I am reminded of a trap I fell into at the beginning of the year, that hundreds if not thousands of people embrace every year right around the new year. I joined a Gym. I know I KNOW what was I thinking? New years resolution, new body, new energy, or new attitude it is hard to say. I had been on the food plan about 6 months at that point and I believe I thought that if I could just incorporate a little exercise it would help keep me on track.
So there I was at the 24 hr fitness SPORT edition looking at what looked like the biggest complex I had ever seen. Well that’s how it feels until you start to use the gym and then you just feel like a sardine packed into a giant treadmill factory. Of course it reminds me of how some offices are set up making the people feel like half employees because the cubicles are smaller than an average coat closet and the walls only provide an illusion of sound reduction. But I wasn’t thinking I would be ONLY using the treadmills. I mean I had ideas of using the bikes, taking a class, doing some swimming. I figured if I’m paying for it I will be motivated to go. So that is the myth all gyms are preying upon, because even though it was my own idea and ambition to join for the convenience, it was the allure of all those options that kept me paying each month despite my non attendance from February to October.
But let’s return to the scene of the commitment, when I signed up I was assured I would get a tour. I would have someone I could ask questions to and be guided through all this big bad intimidating equipment. I opted to WAIT and not pay for the $100/hour trainer because I wanted to see how this was going to affect my budget. So when I waited until my timing was right, about 2 weeks, I walked in and I was ready for this engagement in the GYM. But I walked in the door, they swiped my card and when I asked about the tour, not only did they look at me with confusion and irritation; but it took 10 minutes for a non-specialist, non-trainer 12 year old to come to the front to “show me around”. There was no instruction, there were no questions about what are you interested in, or what do you have questions about. It was here’s the bank of treadmills (okay that is my word mostly because they literally looked like a set of telephones in an outbound sales office, minus the cubicles). Here’s the locker room, Upstairs the classroom, and free weights, and the pool is at the end of the hall. Now there may have been more, but it sure was not what I was expecting and it DEFINITELY did not satisfy my need for direction.
As I retreated to the safety of the women’s locker room, I was trying to figure out exactly where to start my workout. I was originally going to just do a simple 30 minute work out on a treadmill… but having walked by the farm with no privacy, protection, or even space from the outside world, I was CONVINCED that was not going to be the choice. Did I mention that it was 5:30pm on a weeknight? Shouldn’t that be part of the orientation packet? Oh by the way, the busiest times are between here and there AND ALL the pretty people who are looking to hook up with each other arrive between 5:15pm – 7:00pm so if you want to feel completely self-conscious and evaluated like a Parade Pony make your entrance during those times. So NO I would not be making my GYM debut on a treadmill, exercise bike, or elliptical. That and I forgot the headphones to the iPod, DANG IT!!
Now what? Trapped in a women’s locker room bathroom stall, I began to ponder the stupidity of this investment. I had paid my good hard earned money for this place; and I couldn’t get myself to leave the stall. Yeah JUST a GYM, just a place, JUST a one stop shop for all your exercising needs. I was beginning to EMBRACE how much of a lie that really was.