A couple weekends ago, I went into my gym and found out my membership had been canceled because they finally figured out I was under someone else’s corporate plan. I wasn’t really surprised since it was the corporate plan of an ex that forgot to remove me. Two years had went by so I knew that at any point in time she would realize my freeloading and tell the sports club that I was no longer eligible. I mean I get it. No love, no fitness.
The cancellation was actually a blessing because it forced me to rethink my fitness plan going forward. I hadn’t been to the gym in a while. And when I went there a couple weeks ago, it was just to use the bathroom on the way home. Don’t judge me! I couldn’t wait ten more minutes! And let’s not talk about the months of money wasted.
But yeah, it was great timing. I’m in the midst of reducing expenses and rebooting my commitment to becoming a competitive athlete before my body won’t let me have it any other way. I’m also thinking about how and where I spend my time and money. So I took this opportunity to explore three gyms: the one I had been using, a gym down the street from the crib, and a gym a little further away with an outdoor track next to it.
My newly old gym (New York Sports Club) has several locations, one of which is right across the street from my day job. There’s also a location about 12 minutes from Casa De Slim. The chain has everything: towel service, great air circulation, every piece of equipment I need to train, and a locker room that doesn’t smell like butts. It’s also $70 a month. Damn.
The gym right down the street is a place I’d like to call Janky Gym. That’s the rebranding name. It was previously called Latarian’s House of Fried Chicken and Fitnese.
Janky Gym is above a grocery store and halal food cart. When you walk up the stairs, you can smell the sweat of bodies’ past. You go in and there’s a smoothie bar, which is pretty cool. But when you get to the locker room… abysmal. Two showers, two bathroom stalls, and lockers that look like they survived a nuclear disaster (and no towels). All of this in a room with a capacity of ten. Imagine what it smells like in there right after New Year’s. Actually, don’t.
The actual work out machines looked old and donated, a good number of seats were ripped. Beads of sweat trickled on errthang. And with no disinfectant or paper towels in sight, I headed for the door. The biggest positives about Janky Gym : it was 24 hours, down the street, and 30 a month if you signed up for a year.
My last option was a gym about 15 minutes away (walking). It was actually a fitness center that’s part of Riverbank State Park. There’s an outdoor track nearby (great for my goals) and it’s $60 for three months or $200 for the year. Sounds great right? Well, not quite…for me at least. The fitness center wasn’t packed at all, but it was missing basic equipment like the bench press area. The other thing is that with access to only one location that’s a 15 minute walk, I’m not gonna wanna do that in the rain. I’m not gonna wanna go out of the way after work. I’ll just mosey right on home and make an excuse. However, I will go there when I need to do a track workout.
Final Choice and No Surprise: I’m taking my talents back to New York Sports Club.
Just like a diet, working out shouldn’t be a miserable experience. New York Sports Club gives me the flexibility and convenience I need, plus the cleanliness and facility equipment to make me feel good about going there. This level of gym isn’t necessary for everybody. It just happened to work for me in the context of my goals and what I need to do to become an athlete one more time. When selecting a gym, you should go through the same process. And most importantly, know yourself!
Are you active at a gym? How did you choose which one to go to? Not active? What’s stopping you? For the gym class heroes, what advice would you give to someone trying to figure out what gym to go to?