I LOVE GYMs — Though you wouldn’t know it from this post

So, yesterday I joined my local gym.  I hadn’t been exercising habitually since I moved/was injured and I really needed to fix that.  Being fat is NOT an option for me (anymore).

I have spent LITERALLY (I meant that literally, not metaphorically literally) THOUSANDS of hours in gyms over the last 3 years.  Multiple locations across many states, rec centers, private gyms, public gyms, parks, even muscle beach.  I enjoy the energy and excitement a gym holds.  When I moved from Cali to Florida our apartment was chosen based on its proximity to the gym I liked.

Gyms (if you let them) are like playgrounds for adults, they are just fun.  Yes, to get this level of enjoyment you sometimes need to do things that gets a sneer from the steroid monkeys but thats like BONUS POINTS of fun.

HOWEVER:

Today while at the gym my mind got reeling and I felt there was just a lot I wanted to say…

WHY DO PEOPLE INSIST ON USING ELIPTICALS!  So, I’m injured, I messed up my back pretty badly in training a few months ago, severely enough that I couldn’t walk or go to work for several days.  It still hurts to do odd things, like move and breath sometimes.  I’ve tied to back to running, my love of loves, but it really just hurts, so I thought today I would try and make peace with my Arch Nemesis the elliptical.

I selected a nice looking ergonomically shaped beauty in view of the TV I felt like staring at and hopped on.  Within seconds I remembered why I hated these things.  Now, in the the interest of being fair I’m 6’3″ BUT I have a 32 inch inseam which is remarkable short for someone of my height (all my size is in my torso).

I couldn’t get CLOSE to my natural stride.  I had 8-10 more degrees of range in my forward and backward movement.  I was held tightly to a very specific stride which wasn’t even close to natural for me.  Not to mention one of the best things you can do for better muscle development, endurance and power is alter you stride in various timed steps.  BUT NOOO.  The elliptical has mathematically formulated the perfect stride and angle for people of apparently all sizes, because the 5’1″ eastern European woman next to me, greatly straining to reach the FAR over extension seemed to be just fine with being the motor for the locomotion of boredom.

NEXT.  At the end of every workout I like to go and enjoy a “cool down” in the steam room/sauna whichever is provided.  At my first 2 gyms these facilities were in the pool area and were by so natured CoEd.  More recently I have encountered the “in the locker room” variety which makes them very very MALE ONLY.  Now this has nothing to do with sexuality, whether or not I think they are gay or if I think they think I am.  It has to do with the sheer indecency of doing Yoga in the sauna wearing nothing but flip flops and a stern expression.  Sir, NO ONE wants to see you from that angel, no matter how impressive you think your asana is.  CoEd facilities really help with the balance of power.  Sure you get your exhibitionists and your beauty queens, but they are almost always wearing shorts.

NEXT. Why do so many gym franchises need to make fitness totalitarian.  LA fitness dictates the fitness regime of their Personal Trainers.  I was kicked out a rec center gym because my friend and I were exchanging fitness tips and the manager saw this as “unauthorized training” and the gym I just joined has so determined that strong arming is the way to maintain clientele.

Yesterday, when I signed my contract (thats right, I said contract) they informed me that I had a 30 day “no questions asked” period to cancel.  HOWEVER, to be eligible for cancelation I had to have been to the gym 6 times in the first 14 days, multiple visits on the same day counting as one visit.  I also had to  schedule and completed my free training consultation and sales meeting.

So what you are saying is:  You may only cancel if it looks like you don’t want to, but if it turns out you don’t have the time, this location isn’t as convenient as you wanted or our hours just don’t work for you, you are out of luck.

GYMS LISTEN TO ME!  Good fitness chases out bad.  People WANT to be healthy, they WANT to be in shape and believe it or not, the WANT to come to the gym.  Those are your clientele, and strong arming the people that don’t fit into that category does not endear you to the rest of us, it makes me wish I had another gym somewhere near me whose facilities didn’t make me want to wretch.

Exercise is fun, it releases endorphins, it gets you out of the house and it doesn’t hurt the view in the mirror either.  Whether or not you can find a gym that works for you or you let me or someone else design a home plan, get out of the house and live.  Health isn’t a hobby its a lifestyle and I’m loving getting back into a lifestyle that makes me feel great!

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One Response to “I LOVE GYMs — Though you wouldn’t know it from this post”

  1. Amen! I used to want to be a personal trainer or dietician until I worked at a gym and realized the kind of crap I’d have to put up w/ from the “gym” not the people going to it. I decided right away that wasn’t for me. Their policies are always ridiculous. Though I do love going to the gym!
    That being said, I adore the elliptical. Can not stand bikes or treadmills, too boring for me. The only time I use a sitting bike is if my bike is really bothering me. If I’m going to walk I’d rather go to the indoor or outdoor track, or walk around outside, weather permitting. It doesn’t kill my back, but I’m also only 5′ 2″ so it works for me 😉 One thing I do adore at the gym, is the weight machines. I can never really lift correctly if I try to free hand it, so that really helps. Can’t wait until I’m not pregnant and can do more of the weights than I can now. In fact reading your post made me excited for Matt to get home from his trip because I’m dying to get out of the house and go to the gym. Did I mention that one of the top things I adored about the house we bought is that it is almost exactly 1 mile from our gym! Close enough I don’t really have an excuse to NOT walk to the gym…though I may still drive if the weather gets below zero here.

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