Selling Out

Mar 28, 2014 by

          More often than not, I enjoy going to the gym. It boosts my confidence, especially when I’m upset or stressed. The fact that I maintain my gym routine regardless of my emotional state makes me feel good. Prior to The Happiness Experiment, I slept my feelings away. Closing my eyes was my life escape. This habit was unhealthy, so cutting out unnecessary naps was one of the first changes I made at the beginning of The Happiness Experiment. Now, not only do I stay conscious regardless of my emotions (which are rarely negative, but I have my moments), I work out despite them. I’m not going to go as far as to say that I go to the gym to cope. I don’t. I don’t even go to the gym to look a certain way (but if I’m going to move, I’m going to move in such a way that benefits my physique) or to maintain a target body weight (I haven’t weighed myself since applying for my passport in 2010). I go to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. That fab feeling of accomplishment that follows the gym is the awesome by-product of literally working my ass off that motivates me to keep going.

          Lately, though, the gym has been a cause of much stress. My gym schedule has been off since moving in early March. I normally work out Monday to Friday mornings. I like to start my days at the gym, so I go to work feeling good; and, honestly, I like to get it over with. While morning workouts get me going, evening workouts make me feel like a gym slave. I can’t get on with my night until I go, and I like to spend my weeknights with friends, out, or writing. The gym is not my first choice to kick-start my evenings. Although there is typically time between work and any after-work plans I may have, I prefer to use that time to write or get ready. Spending it at the gym instead has been exhausting. I’ve had less time to write, and I’m dead tired at the end of the night. #frustrating. Clearly, this is a self-inflicted problem and the solution is obvious: get back to mornings at the gym. I’m on it, friends. I’ve finally decided to suck it up and get a membership to a gym near my parents’ house.

          Over the past month, I’ve been sneaking into the free gym at the condo complex I’m no longer a resident of. #attachmentissues. To access the gym without a fob, I’ve had to follow residents inside – and not just through the front doors; the weight and cardio room doors also require fobs to open. I drink from the water fountain or pretend to scope out the candy in the vending machines (why do gyms sell this crap?) until someone unlocks the door, allowing me to discretely swoop in behind them before a staff member gets suspicious and asks me to show the membership card I lost months ago. (This hasn’t happened yet. I’m that good. However, I’m pretty sure the concierge of my old building is getting skeptical of the fobless girl who only ever takes the elevator down. Oh, yeah, I’ve been parking in my old underground parking spot, knowing that my landlords aren’t renting my [their] apartment this month. The floor was still concrete when I left.) This is why I’ve been working out in the evenings. Too few people go to the gym in the morning for me to be able to get in. Although I know the morning regulars, who could unlock the doors for me, they don’t have same workout schedules as I do. None of them are there every single Monday to Friday morning. When I still lived in the complex, I was occasionally the only person at the gym in the mornings at all. Therefore, depending on my morning gym friends to let me in everyday isn’t a realistic option.

          You may be thinking that the hassle of evening workouts and employing such spy-like tactics is too extreme to justify the money I’m saving. I’m not doing this to save money (though I’m always all for that!). I continue to go to my gym because I love it. It’s small, people socialize, and I know my way around the weight room. It’s also cozy, as opposed to the industrial look of a typical gym (cough, GoodLife, cough). Evidently, I have a hard time letting go. I know that change is good. My happy lifestyle is proof of it. But did change really have to go after my gym? Really? I’ve already changed cities, living quarters, and car insurance coverage this month. Do I seriously have to swap gyms too? Avoiding the unavoidable, I’ve spent all month brainstorming a permanent way around doing so. I even had my old neighbour inquire about the cost of getting me a fob under his name, so I can get into my gym in the morning. He was down to do it for me; but, given the cost combined with the fact that his lease ends in three months, at which point the fob would have to be returned, I decided that it’s not worth it. I’ve also considered asking the gym staff if I can pay to continue going there, but that would obviously be self-incriminating. To answer my own question, yes, I do have to switch gyms. Evening workouts have been kicking my ass. My gym, as much as I love it, is not worth my lifestyle. I need morning access to weights and cardio machines in order to ease up my nights. And so, I am officially a GoodLife member. Look at me accepting reality and coping with change! Bright side: With a new gym inevitably come new gym friends!

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