Saying Goodbye to the Gym

In 2004, my roommate at the time convinced me to join Washington Sports Club with her. We worked out every day, and it was great.

Minus me not losing any weight because I didn’t put any resistance on the elliptical and was wondering why she was drenched in sweat and I wasn’t. I told myself that even though I was overweight, I must still just be in good cardiovascular shape from high school sports. HA! (I used to be GREAT at denial.)

2005-2008: I make various attempts at being a gym rat. All fail.

2009: The year I got my shit together. When I moved to NYC, I transferred my WSC membership to New York Sports Club. I lived downtown at the time, so the club I frequented most was Wall Street. Which, as NYSCs go, is really nice. It’s where I met the trainer who helped me finally shed the weight I’d struggled with since college. For the entire year of 2009, it’s safe to say I was a gym rat.

2010: I think I stopped working out with Joel in early 2010, when I met my ultimate goal weight. After being a member of the Town Sports Gyms for so long, I was really bored with all of their classes, since New York and D.C. had very similar classes.

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Summer 2010: I downgrade my cable bill to bare-bones and decide to use the extra money to try out that fancy Equinox I’d heard so much about. I got a decent (err, relatively) corporate rate and there was a location in my office building and on my walk home from the subway. I loved their classes, and—I’m not gonna lie—the super-fancy gym. It felt like a spa every time I walked in, with its inviting mood lighting, a nice change from NYSC’s fluorescent lights that felt too much like my office. Its classes were challenging and unique and seemed like those fancy boutique fitness classes I’d read so much about. I used these classes as cross-training as I trained for the Chicago Marathon, and I often hopped on the treadmill at lunch to bang out some miles.

June 2011 - November 2011: I got laid off but was still training for a triathlon. I briefly canceled my membership, but realized it was cheaper than therapy and a good, healthy way to fill my time between interviews, so I re-upped. It wasn’t convenient to my apartment—it had been convenient to my old job—but since I had lots of time, that was just fine. I spent a lot of time there. I also start attending a lot more classes to review or to take with blogger friends.

November 2011 - January 2012: I try to make it work, but since becoming a more devoted runner, I’m basically only interested in classes at the gym, and my new job makes it difficult to get to night classes, and I’m too lazy to make it to morning classes. (Also, I need to go home and walk my dog before work, so morning classes that aren’t really close are a huge pain in the ass.)

March 2012: I move much closer to an Equinox location, and think that will change things. Not a bit. At this point, the weather’s getting nice and I’m happy to run outside or meet up with friends at fun blogger events. I really would have canceled at this point if I could have, but I was locked into a contract, and their contracts are air-freaking-tight.

June 2012: submit my cancelation notice. Even though I know we’re not right for each other right now, I wonder if I’m really making the right decision to leave my lover, Equinox. I’ve wanted for a while to dabble in some of the boutique fitness classes—I like the accountability of the schedulers, the sometimes-better schedules in general and the flexibility of not needing a membership. Even if I take one fancy fitness class per week, it will still be cheaper than Equinox, but will be a far better use of my money. I’ll certainly miss the very lovely Equinox—especially its pool—but unless they unveil some a la carte option or add some earlier or later classes, it’s just not for me right now.

I mostly run as exercise, and I’m training for a marathon right now, so I’m not concerned about not getting exercise in, but it does seem weird—especially as a person who is into fitness—to not have a formal gym membership. I might revisit this after the marathon, and I’m thinking of trying the CrossFit cult then, but for now, it’s me, my sneaks and random classes whenever and wherever I feel like. Including occasionally on my laptop, in my apartment.

What about you? Do you belong to a formal gym? (By formal, I mean gym with classes, and stuff. Not a gym you have to dress up for.) If not, how do you get your exercise in?