The Gym

So I went to the a gym for the first time in 3 years, and it felt pretty good. I had been going to Goodlife Fitness on Queen St. in downtown Ottawa until about the fall of 2014. It’s a fancy gym, expensive, it’s big, and chic, and very metropolitan. There is a juice bar on site. And it’s crowded. One of the reasons I had joined in the first place was their “Open 24 Hours” policy, which I quickly discovered was a bold-faced lie. Being a single father to a small child, and working fulltime, it goes without saying that I wasn’t going to be able to go whenever; I would need something that was open, at times, very early in the morning, or late at night. Several times when I went later in the evening, I was turned away by their friendly staff, who claimed, each time, that the gym needed some kind of maintenance. Thanks for that $74.00 every two weeks sucker.
I had been a gym guy for years. At times I had gotten into pretty good shape, too. Lifting weights cleared my head. It relaxed me, it was my form of meditation. Now, with Goodlife, I felt like I had joined some weird crowded cult. Too many narcisists, too many yahoos. One of the last times I went, they had a DJ spinning abnoxious faux-house. Another time shortly thereafter, I wanted to go in an evening – no dice. “We’re closing early for maintenance” I was told. That was that. I cancelled my membership.
And now it’s been 3 years.
One day my co-worker Ryan told me about the YMCA, which, it turns out, has a location less than a block away from my office. Who knew? He’s since moved on and found a new job, but I’ve joined him down at the Y a couple times now on a guest pass and I like it. 3 years without going to the gym. I came out of there feeling energized, refreshed. Apparently the membership is quite affordable. So far I have found it clean, the equipment is good, it’s not crowded. No show-offs, no cheezy DJ’s. I think I am going to sign up.

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