Sam is going back to the gym

I’m nervous. But I’m going back to the gym this week.

It’s a weird mix of excitement and apprehension to return to the gym after (and I’ve had to count this a few times) nearly 19 months away due to the pandemic.

I said goodbye to the gym in this blog post dated March 9, 2020. It was early days in terms of the pandemic. Gyms were still open.

I was just starting to think about personal risk but also about group effects of our actions during the pandemic, especially for society’s more vulnerable members.

I wrote, “Just remember, it’s not just about you. Jeff makes that point about the larger social good pretty well in the context of conference travel in this blog post over at Boating Adventures.” His focus then was cruise ships. Remember the cruise ships?

I was an early leaver. I remember that. And I’ve been slow to return.

The university gym has been open for awhile but it’s only now that I’m happy to go back.

What’s changed?

Well, the university has a vaccine mandate and almost all of our students are fully vaccinated. Those who aren’t will be unenroled from their face to face classes in the week ahead.

You might worry, well I worried that they could still come to the gym, but the province has also enacted a separate vaccine mandate for gyms and fitness facilities. You need to prove your vaccination status to enter the gym.

And because the university’s vaccine mandate includes staff it means that everyone there will be vaccinated. Regular gyms have a vaccine mandate for customers, enacted by our provincial government, but staff don’t have to be vaccinated. Adherence to the new rules isn’t 100% in the big wide world either. Tracy’s former yoga studio is proudly breaking the law.

Why go back? Weightlifting mostly. I miss the squat rack. It’ll be nice to have a real bench. We’ve been doing backyard personal training but that won’t continue once the snow starts to fall. My son started back at his gym months ago and I miss weightlifting home companionship.

Soon it’ll be me and the students again. I’ve had mixed minds over the years about working out on campus. But you can’t beat the convenience of working out where you work and in terms of covid safety, I don’t think anywhere is better given our strict vaccine mandates.

All reasons point in favour of going back. I’m still not sure how it will feel. I’ll report back.

How about you? You going back to the gym?

A muscular woman, not Sam, standing in front of the squat rack.

3 thoughts on “Sam is going back to the gym

  1. I’ve gone back to aerial yoga. With trepidation. But also joy. I can’t do it outside of a studio. A huge treat.

  2. I’ve been back at my campus gym since the early part of the summer. I also missed the weight room, which is all I am using it for at this time. We didn’t have a mask mandate in buildings over the summer, but often I would be the only one in the weight room of the campus gym in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon times I chose to be there.

    Things changed as soon as the students returned. For one, the gym got much busier, and for another, campus enacted a mask mandate in buildings, including the gym. Almost 97% of students and 93% of faculty/staff are vaccinated. So, I have felt safe there with the combination of masks, vaccination rates, and opting for less busy times (the weight room is surprisingly quiet during the noon hour when most of the gym users are taking fitness classes and whatnot).

    Working out in a mask is all about having the right mask. I’ve been using a surgical style mask with a silicone insert that keeps it way from my mouth and nose, but doesn’t compromise the seal around the edges. Weight lifting isn’t a cardio activity specifically, but I find that if I’m pushing myself, I will end up breathing harder and sweating quite a bit. The insert keeps the mask from getting sucked into my mouth and nose, and staying dryer (and therefore doing its job of filtering) for the duration of my workout.

  3. Great! I froze my GoodLife membership until Jan 2022. I could probably go back now that there’s a vaccine requirement but I bought a squat rack and bench last year. And a spin bike. I’ll go back because I would like to work out in the spacious gym rather than my cramped basement but this setup has worked well.

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