Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I Love the Gym... I Hate the Gym.


I don't believe I mentioned it here, but I know I mentioned it on Facebook and possibly DailyMile, but around 2 weeks ago I began cheating on my old gym with a new one.

If you've read much of this blog, particularly my early posts, you know I have a love/hate relationship with my old gym (now referred to as Gym #1).  It's not a big name gym, but it is cheap, has your standard stuff, and - most importantly, and what sold me on it - it has childcare.  However.... it has piss poor management, it's regularly filthy (for the past few weeks there has been an empty protein powder container catching the nasty drips from the toilet, and there have been NO sanitizing wipes for the equipment, just dry paper towels), there's usually a good percentage of equipment broken or "out of order", and the clientele... well, it attracts an interesting crowd in cycles.
The older "meathead" crew that have been members since I've been there regularly strut around, running their big mouths, critiquing every girl in there ("her booty drives me wild", etc), asserting their dominance over all the equipment they NEED that day (they take all day to do a workout it takes a normal person who isn't busy yapping and ogling an hour to do), and seem to thrive off of being as obnoxious as possible.
Then you have the young, barely legal girls who feed off the attention of these "men" who come in dressed like they're going to a Victoria's Secret runway show, makeup and all, who slink around the free weights area touching biceps, drooling, and basically doing nothing but taking up air and space until they find themselves on the elliptical or stairmaster for 30 minutes before running out the door..... still not looking like they ever broke a sweat.  These girls never seem to stay long... they are members for a month or three and then they disappear.
And the slobs... oh my god the slobs... men and women alike who just toss their shit anywhere and everywhere, wear filthy slushy shoes on the treadmill even when there are signs that say "DUE TO THE WEATHER NO OUTSIDE SHOES MAY BE WORN WHILE WORKING OUT", don't wipe down machines, and spray Axe, FDS, or whatever nasty aerosol crap they have around.  These are usually the same people hacking and snotting and wiping their nose everywhere.  Gross.

I don't typically let people in general bother me... I normally just roll my eyes.  I'm usually too focused on what I'm doing to care, but when compounded with broken stuff, unsanitary conditions, and terrible employees I get a little irritated by all of it.  I AM paying for this frustration, after all.

A few weeks ago, I walked into Gym #1 to find it completely crowded.  I just sighed, knowing it would be a long workout mostly made up of trying to find and/or beg for decent equipment, and trudged back to the locker area.  There were no lockers.  None.  Not a single one.  Well that was just the straw that broke the camel's back so I literally turned around, walked out of Gym #1, drove to another place (closer to my house, even!) and immediately purchased a membership and got my workout in.  Since then, I've done most of my workouts at Gym #2.

Gym #2 has been pretty good to me.  First off, it has a HUGE locker room - and separate ones for the men and women (Gym #1 just has community locker space).   They also have a pool, which might come in useful for some cross training (Nick has expressed interest in doing a triathlon by the end of the summer, so this will definitely help him).  Now, the gym is small... they don't have nearly the amount of machines or weights as Gym #1 BUT this little hidden gem doesn't have nearly the crowd.  The machines are also not as high end as Gym #1 - for example the treadmills don't have speed interval settings and they have combo machines where the ab crunch turns into a back extension, and the leg curl machine becomes the leg extension machine, but this does not bother me.  I know how to work them and make them work for me, and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.  They have enough free weights and barbells to make me happy.  And clips - they have adequate clips, which are also lacking at Gym #1!  They also have a bigger assortment of things like medicine balls, jump ropes, steps and risers, various sizes of stability ball, a decline bench that actually sits properly....

The clientele at gym #2 is mainly an elderly population (they have a big Silver Sneakers program), which again does not bother me.  I LOVE seeing older people get fit and stay active.  I think it is fantastic and I want to high five every one.  When I grow up, I want to be one of these people.  I want to be the old lady that lifts like a beast (like Furious Pete's mom!  She rocks!) and still can shuffle around in races.  I love it when I'm out running and see people who are a heck of a lot older than me pounding out miles.  That heart and determination and flat out refusal to let an age number tell you how you "should" be inspires me to keep moving.  Aside from one guy at Gym #2, I haven't had a poor experience with anyone there (yet).  And honestly I think the one guy is just very overprotective of his gym and doesn't want a bunch of young people in there messing it up.  I can understand that!

Why am I posting this today?  Because today was yet another school cancellation so I had to go to Gym #1.  And I was reminded in many ways why I love my new secret "little" gym.  ;)


  1. LOL, you're funny! I don't blame you at all, what you described about gym #1, is all that I hate about gyms. I recently joined one, and I love it, it's not at all like gym #1. (it doesn't have a pool, so there is no way we'll be running into each other).

    1. Thank goodness there are still some nice gyms around! I was talking to another mom from my kids' school and she even said "I hate feeling like I need to go to the salon and primp before going to the gym. I just wanna be left alone in my messy ponytail and sweats!". I agree with her too!