The gym.

It’s been months since I’ve been there.  Once I put my membership on hold back in May to prepare for my Europe adventure, I’ve been making every excuse possible to avoid reinstating it again.  My health… my wallet… my busy schedule… All three of them have been rebelling against my extreme need to exercise regularly but now I’m finally getting a grip on all three.  My health is no longer forcing me to stay in bed, losing all the muscle strength I worked so hard to gain earlier this year.   My wallet still isn’t very full but next week I’ll have a new refreshment of grant money so that can help with my lack of funding… and my busy schedule?  Well, that hasn’t changed but I’ll make the time simply for the reason that I NEED TO.

I’m a member at a very popular gym in my hometown and, unfortunately, it has a few qualities about it that I wish I thought it over more when I joined.   The alluring temptation of the membership fee being waived and a $30 a month with no contract easily won my cheap brain over as I was fully aware  that the other gyms in my area cost much more.  ($200 membership fees with $50 a month was the last gym I attended)

Of course I’m not the only one who likes a bargain so probably 1/3rd of my town is a member there too which makes it difficult to get the machines you desire.  There only seems to be about five hours in the time span of the gym being open that it’s not insanely packed.  Sure, the thick and invisible fog of sweat and hot circulated air that engulfs your body as soon as you walk in may be enough to make you want to immediately walk back out, but maybe it has an opposite reaction for you!   Maybe it’s motivation enough for you to get your work-out OVER and done with so you can contribute your essence to the gym’s atmosphere and walk back out to that wonderful reward of fresh air that doesn’t have humidity made out of sweat to it.

I do enjoy watching the people who take the time to wipe down  the machines afterwards though.  The OCD in me watches which areas they spray, which areas they wipe down, and which areas they neglect completely even though their sweaty palms were clutching to those side handle bars for most of the work-out.  It’s fun to play a little game with myself as I swish along on the elliptical on guessing which sweaty people will actually clean their machines after.  If you ever need some sort of entertainment in a gym that offers sanitizing spray for people to wipe down the machines – I highly recommend making guesses on who you think does and doesn’t!  It can be quite surprising to see who does it but it’s always disappointing when you quickly realize the buffet of germs that are on the machines since so few people take the time to clean them off.

Regardless of the cleanliness of the machines or how heavy that air inside the building is, it’s time for me to go back.  I’m thinking about sacrificing my membership and coughing up the $200 and extra $20 a month to go for the other gym I mentioned in town. I loved that gym, it was hardly ever busy and all the classes had enough space in  them that you didn’t have to worry about having anyone’s body parts close to your face.

Do you go to a gym?  How often do you go?  What qualities do you look for when choosing a gym? Do you have any tips to make the time pass by with ease?

Enjoy your weekend!



4 thoughts on “The gym.

  1. I have a pretty completely home gym, I’m super spoiled and I know it! I don’t know if I’d actually GO to a gym … all the reasons you just mentioned. At home, I get to watch what I want (or have my music going without headphones). I can wear slippers on my elliptical. I can pop down several times a day, because it’s as easy as walking down the stairs.

    I have NO excuses!

  2. I admitted to myself (finally) sometimes last year that I am just not a gym person. I don’t want to drive to the gym, stare at a wall or a bouncing tv while I half-heartedly force myself to use the elliptical. I don’t want to give myself a ton of guilt for paying a gym membership that I don’t use. I like exercising outside. Walking, jogging, hiking, breathing fresh air. Pausing at the end of a trail to stretch. I do like the classes that gyms offer, but for me the hard part is getting there. So if I can’t exercise outside due to weather, I fire up a Ballet Beautiful or P90x video and have a go at it.

  3. Long ago, I decided I hated the gym for all the reasons you’ve stated and then some: the sweat fog and drippy machines, the crowds, the monotony. Seems like I always ended up on the elliptical next to the hairiest, sweatiest guy in the place! For a while I made due with a workout video (and I do highly recommend Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred for a fast, effective home workout!), but I got bored with that and finally joined Curves. Yep, it’s kind of an old lady gym (especially where I live!), but I like the fact that you can get a complete workout in 30 minutes, the circuit setup makes it less monotonous, and hairy, sweaty guy isn’t allowed in the joint! In fact, being ‘a woman of a certain age’, I’m probably the sweatiest person in there. Will I win a weight lifting competition or finish a marathon working out at Curves? Probably not, but I have no desire to do those things, either. And I find for my metabolism and so forth, the combo of strength and cardio in a relatively short circuit works well for me. Over-exerting myself literally makes me feel drained and exhausted and exacerbates my dread of the gym. Plus I’ve learned that I probably have an adrenal imbalance, so a long, hard workout is actually counter-productive. Anyway, that’s what works for me! Funnily enough, I think I used to belong to the very gym you are going to now! Great post, April. 🙂

  4. After I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added
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