Posted by: pursuingsub17 | July 9, 2009

Say no to “chain” fitness clubs


Ug. Back’s feeling better and I had to do a mix of running at my goal pace for 2 miles, speedwork for 8 miles (4 x 2mile intervals), and again a gp of 3 miles. We were under a “tornado watch”. Admitedly, the skies were pretty dark and ominous but come on – it was only +17 degrees. People, we need a lot hotter weather than that to generate a “take me to the land of Oz” tornado. We get them all the way up here, but we’ve only had two in the last two and a half decades where it was serious. 

Yesterday? Not so bad. Marc talked me into going to my gym because of this “tornado watch”. Never will I let him do that again. This is a ladies only fitness club chain that shall remain nameless that I got conned into buying a membership for two years ago. Okay, the clouds were pretty black. I thought – maybe no tornado but there might be lightning. That’s worse. So I went – should have thought it through first.

As this lovely facility (it has nice fitness equipment) has a time limit of 20 minutes on the treadmill for runners, I opted to do my warm-up on the elipticaly trainer. Okay, that’s fine – I need to ease into this anyway because my hip just started feeling better.

It wasn’t fun and I fought panic because I saw the treadmills rapidly filling up with power walkers. So after 20 mins, I hopped on the last remaining treadmill progressing to my planned speed and set it for the allotted 20 minutes. As I decided I would get back on the eliptical after this and then another 20 on the treadmill, I noticed that next to me was a 18-20ish petite, too thin girl – running on the treadmill – in skin tight black jeans. They looked painted on. Do clubs not have some sort of dress code?

Shaking my head, I ran for 10 minutes, gazing across the “aerobic room”. The room has one great big long glass wall. Nothing against aerobics but the longer I looked in and around me, sweating so badly that salty sweat started rolling in my eyes, I longed for being outside. I needed changing scenery. I needed the wind to dry me off and cool me down. It wasn’t raining and no tornado – why was I here??? Everywhere, girls with way too much make up and stinking of perfume were working out while they read romance novels or watched Rachel Ray. I felt like I was in some bizarre dream surrounded by Barbies. I started getting so angry and absolutely hated being there so much, I shortened my run, stretched, and got the hell out of there.

That “ladies only” gym membership expires in 6 months. I’d consider drop in fees for another gym when I need a treadmill in the winter – but I refuse to get locked into a chain fitness club again. Third time in 20 years but not again. I like the option of being able to run and bike outside without magazines and TVs and overdone tarts in my face. No wonder it took me so long to get into running.

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