After the gym I’d used for six years closed in May, I joined a YWCO. Differences between the Y and my former gym were immediately apparent. I wrote about the most obvious on this here blog thingy back in November — 11/20/17 to be exact. If you’re on my web site, scroll down for that post or click here to check it out.
With maybe a tenth of the equipment available at my former gym, I worried about crowds. Waiting in line is not conducive to a good workout and would likely deter me from going. My fears, however, were unfounded. Rarely do I see more than two or three people in the workout room. On several occasions, I’ve had the place to myself.
The folks who workout at the Y are mostly my age or older. Ladies outnumber men by a small margin and tend to stick to the cardio equipment. Some use a few of the machines, but I’ve yet to see any women using the free weights.
The patrons are distinctly non-conformists. A few workout in blue jeans and pullover sweaters. Crew neck t-shirts are the norm, including several I’d classify as vintage. A likely octogenarian who can bench press twice as much as I can wears a t-shirt, long basketball shorts, and ancient Teva sandals with white socks.
The atmosphere is different — very laid-back and polite. There’s no music playing in the background. Nobody but me wears earbuds either. Working out with seniors has advantages. Dumbbells and weight disks are always put back where they go. Equipment gets wiped-down before and after use.
So far — nearly three months after joining — I haven’t paid a dime, which never would have happened at my old gym. Before Christmas, I stopped at the desk and thanked them for my free membership. They laughed, told me not to worry, and left a note for the bookkeeper.
I realized on the way to the gym I’d left my workout gloves the previous visit. When they weren’t in the lost and found, I figured they were gone forever and planned to visit a sports store on the way home. As I was leaving the weight room, I was shocked to see the missing gloves on a coat hook by the door.
At my old gym, I hated using the cardio equipment lined up in long rows in front of a bank of television screens. At the Y, a handful of treadmills, ellipticals, and recumbent bicycles face big picture windows overlooking the parking lot and nearby woods. Using them is a pleasure. The scenery helps, but the bigger difference is a total lack of self-consciousness.
My running playlist is chocked full of uptempo dance hits from the 1970s and 80s. The treadmill is the closest thing to a dance floor I’ve seen in years. I get my groove on with reckless abandon without regard for anyone behind me — because I’m old enough not to care what other people think, just like everyone else there.
Home at last…