A Bachelor’s Quest for a New Gym

Finding a new gym is like finding a new girlfriend.

When my office finalized the move downtown a few weeks ago I had to end my two year relationship with my gym. We never fought. Some weeks we’d see each other 3-4 times a week. Others not at all. And that was the beauty of our relationship. I didn’t feel obligated to go every day. A few times I splurged on massages, but other than one Pilates class, I saw her for all the basic reasons: cardio and weights.

We shared some special moments. About halfway into our courtship, I achieved something I never had or thought I would: 12 unassisted chin-ups in a row. She was non-plussed. Instead she challenged me to do more. The same thing happened when I bench pressed 77% of my weight. “Do more,” she said.

For $20 a month I could bring a friend and take classes, think of it as the Mormon clause. In the two years I was a member I did this less than 3 times. Apparently no one ever has their workout gear with them.

Bachelor tip: always have your gym gear in your car or stashed in your desk.

I ended our relationship in writing. I tried to do it in person, but was told via letter was best. The last Thursday in the suburban office ended not with raising of beers, but with raising of dumbbells.

Despite our open relationship, I never caught anything from her and I risked it in the showers. No flip flops for this rebel with anti-fungal creams.

Now nestled high in the clouds in Chicago’s loop, I have started my quest for my next sweat house.

Today was my first day of a week-long trial at Equinox, a high-end gym in the loop. Monthly dues run about $140 a month. As soon as you scan in, you’re greeted by name. Despite being the Duke on Yelp of my last gym, no one ever addressed me by name. It’s like she didn’t even know me! It’s such a little thing, but makes you feel welcome and fortifies that sense of belonging.

I joined a vinyasa flow yoga class on my lunch hour. There were no-slip, rubberized yoga mats in the storage space of the studio. About a dozen others clustered around the room in their yoga gear. Some ladies were sporting Lululemon threads. The instructor was knowledgable and sought suggestions on what areas the class wanted to target. Some fool suggested “hips” and so our practice began. She also paced the class more for yogic meditation than cardio/yoga. After several practices at CorePower, this fresh sequence was a reprieve.

Equinox, I fear, is that impeccably dressed lady with designer handbags for every day in the crook of her arm. Damn she looks amazing(ly expensive).

Stay tuned for more gym courtship reports this week.

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