Thursday, 28 February 2008

The Great Gym Hunt

Following yesterday's news that my gym is to close, I was feeling very down. I felt as though I had had the rug pulled from under me really. When you are nearly 23 stone, it takes a lot of nerve to walk into a gym, and a lot of commitment to keep going back. And I had done it.

And if I had done it once, I could do it again, so time to pull myself together and get onto it!!

So with the power of Google, I spent last night doing some basic research - locating gyms, phoning them for details, and planning a grand tour this morning. I decided on 4 to go and see today, 3 of which I have used before, in my younger fitter days.

After I had taken dd to school (in the car sadly, to facilitate my dash round the county!) I went to gym #1. This was the most recent of my gym memberships, prior to sliding into blobdom. I remember rarely using the actual gym, but the swimming pool was nice. Sure enough, the swimming pool is nice, very very nice. And the gym is huge. And crowded with machines. And fit people. And frankly terrifying. When I tried to see myself going in there to work out, I couldn't do it, and I realised why I only ever used the pool!

No worries, still 3 more to go and I was quite excited about #2 as it is ladies only, no mirrors, yadda yadda yadda. So in I went, hauled myself up the steep stairs and considered whether they may be a little off putting for the unfit! Upstairs I found myself in a fairly grotty reception area, but the lady there seemed friendly enough. Doors were opened so I could peer in the rooms, which were deserted. No instructors around, no clients around. Nothing about my needs etc was asked. I asked about fitness classes, but the lady who does them is on maternity leave. And then the prices - this was the most expensive of all the gyms I had called - twice the price of the fancy hi-tech one I went to first! So left there without a backward glance but an increasingly heavy heart.

I drove to #3 without much hope. This one isn't in my town so if I'm short of time it makes it harder to fit in. But I used to go there when I was at my peak of fitness many years ago so I had to look. While I was in reception awaiting my tour, another lady arrived for the same reason so we toured together.

And this dear reader is where our hearts are lightened again, because it was fab! Small, friendly, busy, well equipped. The instructor on duty was a bloke probably in his 50s - just a regular guy who happens to be fit and healthy. Not a muscle bound 20 year old in sight - praise be! The gym equipment is all brand new a couple of months ago so not the same stuff I was using way back when - not sure if this is a good or a bad thing! The membership includes fitness classes, swimming pool and spa. And is at the lower end of the price range.

I never went to see #4 - no need. I've got my induction at #3 next Tuesday and I'm rather looking forward to it! I just need to go to Curves for a couple more workouts and to say goodbye to Louise and the team, who I am going to miss hugely. Would it be inappropriate to take them a huge box of chocs in as a thank you gift, I wonder?

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