To Join or Not to Join?

10 Mar

Gym membership

With my big girl full-time job, I decided I needed to join a gym to force myself to stay in shape. In searching for the nearest gyms to both where I live and work, I was able to narrow it down to LA Fitness and Bally’s. After polling my Twitter and Facebook friends, LA Fitness was the clear winner.

I’ve officially had my membership for a month now and, although I do NOT have buyer’s remorse, would like to reflect on what I’ve done and what I’ve failed to do. To begin with, the membership was a lot more expensive than I thought it’d be. There’s the one time initiation fee that I couldn’t get waived, but did get a little upgrade to a premium account so I can visit any gym location and not just the one by my house! (I’m really looking forward to trying an LA Fitness in LA!) Then, there’s the monthly fee that I did expect and slowly but surely I’ve seen the withdrawals from my bank account.

With the new work schedule and dealing with Atlanta traffic, I’ve been trying to set a workout schedule either before or after work. When I do make it in, it’s a battle. In the evenings, I’m fighting for a machine. In the mornings, I’m fighting for a shower, blow dryer or simply space for my bag.

At the local gym, I’ve been running into former classmates, siblings of friends and even some of my friends’ parents which can be both a good and bad thing. I often welcome the excuse to stop for a brief chat when I’m done with my sets.  At the gym by the office, everyone is either so self-absorbed or chatting away with their workout buddy (which just reminds me that I don’t have a buddy).

At the school gym, I was able to bring up to 2 guests for $5 each at any time. With my new membership, I can only bring a friend once with a pass or put them on my VIP list. Under my VIP list, a guest can come with me for 2 consecutive weeks then wait 6 months before visiting again.

Looking at the free class schedule, I had gotten pretty excited about the spin, latin heat and cardio kickboxing classes, but haven’t gotten a chance to try any out. Either the timing doesn’t fit my schedule or I feel I could get a tougher workout by myself. Don’t worry, I will try the classes at some point or another. The one class that I really wish they had is Zumba so I can get my dance and workout on at the same time! (My sister just took a class and even got compliments from the teacher and was happily sore the next day.)

Aside from location, cleanliness, large lockers & showers… there has to be a pool. Despite the fact that I have taught at many different pool sizes and knew that any other pool with less than 8 lanes and no diving well would be a downgrade, the pool comes short of my hopes. The pool does not invite or even beckon my name like pools end up doing, however, I will hit the waters sooner or later. (Just hoping I don’t smell like chlorine at work.)

That’s my assessment of my new gym membership. I’d love to know  your favorite gym, machine or even workout song that keeps you pumped!

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