A few months ago I received a letter regarding my gym membership. At first glance I thought for sure they were cancelling my account due to inactivity. Upon reading further, I was relieved to learn that gyms do not endorse the practice of eliminating their laziest members. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, they encourage it. The notice was sent to inform me that the gym I had been frequenting for the last 3 years (well, more like 2 months if you actually count the times I went) had been bought out by a younger, skinnier gym uptown. What a cliché.
At first I was excited to tour the facilities. The new gym that would be absorbing all of us members had been built a few years ago and looked brand new. The pool was a pristine baby blue. The racquetball courts hadn’t seen a scuff yet. The locker rooms didn’t resemble the basement of a state penitentiary like every other gym in America. Hell, there was even a juice bar and towel boy. Suddenly I felt like I was in the Caribbean.
So, my husband and I transferred our membership and decided to try it out. Three weeks later, I actually did try it out…and it was terrible.
It hadn’t occurred to me that maybe 5:30 pm on a weeknight in January wasn’t the best time to work out. My naiveté showed upon entering the parking lot to find that all the spots were taken. Usually that was enough to send me home (well, I tried). But, I was determined to get back in shape. After walking the quarter mile from where I parked to the entrance I felt like I had already gotten half of my work out right there. Once inside, I headed straight for the locker rooms and began to change.
The arrangement of the pristine, wood stained lockers had not occurred to me on my first visit. Instead of a long, straight line of lockers with benches in the middle, some genius had decided to make tiny cubicles out of them so as to make it easier to step on your neighbor’s toes. As I stood there bumping ass cheeks with the woman next to me I was struck by the other thing that bothered me about my new gym. It had been invaded by valley girls. Their phrases echoed in the air and even the sweet sound of Def Leppard in my headphones could not drown them out.
“I was like, oh my God.”
“Can you see my thong through these spandex?”
“I’m more concerned about Israel striking preemptively on Iran if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doesn’t meet the sanctions imposed by the U. N.”
Okay they didn’t say that last one. That was just me dreaming on behalf of intelligent women everywhere that these drones had an ounce of self-respect and cultural awareness. No such luck.
I wormed my way out of the locker room from hell and headed towards the cardio machines. The treadmills, ellipticals, Stairmasters, and recumbent bikes were all buzzing. In fact, there wasn’t a single machine available. I had never been in this situation before. I scanned the room and noticed a long line forming against the wall. These idiots were actually lining up to wait for a treadmill like it was some kind of fucking carnival ride.
I began to lose my enthusiasm and headed for the free weights. My heart sank as I glanced down at the only two dumbbells left. A 55 lb weight meant for someone twice my size and a 2 lb featherweight that a preschool child could lift with his pinky. Awesome.
In a last ditch effort I made my way over to the weight machines. Maybe there was an ab cruncher or something that would make this journey worth it. Wrong again. The only open machine was the butterfly press. I had already learned from previous work out sessions that the sole purpose of this machine was to give men an excuse to stare at your chest. By extending your elbows back as far as they can go and then pressing them together again you end up playing a sort of peek-a-boo game with your boobs that I guarantee every man will drool at.
What a huge mistake I had made. I never realized how good I had it with my old gym. I didn’t appreciate how the naked seniors changing in the locker room after their water aerobics class made me feel so young and vibrant. I took for granted all the overweight middle-aged people that made me feel invincible. I missed the kids that would splash around in the pool as I tried to concentrate on my laps. I longed for the sweaty old men that always asked if I wanted to join their racquetball game. I threw it all away for my shining new bimbo of a gym. I’m sorry Old Gym. Just so you know, New Gym isn’t half the establishment that you were.