I Joined a Gym! (What was I thinking?) Guest Post

One particularly dark November evening when it was raining and gloomy and my plans got cancelled, I was moping about my house, thinking about how horrible it was going to be to have to run for 36 days in a row outside in Canada in the winter. Suddenly,I had an idea.

“I will go join the gym”, says me. For some people this is an unremarkable statement but the gym and I, we have not been friends in any consistent way. I have wasted many months of membership, incentive bonuses, packaged sessions and just. . .$$money$$ on gyms in the past and I thought I quit them.I have had success with personal training because it’s a one to one commitment and I promised I’d be there. That works for me. It’s the same reason I’m never late for work now. Clients are waiting and it doesn’t matter if really I’d like to call in. No calling in sick when you are a therapist.

But a thing possessed me and I went over to the new discount place by the mall. I was so determined not to get taken in and over sold (again). I failed (again) and got the package that, while lacking a “joining fee”, included the use of the massage chairs and other nice things. It cost about $70 more for the year. I did not sign up for the bi-weekly deduction from my bank account (yay me). That is the thing that means when your year is up and you fail to give notice, you are signed up for another year.

My goodness I hate gyms and their money sucking ways. No matter how hard they try to be positive and good for you and on your side, what they are really about is taking your dollars and hoping you don’t show up much. This gym doesn’t have any water fountains. Why? because they want to sell you bottled water. UGH!

On the bright side, the equipment is brand spanking new and there is lots of it. There are no irritating trainers trying to tell me I’m fat and should hire them to help with that. The people at the gym represent the diversity of my town and the middle aged/old/regular people seem to out populate the “look at me” pretty folk. I love looking at them, don’t get me wrong, but I really like appreciating the 70 year old dude on the chest press more. He reminds me what I’m aiming for which is mobility and vitality as time marches on.

Another bright side is I joined in Miserable November as opposed to Guilt Ridden January. Somehow that feels more authentic and less like travelling with lemmings.

As may be apparent, I am cynical about this action and yet, it is mine. Perhaps this latest wiser version of me-at-the-gym will make better use of the membership. I sure hope so.

I’ll keep you posted.

brain-joining-gym

 

About Susan Tarshis

I am a full time Psychotherapist practicing in Milton, Ontario. From time to time, I post thoughts about my practice and the human condition to my own blog but mostly, I'm a regular contributor to my friends' blog (Fit is a Feminist Issue). . .because that's more fun.

6 thoughts on “I Joined a Gym! (What was I thinking?) Guest Post

  1. Thanks for sharing! My dear husband suggested a gym membership – I’ve always seen them as a waste of money – since he’s not keen on my early morning lone running. I might go for it since the winter months are long and even skipping in the garden doesn’t seem attractive! Good luck – I look forward to hearing how you get on 🙂

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  2. Ciara says:

    I too really enjoy meeting the older (and sometimes fitter) members in my gym. In fact, I have an element of flexibility in my work hours, so often work out in the mornings, after dropping my children to school and almost all my fellow exercisers are retired folk.
    One unexpected bonus of this is that the locker room chat is really interesting, informative, inciteful, irreverent and so so wise. These women have so much experience, they have an answer for most questions – from how to support a friend during breast cancer treatment to where the best value bargains in fresh veggies are found!
    I wouldn’t change it for the world

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  3. lorettamuses says:

    I think we are “I joined the gym” twins. I’m pretty sure I know exactly which discount gym you’re talking about, because I joined in September, (I went with the cheaper option, but did do the twice weekly deduction). My logic being it’s so much cheaper than the last gym I belonged to and didn’t go to, even if I only go a few times a month at least it doesn’t feel I’m QUITE as much of a sucker. I also had the same “really, they don’t have water fountains???” realization. They have bathrooms, tap water is drinkable in Ottawa, it’s fiiine.

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    • See that logic? Right there! That’s how they do it. Lol. I’m trying to just think about how it is good for me and gives me a place to go and get out of the house when it is snowing. I have to remember the water bottle though. We will stay in touch!

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  4. barose says:

    Its interesting how the gym is considered a four letter word in some parts. Since the first symptoms of MS and Lyme disease started with me years ago, running or doing much of anything besides walking outside is a no go. Since running had to take a backseat, lifting weights – heavy weights became my exercise of choice. I also use a spinning bike since I can’t ride a “real” bike. Its hard to do that at home (especially when you live in a small apartment), and its not really possible to lift heavy weights outdoors.

    I like the gym, especially ones with real weight rooms. During this time of year in the Pacific NW, my husband is able to do his thing (running) as well. Its not perfect, but its better than getting out of shape and using the weather as an excuse.

    In terms of going, not going for me is not an option. I shower at the gym (private showers) more than I shower at home and I have been for years now.

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  5. Sarah says:

    I just started going to a gym in Toronto that allows you pay $10 per use each time up to $60 each month, and then all of your visits for the month after that point are free. It’s only been a week, but so far, I’m really loving it, and I feel like it’s really noticeable that their business model is based on needing people to continue to show up to exercise: the customer service is great, they get new equipment based by users’ requests, everything is super clean, etc. I had pretty negative experiences at one of the big chains before and so it’s nice to be able to side-step the whole contract issue entirely.

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