up at the calisthenics area. This is annoying. The area isn't particularly large so fifteen people very easily overwhelm it. They often attach TRX suspension equipment on the bars and benches so that sharing is impossible. The trainers used to wait impatiently while I did my exercises. Then they began setting up as I was exercising, slowly cutting down on the area that I could use. Now they arrive before I do and cover the entire area with their gear. I am seriously considering helping myself and using their equipment.

I don't want to complain to the recreation ground management but I'm not sure what other options I have. These trainers have made it clear by their actions that they intend to take over the calisthenic area for their income generating purposes and to the exclusion of others. I just don't want all of the other groups that don't create friction to be booted out because I complained about one bad group. 

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