Why I Stopped Going to the Gym after Swearing I’d Go Everyday for the Rest of my Life


Last summer, I joined the local gym. I was (still am) overweight, out of shape (still am) and looking for more energy (still looking). The gym was offering a great incentive to join and they had…a POOL. I have a 12 year old and this is basically the holy grail of Summer. I could work out as long as I liked and then come outside, sit poolside and relax and swim while she and a friend had fun. Sounds great right?

Well, it was, at first. I left my treadmill at home and came in to use the seated elliptical. Then, when I would come in, both seated ellipticals were being used, so I would have to either wait or go do something else. They have a movie room where there’s a lot of treadmills and standing ellipticals to use while you watch a movie. So, I started doing that. While I always felt great leaving the gym, I never really lost weight. I know that walking and other similar exercises are amazing for heart health and for keeping arthritis pain at bay, but otherwise, I was really turned off by the gym.

I was very upset that many people would sit down, sweaty and all, use a machine and then just get up and walk away. Eww, gross! I always made sure to use a towel and a sanitary wipe because, well, I have manners. I would be in a circuit and someone would sit right next to me, interrupting my circuit. I started remembering years ago why I stopped going to the gym and realized the same thing was happening again. The regulars and other people not familiar with gym etiquette were just being rude. It truly took away from my experience. Yes, I did inquire at the desk and they made many excuses and never took action. So, when the pool season was over, I canceled my membership, ate the termination fee and moved on.


Recently, I went to a roller skating party that my daughter was invited to. I was given a ticket to get my own skates and hit the floor with everyone else. Thankfully, I didn’t break any bones or require months of physical therapy. I didn’t fall (came DAMN CLOSE a few times) and left thinking, “Wow! I’ve still got it after all these years!” I even regretted leaving the gym for a few nanoseconds, but that feeling passed quickly when I saw my bank account balance.

The next day, I woke up, triumphant, with no pain! I thought I was in much better shape than I’d first imagined. Then, I woke up on “Day Two”. I didn’t know the inner thighs and hips had so many muscles and opportunities for intense pain! Trust me, they do. While a few days of taking it easy and some ibuprofen remedied everything, I realized that, yes, I’m still quite out of shape. Winter can make it much harder to get in exercise as walking outside in bitter cold isn’t pleasant for everyone (Yes I see you in shorts when it’s 25 and wind chills minus zero out there running. what are you, a sadist?)


While I have no illusions of being my former teenage self, I would most certainly like to at least get rid of the excess weight, be at an acceptable size and eat much more healthy. I know I have abs, but we broke our relationship off quite some time ago and they won’t return my calls. I’m hoping that on my own, I will be able to do what I was paying a ridiculous amount of money monthly to do: Get healthier. It truly has been a lifelong journey for me, yo-yoing around with my weight and starting to feel the creep of age and my 30+ year battle with arthritis starting to bite back, but I know that the key is to keep moving and eat better. I don’t have to pay over $100 a month to do that and the money is better spent on other things, like chips. Just kidding!

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