[Ed Note: I have just spent a very frustrating morning trying to get a computer application to work. (It failed. There goes four hours of my life… so frustrated…) Instead of setting up this little vignette, let’s just get to the point, okay?]
I exercise at home. Jillian Michaels, up til now, has been kicking my ass into shape 5 times a week. But as of late, I’m not getting the same kind of results as before. I’ve reached the inevitable plateau. So I have to reevaluate my workout regimen entirely… yay, me!
So I considered joining a gym. For three seconds. And then I thought of all of the reasons why I didn’t pounce on one six months ago, when I started to exercise regularly. Here’s why I’ll never be a Sports Club rat:
1.) The Upcharge
When you first enter a gym as a newbie, you are fresh meat. The sales associate is the nicest person in existence, showing you around the workout area, the locker rooms, the studios, etc. After the formalities are over, it’s time to discuss payment. And then all games immediately cease. The staff member’s radiant smile turns upside down.
First there’s the initiation fee. Then there’s the monthly membership charge, which seems to vary on just how cute you are. Oh, and if you want to save some money in the long haul, let’s talk about lifetime memberships. Because, you know, you’ll NEVER leave Washington, DC. And they’ll even throw in the undercoating and floor mats for free(!) Wow, what a deal!
I’m not buying a house. I don’t want to read 27 pages of contract just to work out at your lousy gym. Seriously, stop it. I’m already turned off, and I haven’t even completed one dead-lift yet!
2.) The Meat Market
So I’ve relented to the sales associates’ unwavering demands, and am pedaling away at the elliptical. Ya’ll, I don’t look cute when I work out. Sweat pours off of me and soaks my clothes. My hair sticks to my face. My eyes roll back into their sockets in pain/pleasure mode. My iPod is on, so I’m really not paying attention to anyone.
Well, maybe I should be. Most people in Washington, DC use their respective gyms to hit on anything somewhat cute and alive. I joined the gym to, ummm… work out. Not to parade around in my Lululemon workout gear, trying to get some beefcake guy to notice me… (Seriously, I’m convinced some people join a gym just to check out the wares… not to actually get fit.) And the last thing I want to do after a particularly strenuous workout is to find myself in an inane conversation with some dude who want to know what (or whom) I’m “doing” afterwards.
All of you: go to the clubs and leave me alone! (And if I see you at da club, I’ll consider talking to you then… maybe.)
3.) The sweat
While we’re on the subject of sweat, I don’t mind my own. But I know others do. I am very conscientious of my nastiness, and towel up after myself. Sadly, most patrons do not extend the same courtesy. Gym equipment, floors and benches swim in other people’s salty water. It’s just the nast!
At home, I can live in my own filthiness. I don’t want to be everyone’s mom at the gym… wiping up after slobs just so I can pump some weight, (slightly) unmolested.
4.) The crowds
Woe be me if I show up before or after work. Everybody and their mom usually arrive before me, and hoard all available space. And I possess special hate for the people who “save” the machines that they’re currently exercising on for their friends, who (of course) aren’t even at the gym yet. Who knows if I’ll even be able to use my preferred equipment at all?! And for some popular classes, you have to arrive at least 30 minutes in advance, before devotees fill up all available floor space.
I have access to my exercise DVDs 24/7, on my own schedule. I may not have much equipment at home, but as always, I have first dibs on my dumbbells. And that’s good enough for me.
5.) The Locker Room
Everybody is in some state of undress in the locker rooms (including me), getting in and out of their workout clothes. I have no problem with nudity. I’m no prude. However, I do have a major problem with women who show no modesty at all.
I recently took a class at a Bikram Yoga studio. Everybody retreated afterwards to the showers (a necessity) and changed into their street clothes in front of each other. Fine. I was naked for a time too. Full Monty in front of everyone. All of a sudden, one woman in front of me bent over to put on her thong. And all of us got a full view of HER TAMPON STRING!!! EWWWW EWWWW EWWWW EWWWW EWWWWWWWW!!!!! I couldn’t avert my eyes fast enough. I’m scarred for life. (Seriously ladies, when it’s that time of the month, change in the bathroom(!))
There are some parts of your body that only your significant other should see. Even if I was a lesbian, your hoo-haa is still none of my business. Please for the love of your respective God, don’t make it mine.
6.) The Motivation
After all of the expense, frustration and effort, at some point I peter out. During the winter particularly, I want to come home tout de suite and hibernate. I suddenly don’t want to make the effort to go to the gym one day… then it turns into two. Then ten. Pretty soon, my shiny membership package goes by the wayside, as my will to exercise altogether wanes.
Somehow, at home, because of its flexibility, I work out at will. It’s hard to flake out when my videos are staring right at me. Jillian Michaels secretly taunts me: “NO DISRESPECT – you’re getting lardy. Get your fat ass off your sofa and give me ONE hour of work!” So far, I am exercising regularly. Those days that I skip, I regret it later. I start aching all over. Dammit. This exercise thing may have become a habit.
So thankfully, I don’t need a gym right now. I just require a different workout DVD. And that can be remedied pretty quickly via Amazon.
But I will continue the Bikram Yoga thing once a week, in spite of the aforementioned girl. It’s hot in there (over 100 degrees), so I crave it on cold, cold days. (I live for warmth.) And frankly, you can’t beat the workout.
… Did I just join a workout center? Sadly, I think I just did… Huh. Well, never mind then.