After Peder and I had our fill of climbing atop and photographing ourselves on oddly-painted soviet tanks and nukes, we hopped on the metro bound for Hydropark, a popular recreational area along the bank of the Dnipro river.
Like Ada Ciganlija in Belgrade, Hydropark offers wide variety of outdoor activities – bungee jumping, jet skiing, sandy beaches, waterslides, and countless riverfront bars and cafes and clubs.
However, we were heading there for something different.
A workout. A very, very strange workout.
After more than two months of nonstop travel and only a couple real weightroom visits, I could literally feel my body deteriorating from within. Vain as it may sound, having just spent more than a year training on a nearly daily basis, the knowledge that pounds of strength had already disappeared was not something that made me particularly happy. I at least hoped to slow the decay until returning home, at which point I could work myself back to normal (before booking another trip and losing it all over again)…
Plus, HydroPark sounded like the most interesting gym I’d ever heard of…by far:
“Kiev’s quirkiest sight might just be Hydropark’s giant, makeshift outdoor gym. The machines here are cobbled together from used truck parts and salvaged scrap metal. It’s a testosterone-fueled affair, although you’ll usually see one or two women amid the muscle. Beware: the sight of hundreds of sweaty dudes in Speedos pumping primitive iron could be a little off-putting.”
Lifting in Hydropark felt a little like lifting in a jailhouse courtyard. Or maybe like a scene from Terminator 2. Whatever it was, it was very, very weird. But it did feel fantastic to at long last get my body moving, just a hint of real exercise after two solid months of atrophy 🙂
Upon wrapping up our workout, we stopped for a quick taste of the local fare – Vareniki – before heading home. Finally, the time had come for a Friday night out in our new favorite Ukrainian city.
My blood was boiling with excitement 🙂