There's a Place You Can Go

Well, it only took me two weeks, but I did it -- I joined a gym. There were three in my area to choose from. The first was the local mega-gym, with lots of prettiness and buffitude, not to mention lots of the grunting and slamming down of weights (even though there's a rule against that), one million machines and one million televisions and very peppy salespeople who greet everyone by name as they enter and who now call me daily.

The second was a luxe all-women's fitness center and spa, decorated in shades of white on whiter, dotted with potted palms and stocked with fluffy white towels and robes and a whirlpool shaped like a teardrop -- a tempting utopia (massages! pedicures!) but also extraordinarily expensive.

The third was the YMCA nearest to me, a large, gritty, city Y; a multicultural place with lots of activity, from the kids in the day care marching up and down the halls in rows of two to the high school students shouting on the basketball courts to the folks who rent rooms there at a weekly rate pacing back and forth outside the entrance smoking cigarettes.

Last night, after a 20-minute tour, I picked the Y. There wasn't a potted palm or a fluffy white towel in sight. The women's workout room doesn't have a single TV. The women's locker room was messy and the whirlpool looked like someone had dropped beef bullion cubes into it. I think the steam room had a crack in the door.

But you know what? I felt comfortable there. I wasn't afraid to meet people's eyes and smile. Most of the people I encountered actually smiled back. I didn't feel like I had to run out and buy all new workout clothes so I would fit in. I wasn't the fattest person there (not even close) and so I didn't stop to consider losing some weight before starting my membership.

Plus, you know, there's this:

"Young man, there's no need to feel down. I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground. I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town there's no need to be unhappy.

"Young man, there's a place you can go. I said, young man, when you're short on your dough. You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find many ways to have a good time."

(boom, boom, boom, boom, boom)

Everybody now!

"It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A. It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A-A ..."

1 comment:

J9 said...

Go G! When I was at my gym on Sunday, I was the youngest one there.... one of the quirks of living in a retirement community. Boy if that doesn't keep me going!