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Hello, my name is Indigo Bunting, and I love the gym. Part I: Gyms and Rumors of Gyms November 24, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Last spring, I began to hear rumors that a new gym and pool would be opening One Town Over from Parts West. It was hard to believe this rumor, because One Town Over is a rather depressed little town and seems an unlikely place for such a facility. But there began to be increasing evidence that this rumor was indeed true, and at long last, sometime late in the spring, the facility-under-construction opened for tours.

It’d been a half-dozen years, I’d say, since I’ve had access to a gym, and probably 15 years since I’ve paid for access. I went to take the tour figuring that no doubt it would be too expensive, or it wouldn’t be that nice after all, and that really, my NordicTrack elliptical cross trainer and I were doing just fine on our own, thank you very much.

So I took the tour. It was still a work in progress. There were no cardio machines in yet, no weight machines. (All cardio machines, I was assured, would come with their own TV screens.) All one could really see was the swimming pool, the size of the workout space, the mirrored room set aside for classes, the locker rooms. The fabulous flooring. And the staff was doing all it could to break down psychological barriers/excuses: A wall separated the men’s and women’s workout spaces. There was a room set aside for daycare. There were personal trainers available.

There was a juice bar.

I fell in love immediately. But could I afford it?

I was hopeful. Situated in that depressed town, it would have to be slightly affordable, wouldn’t it? So that people who lived there could actually be members?

Yes. It was affordable. In fact, at the introductory rate, it cost half of what I feared it might cost. I nearly signed up that instant.

I left the building that late spring day feeling something almost foreign: I was really, really excited about something that was about to happen. For all sorts of reasons (many of which I attribute to my childhood), I don’t feel that way very often. I was giddy. Little-kid giddy.

About a gym.

[Tomorrow: Part II: How It Began]


1. Adam Byrn Tritt - November 24, 2008

Am I? The first? Has this ever happened to me? Yes, I am. The first to comment. Excellent.

First, I do so like serialized entries and appreciate that, tomorrow, I shall have to sneak a bit of time from my daughter’s visit and my other duties to see what the next installment brings.

Your description nearly makes me exited for you. except for one thing: a separate workout area for gals and guys? GAK! I’d have to workout with (gulp) icky guys?

(Yes, that was, actually, I swear, my first reaction.)

The grunting and groaning and strutting and whatnot is one of the things that allowed me the rationalizing of the recent dropping of the membership I had. The gals weren’t so bad but the guys… sheese!

So I went to the community gym and it was more of a testosterone palace than the one I had just dropped.

Ah, well… running by myself (which means Dusty too) means the only testosterone I put up with is my own. And think there is precious little of that judging from the muscular development in lack of evidence.

I’ll be paying close attention to see how this turns out.

2. Cedar Waxwing - November 25, 2008

Wow, I wish I could say I understand your love of a gym, but being someone who avoids places that encourage people to work out together I’ll have just be happy for you in your moment of giddiness.

3. Helen - November 25, 2008

I am also having a hard time understanding your excitement, but am happy for you.

Is there an escalator up to the gym’s entrance? (Which I did see in a photo once.)

4. Sewa Yoleme - November 25, 2008

I had a gym membership once. It wasn’t nearly the horrific experience I thought it would be, and I went at least three times a week, often five. But it was hard. So, so hard. I never, ever started to enjoy it, never got the pleasurable rush of endorphins after a workout, never felt anything but anxiety and exhaustion.

As I lose weight and my physical capability grows, I want to do things that involve play. I want to walk, and play with dogs, and play with grand-nieces, and lift heavy objects in lieu of weight training. No, it won’t isolate muscle groups, or let me watch TV while working out, but I think I’ll enjoy it more, and right now that’s the key to keeping me active.

5. indigobunting - November 25, 2008

Everyone: As some things I want to say are somewhat addressed in parts II and III, I will keep mum here.

Adam: Sometimes the m/f line is crossed. It’s not that one sex isn’t allowed on the other side, it just isn’t necessarily encouraged, mostly for the sake of women who are intimidated by working out with men. I’d be perfectly happy if it was mixed. Often a man wanders over to the woman’s side. No doubt someday I’ll be wandering over to the men’s side if I want to get on a machine that’s being used on the women’s side. The resistance equipment is a bit different too, so there can be reason to wander.

Helen: If there is an escalator within a 45-minute drive of my house, I honestly couldn’t tell you where.

Cedar: Maybe my liking the social aspect has to do with the fact that I spend so much of my time alone. But there’s a good-energy aspect as well, a bit of contagion…

Craig: I have a Jane Rinck book to send you someday.

6. Sewa Yoleme - November 25, 2008

I adore Jane. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

7. Mali - November 25, 2008

I’m with Adam. I hate the idea of having to work out with petite, gorgeous women. Oggling the men is what gets me through the workout! Besides, I love sitting on the rower next to a guy and shaming him with my workrate! (only happens occasionally!)

I love gyms … I may comment more on your next installment.

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