Thursday, January 23, 2014

To Gym or Not to Gym?

We gave up our YMCA membership last spring to save about $65 per month. The Y is 10 minutes or so away by car and Earl was working evenings so he would be left home without a car while I worked and Tucker went to school. I wanted to find a gym that was close enough for him to walk to. Tucker also wanted to work out here in town (not that he would walk to it, being a self-respecting 17-year-old). So they both got memberships at a small gym that has 24-hour access. The cost is about the same as what we paid for our family membership at the Y, but I'm glad they are going regularly.
As for me, I decided I would just run and not join a gym. And that has worked well up until this week. As the temperatures dipped down below 0, I had to find an alternative way to run.
I signed up for a gym trial at the fancy LA Fitness gym about half a mile away. Still, the temperatures forced me to drive to the gym for my trial membership.
I ran on the treadmill both yesterday and today. Yesterday, without a television screen in front of the treadmill, today with a television screen. The channel wouldn't change so I was stuck with CNBC -- some business news program at 7 a.m.
Me and Najah running in the snow in December.
We kept running outside as long as we could.
Some thing I forgot since last running on a treadmill. I sweat a lot when I run inside. Although the temperature beyond the glass might be -2, inside the sweat is soaking through my clothes and dripping down my face.
Some thing I forgot since visiting a big gym. The people who work out in big gyms look pretty even when they're working out.
I do not.
I can clean up okay. In clothes, with some make up and my hair straightened, I look attractive. But I don't want to worry about looking attractive while I run. My hair falls out of my ponytail and then gets plastered to my face from sweat; my face turns bright red; my thighs are definitely chubby but they can run several miles.
I run in the same clothes that I have had for 10 years. I don't see any point in upgrading when the clothes aren't worn out, and they still work just as well. That means I'm not too fashionable. Everyone else in the gym is fashionable, except a woman I saw in some sort of culottes and I figured that was a religious decision.
The first day, I didn't consider that I'd be running in shorts. I've been in running pants since November. And a few miles in, the skin on my thighs started to rub raw. Okay, that obviously means I just need to run more, not that I should stop!
So today, I put a pair of  tight, Spandex-type shorts under my slick running shorts. The spandex shorts would keep my thighs from rubbing, but I didn't count on how the running shorts would look over them. I probably would have looked better just in the Spandex shorts as the other shorts rode up.
Maybe no one noticed, maybe I was the one judging myself, but I felt ugly. No one wants to go to the gym and feel ugly.
That probably means I need to find a different gym.
The gym has a lot of weight machines, but they seemed to be fairly occupied by guys with big muscles who carry around gallon jugs of water. Too intimidating.
Unfortunately, the forecast calls for more weather too cold for running outside. I'd better find some place to keep running until spring finally arrives.


Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Love the photo! I think you are funny worrying about what you look like at the gym. What you wear shouldn't matter, right? But I do know the feeling, since I am the only person in my yoga class older than collage age (quite a bit older). Sadly it does seem that the outfit matters.

Suzie Tullett said...

I shouldn't worry about what you look like at the gym, all that sweat shows you're doing what you go there to do.

The only other suggestion I can come up with is getting a home treadmill? Not that I'm an expert on these things, I can't even run for a bus! x

Paulita said...

Sally and Suzie, I agree that it shouldn't matter, but I was feeling pretty good about myself until I went to the gym. Kind of the opposite of a morale boost.

Linda said...

Imagine working out in a gym in Paris. I am the chunky one with the UT Tshirt and old work out pants. One lady even had a scarf around her neck.

Paulita said...

Linda, That's hilarious. I would be out of fashion on the street or in the gym in Paris.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I worried about going to the gym too, didn't want to look out of place, didn't have to worry in the end , I go to a great little gym , lovely people and I bought my new gym clothes from our local supermarket.

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