With the days gradually getting shorter, the temperature gradually getting cooler, and crazy-a$$ weather events going on around me (hello, an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week?!), I’ve started thinking about how to exercise during the long, cold months of winter. Doing my shuffle-that-I-call-jogging at the local high school track or park isn’t gonna work when it’s snowy out or the high school decides that, ya know, they really want to have a football game during my run. (How dare they?)
So, I’ve been eyeing local gyms and thinking about joining. I have belonged to gyms before. Many, many years ago I belonged to Gold’s Gym, but I wasn’t really committed to fitness at the time, and my membership only served to eat my bank account. A few years ago I joined Lucille Roberts with a friend but we were both sidetracked by more delicious options on our way to the gym. (Why did they have to put it next door to Johnny Rockets?) This time around, I decided to wait awhile and see if I was really committed to this new lifestyle thing before I joined a gym. I’ve been exercising for six weeks now and, amazingly, I still want to, although I worry that I will reach my typical two month slump in a few weeks and lose interest.
Another concern is cost. There are a couple of local gyms and fitness centers that have amazing facilities, including indoor tennis courts, pools, rock-climbing walls, saunas, and rooms and rooms of weights and machines. These gyms also cost at least $70 per month. If I go every day, then $70 is a good deal–IF I go every day. There is another gym (which I will call “Average Joe’s”) that gives you a month-to-month membership option of only $25 per month. I toured Average Joe’s, and they have all the basic stuff I’m looking for, i.e., treadmills and weight machines. They have a locker room but no sauna or steam room. In fact, they advertise “free water and coffee” as their fancy membership benefits! It’s a clean, well-lit facility, and it’s open all the time. They have a couple of fitness classes everyday, including “yogalates,” but these are usually offered when I’m stuck at work.
So, what should I do? Should I hold off for a month or so until the weather really becomes an obstacle, and see if I’m really committed to fitness? Should I jump in and get into the habit of going to the gym? Should I go for the fancy-schmancy gyms and their alluring promises of personal trainers, massages, and steam rooms? Or should I stick to the basics and get a month-to-month membership at Average Joe’s?