Blogging 365, Day 19: The Great Outdoors


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The New Year is the time for the so-called resolutioners to try to get off of their duffs and get active, and gyms are eager to reel them in by offering free passes so they can check things out before they decide to join. (And if they do join, they’ll be off the horse and home by March – guaranteed.)

I got two such passes in the mail from two different local gyms. One was for three days while the other was for seven and while I debated about using either of them, today I bit the bullet and redeemed the three-day pass.

When I arrived I was greeted by a rep who sat me down and had me enter my info into the computer. (This is where my Google Voice number comes in handy as I use it strictly for things like this.) After he issued me the temporary pass, he gave me a tour of the facility which for all intents and purposes was much more than I expected.

But I went into the deal knowing that there was no way in hell I was going to join, my theory being that there’s nothing I can’t normally do there that I can’t do outside. And by the time I had finished my workouts I had realized why, cost aside, I don’t join gyms anymore.

The scenery never changes. Depending on which you believe, in an hour I ran either 8.20 miles according to the Nike + Running app or just over 5 by the treadmill. Either way, there I stood running away in the same place watching programming I really never cared for: college basketball. I never understood the hype about any college sport, to be honest. At any rate, yeah, it was boring – the run and the programming.

You can’t spit. I tend to spit quite a bit when I run. I can’t do that in the gym. Well, I could but the person on the treadmill next to me probably wouldn’t appreciate it.

The smell. When you are in a place that was meant to make people sweat then naturally you can’t help but take in the resulting odor. It was a bit too much for me, not to mention the failure of others to wipe down the machine they were just using to make it somewhat clean for the next person.

Awful music and audio systems. Despite listening to my own Workout playlist while in the gym, I was still able to hear the muted melodies of what can only be described as downright craptastic music. In addition, the quality of the sound sucked as it does in most gyms.

Not accurate. As I said in the first point, I couldn’t determine what I ran based on either my app or treadmill display. But what I do know is that on pavement, I can normally cover 6 miles in an hour while running and at least 8 miles in 30 minutes on a bike. In 30 minutes, the stationary bike showed I had ridden 5.25 miles. Not exactly what I get while on the trail.

No options. When out, if I decide I don’t want to go the way I went last time, then I can exercise my right and run/ride in another direction just for a change. At the gym, well, you get what you get. Only the people change but they still stink.

After I had finished my workouts, I wiped off the bike as well as my forehead now dripping in sweat and headed toward the exit knowing that based on the reasons listed above, this would probably be the last time I set foot in a gym.

There may be two days remaining on my pass but I don’t see a reason to use them. I’ll gladly take the freedom of exercising in the great outdoors any time.

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