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Bye Bye Gym Membership... It's Been GREAT!

Posted Mar 20 2013 6:11pm
I have just returned home from an awesome workout at the gym... I ran a couple of miles on a treadmill, and then cycled a couple of miles and then ran another mile before cooling down, having a snack and then heading in to a wonderful Yoga Flow class.  I do love this yoga instructor.  She seems to sense the moods and needs of the group and chooses her poses and flows accordingly.  Love it. Love it.  LOVE it.

And then I walked home in a snotty wet Spring storm.. yes, it IS the first day of Spring... ate my lunch and am now taking a bit of time to reflect on my gym membership this past month before I enjoy my hot shower.

I won the membership in a Facebook contest.  And although I was pleased about it, I was more pleased that it came with a gift card to a local Canadian sport retailer.  I really didn't think I would even use the gym membership because I have always thought I didn't care for gyms, fitness centres, and the like.  And yes, I have tried a few in the past.

But, when The Captain settles in to watch The Scotties and The Brier (that's curling and it is a big deal for Canadians, especially those who are or have been champions at the sport themselves) on tv for a few hours each day off and on from mid Februrary through mid March, I get antsy and definitely need to entertain myself. I like a bit of it, but not for hours at a time.

I realized that activating this free gym membership and taking advantage of it, would not only entertain me, but do me some good! And so I checked their web site and found out they had lots of group exercise classes that I would like to try,  along with several different kinds of cardio machines, spin bikes, weights of course, and a group of machines that make up a circuit for strength training.  There are personal trainers available, tanning beds, blood pressure monitors, and all kinds of other amenities, too numerous to list.  It is a well rounded, and seemingly well-run facility.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the time I spent there over the last 30 days.  But I elected not to extend the temporary membership... and do have some mixed feelings about it as I mull it over.

The Cons...
  • I thought it was pricey compared to other facilities.
  • the classes are either very early morning, at noon, or at dinner time. I would prefer 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. and found that going to a class at noon just broke up my day. It really took from 11 to 1:30 or longer. Then I still had to shower and have lunch after I got home. Very time consuming and I never felt like I could fit in any other exercise on a gym day.
  • the floor in the group exercise area is always kinda dirty.... petty maybe but it bugged me.
  • there is one member who is very annoying and 'in your face' and he attended all the yoga classes I did. I learned to make a point of keeping my back to him at all times.
  • the whole month I was there, 2 out of the 3 commodes in the ladies locker room were out of order... call a plumber, someone.

The Pros...
  • great variety of classes.  I loved All Terrain Spin, Body Pump, Body Flow and Flow Yoga.  I would also like to have tried RPM Spin, Body Step, Body Attack and Zumba but the timing of those didn't work for me.
  • the equipment is state of the art; there is lots of it; there is a great variety of cardio machines.
  • there is lots of room for everyone.
  • it wasn't ever very busy... however I did avoid that work-home transition time and apparently it is busier then.
  • the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful.
  • loved the towel service.
  • it has 2 local locations, one of which is woman-only but I never went to it as the main location is just a short walk from home.
and to add to the Pros... and what I can take away...
  • I have discovered a whole new appreciation of yoga.  Since I have taken some classes with a live instructor I know now, for sure, that this is something I want to pursue and spend more time doing.
  • I also discovered a love for Body Pump and for listening to energetic music when I work out. This was a real surprise to me and I just never 'got' the music thing before. I do now and loved it.  I am on the hunt for some Jari Loved DVDs as I think her RIPPED series is about as close to Body Pump as I am going to get at home. 
and it is not a Pro or a Con, but a simple observation...
  • I reconfirmed my dislike for running for any length of time on a treadmill... I do know they have their place, but I am just not a fan.  Even with a tv screen and earbuds for entertainment, I get so bored and so HOT running on a treadmill... give me the great outdoors, wind and rain and snow included, ANY day!

I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to try out all of these facilities and classes over the past 30 days.  I know that my arms and legs and abs are happier too!

And now I can look forward to getting back to some other workouts, and figure out how I am going to fit yoga and Body Pump in as well.... I really think I am going to need a schedule!

What is your favorite exercise... other than running of course.
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