Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Finding a New Gym

Old injury forces me to take up cycling
So, in case I haven't mentioned it already, and I can't recall if I have or not, I have moved from the city I was living in when I started this blog to a new city. I gave up my job and my awesome gym with the Bodypump classes and college girls to move to a city I don't care for where I took a higher paying and much more demanding job. I joined a gym near my house, but I rarely went to it after sustaining a calf injury that seemed to just hang around bothering me forever. That calf injury led to me digging my old road bike out of the shed and cleaning it up to ride. I rode until winter when the darkness would overtake my neighborhood before I had even arrived home from work. There are few street lights where I live, so riding at night is not an option. 

I have not run or trained at all since my last race in September or October. I can't remember which month it was. I did manage to injure my back during that time, though. So awesome.

So, I joined a new gym last week. From the outside and looking at their website it looks very similar to my old gym at the University. But walking around I see a significant difference or two.

Old city's average citizen
In my previous city, the average citizen there has at least an undergraduate degree. There are a high number of people with masters degrees. Doctorates are also fairly common. Almost everyone either works for the defense department or NASA in some capacity, whether they are employed directly by them or through a contracted company.

New city's average citizen (skin color may vary)
In this city, the average citizen here has at least one arrest for a criminal offense of some sort. There are a high number of gang members. Drug dealers are also fairly common. A lot of people here don't work at all and simply draw welfare.

Old gym's average female client
At my old gym, being on a college campus, most of the females were college girls and somewhat pretty. I'm not saying I gawked at them or anything. I was there to work out, after all. Observing the female population wasn't really the purpose of being there. But attractive females weren't rare.

New gym's average female client
At my new gym, being in this city where beauty is harder to find than crack cocaine, I didn't see a single attractive female anywhere in the gym at all. To be fair, I just got there and haven't even worked out there yet. I just took the tour and looked around. Fairly empty gym, except for the treadmills, etc. No attractive females at all. Not one.

Old gym's pool
At my old gym, the swimming pool was enormous and always filled with people swimming laps. I never got a chance to use it.

New gym's pool
At my new gym, the swimming pool is large enough for doing laps. It was filled with old white guys, all of whom had beards, one of whom was oddly splashing over and over and over, like a mentally ill person or a child might do. Only 2 men were swimming laps.

Old gym during lunch hour
At my old gym, during lunch every single day there were workout classes with a lead trainer to guide you, including bodypump and spin classes. There were also plenty of classes early in the morning and after work, running from 5 to 7 each night.

New gym during lunch hour
At my new gym, there are absolutely no classes of any kind during lunch. None. There are 2 classes offered at 5 am and again after work at 5:30 pm. 2 classes.

At my old gym, the entire building was shiny and new, even if the equipment wasn't necessarily all that new. Most of it was, but not all of it, and it didn't really matter. The main thing was that it worked. The free weight area had a steady stream of dedicate athletes, many of whom were college students, and sometimes it could get crowded despite the enormous floor space available for the free weights.

At my new gym, the entire building looks damp inside, somehow. I don't know how to explain it. I think it has been there awhile. The equipment looks perfectly fine. There was absolutely no one working out in the free weight area. Not a single person. The person showing me around said that was unusual, but couldn't explain why it was completely vacant.

Old city - I have friends
In my old city, I had a large group of friends, all of whom worked out and some of whom compete in triathlons. They had me considering attempting to compete in a triathlon myself.

New city - I am alone
In this new city, I don't have a lot of friends. Some of them work out, but I don't know which ones. None of them are into triathlons at all. If I do train for a triathlon, chances are I'll enter one in my old city and go there to race, perhaps hooking up with some of my old friends for support.

Today at lunch I was planning to go to this new gym and give it a try. I haven't worked out in months, as I said. I know it won't be epic. I packed my gym back with all my old stuff in preparation, but I can't find my lock for the lockers. I have a pack of 3 combination locks, all with the same combination for in case I lose one and need another and don't want to have to learn a new combination. But now I can't find any of them. They're all together somewhere. So instead of going to the gym, today during lunch I'll be going to the store to buy new locks.

Yeah, I'm off to a roaring start, and not terribly motivated.


  1. Holy hell where did you move to, South Central Jersey? That's why I avoid gyms at all costs. Sweaty creepy people. I just let myself gain ten pounds every winter and swim it off in the summer.

    1. JulieMaloney, it's worse than South Central Jersey. Elvis died on the toilet here. But I can't afford to avoid the gym any longer. I'm deteriorating rapidly and I wasn't doing so well to begin with. This gym is 5 minutes from work, so I know I'll actually go, as opposed to the one 15 minutes from my house which I have been a member of for the past year and stopped going last Fall. I seem to do better with working out during lunch since every gym turns into a mob after work and I don't like it when it's overcrowded. Plus, after work I'm tired and its always easier to just go right past the gym and head home telling myself the lie that I'll do a workout when I get to the house. If it's dark when I get home, I won't do the workout. As for gaining ten pounds every winter, if I do that those ten pounds are on me forever. My body won't release one single pound once I gain it, no matter what I do, no matter how many miles I run or bike or whatever.

  2. Gym's have never interested me. Too many people who all they seem to do is perve at you & judge you.
    I'd much prefer to go for a good walk, or bike ride, or whatever. It's free, too.

    1. Ute, I guess me being a guy I have never noticed anyone perving on me. And when I was younger and first starting out I was too busy learning what to do to worry about them judging me. After that I had workout partners and didn't care. And now I'm just so busy trying to get in, do my workout, and get back out again that I don't much pay attention to the other people there. I mean, if Megan Fox came in and worked out right next to me I'd probably notice, but even that isn't guaranteed. I guess because I grew up riding bikes for fun and running mostly for fun (I thought track was fun), too, while Dad was always lifting weights in the house I learned to associate weights with exercise and biking and running with fun. I don't know. I haven't had my coffee and here I am trying to analyze myself while still mostly unconscious.

  3. I don't think I'd be riding my bike in your hood after dark regardless of how many street lights..........don't you have wild ferocious animals???

    I think you'll have to devise your own lunch hour training plan :0( My gym doesn't have lunch time classes at all it doesn't open til 6am so I cant do anything before work either!!!

    Good luck with your mojo YOU CAN DO IT!!! :0)

    1. AlleyCat, yeah, we are far out in the country and we have predatory animals roaming around. I haven't heard any reports of coyotes being a threat to a grown man, but the bobcats and mountain lions are. And if my neighbor's wolf-hybrid monsters get out, which they sometimes do, they could kill me. I just don't know if they would or not.

      OK, so yesterday when I had planned to be at the gym I had to go get a lock. Today I have locked it to my computer bag and can't get it off. I'm working the combination just like yesterday and it isn't working. Its almost as if God doesn't want me to go to the gym! ;-)

  4. That sounds ass. I joined a gym not far from my apartment because it was cheap. And discovered there's a reason why it's cheap - I'd say 80% of the machines are broken. The cleaning sucks, I actually feel sick and attacked by all sorts of bacteria when attending it. So... Haven't been there for a while. Bet your gym's better, even though there ain't no babes to observe while working out :).

    1. Annika, so far I haven't come across any broken equipment, so that's nice at least. Gyms that aren't cleaned are out of the question, what with all the staph and MRSA and crap like that floating around these days. But yeah, absolutely no females under the age of 50 that I have seen so far.