In Which Jenn Joins A Real Gym

Dessert gym

I have joined a gym. It is not my fault. My new apartment, while lovely in many other ways, does not offer its own gym. Not that apartment gyms are generally that great anyway; in my experience maintenance is spotty and equipment is meager. Still, it’s always been nice to have.

I briefly considered purchasing my own treadmill, even though nice ones are expensive, just because I loved the convenience factor. However, the prospect of then inevitably MOVING said treadmill to my next location put me off the idea, to say nothing of what to do in the event of a malfunction. No, a gym membership it was to be.

I found a place a mere block or two from my place that’s perfectly fine. There are lots of treadmills and it’s not too intimidating, all things considered. But as I haven’t used anything but a sparsely populated basement apartment gym in 5 years, I can’t help but notice a change in the feel of the thing.

This is mostly my own fault. I am self-conscious by nature and I am also new. I’m sure once I’ve been using the big gym for a couple months it’ll be old hat. Still, sometimes I can’t shake the feeling that I stick out in some way. In what way? Because I carry my iPod in a pink pouch? Because I sometimes wear glasses? Do you think they all think I run SO. SLOWLY? Are they judging me? Does anyone actually care? NO. My logical brain knows this. My irrational brain just feels weird.

Partially this is NOT in my head, because being in a real gym does require some behavior modification. For example, no more slowing the treadmill to a crawl and taking a phone call when the gym is empty because the gym will never be empty again. Likewise, no more making wild arm gestures when inspired by a song. I mean, I guess I could, but even forgetting the weirdness factor I could hit someone, y’know? And why did that guy get on the treadmill RIGHT NEXT TO ME when there are like five empties in a row?

No more of empty gym selfies.

Another thing I don’t like about the gym: the treadmills, while nice, automatically go to cool down mode after an hour, forcing me to restart. I don’t suppose anyone knows a way to get around this? Restarting isn’t a huge deal, but it does kinda interrupt my flow.

On the other hand…

If a treadmill is broken, I can just use the one next to it. Or the one next to that one. There are LOTS.

If I suddenly get the yen to use something other than a treadmill (ha!), I have many options.

There are always paper towels. And there are water fountains. Oh, and a BATHROOM.

Speaking of the treadmills, I haven’t experienced any hip or knee pain on my right side since using them, which was a frequent occurrence before. I don’t know that there’s a connection, but…

Also, the display pad is much lower, which seems to have broken me of my sporadic “holding on” habit.

So ultimately what I’m saying here is that the change is not a bad thing. It could even be argued as a good thing. I believe I will ultimately be better off at a real gym. It’ll just take some getting used to.

And hey, once warmer weather hits I can run outside!

Do you use a “real” gym?

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  1. I started using the Georgetown University gym, I love their treadmills (they've got televisions right there ON THE TREADMILL! Scenic vistas you can set! TECHNOLOGY.) but so. many. undergrads.

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