Today I joined a gym.
Sweet Zombie Jesus.
Three years ago, when I turned forty, I realized all at once that I had to actually go out of my way and Do Something in order to maintain the fitness level which I assumed was my birthright.
(Frowny face. Yeah, I’m such a princess.)
So I started going to Bikram Yoga, because it seemed like the thing. It was yoga, and so it had that flexible zenlike vibe, but it was also super hard to do so it had that strength and durability thing going on. And sweat, of course. Dear lord, the sweat.
It seemed to do the trick and also maybe got rid of the worst of my eczema. Also it was a really nice studio and the people were great and the hours and location were super convenient.
When my Seattle job was still part time I was managing to sneak in two or three sessions a week in Bellingham most of the time, but now that the job is full time (yay!) which somewhat offsets the problem of Paul being suddenly out of work (boo!) it isn’t really possible to do that. So I started looking around for a Seattle solution.
There is a hot yoga — not licensed Bikram — studio near where I am staying in Seattle. I did their intro thing, 10 classes in 30 days for 30 dollars. I managed to go three times. I probably would have gone more often if I hadn’t had a bad cough one of the weeks. On the plus side, the location is convenient, I liked one of the teachers quite a bit, and they do the Bikram series plus a “power yoga” series which would give me an opportunity to learn new moves.
But I wasn’t quite ready to commit. For one thing, it isn’t in between the bus and my house, so it’s too easy to skip class through inertia. And the overall experience of going is kind of awkward. The classes fill up, so you have to get there well in advance. But the waiting area is quite small, so there’s very little changing room and nowhere to wait comfortably. And the classes are scheduled with only a 15 minute gap, so there’s a brief period where the people from the class that is getting out, and the people from the class that is about to start, are all milling about awkwardly in a space that really isn’t big enough for them.
So, when my intro expired, I thought I’d try something else for a while.
There’s a licensed Bikram studio on Capitol Hill .8 miles from where I work, which I have never been to, but I made one experimental trek up the hill. It was long and tedious enough that I figured it wouldn’t be my first choice. Also, there’s no bus to Greenlake from up there, so the nearest bus stop is to trek the .8 miles down the hill down again.
The 24 hour fitness gym that I just joined is a block from where I work. It’s enormous, the regular monthly membership is quite a bit cheaper than a regular membership at the yoga studio, and they offer lunchtimeish yoga classes on most weekdays. Plus there’s a steamroom and a sauna if I just feel the need for excess heat. So on paper it sounds super great.
Except… it’s a gym. The people I talked to were young and perky and nice, but I could feel that subtle hard sell squeeze going on the whole time. “Are you sure you don’t want the $129 introductory special where you get three sessions with a trainer?” “I’ll think about it.” “Do you want your body composition done?” “Uhh…. not right now. I’ll think about it.” “The introductory sessions are really helpful.” “I’ll think about it.”
Anyway, now I’m committed for two months, so we’ll see what happens.