I pulled the plug on my ten-year membership… what do I do now?
I have been the member of a gym for as long as I can remember. I can recall heading out with my parents as a kid and clumsily riding the stationary bike while listening to Queen on my Walkman. In high school, I used the gym to beef up (?) for volleyball season and, post-college, I indebted myself to a treadmill in a desperate attempt to run my expanding wine belly away. Now, many years later, our relationship has slowly cruised into meh territory. Truth be known, I like to go several times a week, but for what? Ride the elliptical for 30 mundane minutes? Jog to a wall of TV screens? Lazily half-stretch while checking my phone? I’m done. I need a kick in the pants.
Just this week I threw in the towel — I quit my gym. It was kind of exhilarating, I’m not going to lie… as I walked away from the desk, my cheeky swagger slowly turned to panicked nervousness. Oh no, what if I don’t exercise anymore? Did I just quit my fitness safety net? A sea of worry flooded my head as I somberly shuffled my beaten-up trainers toward the elliptical. As I climbed on and started to do whatever it is we do on the elliptical… (glide?), I began to think of the positive effects of quitting the gym (besides saving $55 a month). Here’s what I came up with:
Work out with intent and focus. One of my biggest personal obstacles — the dreaded plateau, going through the motions and not exercising with focus, i.e. not pushing myself. But without the comfort of a gym membership, I have to find a way to work out with purpose, and make the most of it.
No more rut. Goodbye elliptical. See ya later, treadmill. Adios, stair master. I’m going to spice up my fitness life with everything that is NOT the gym. I’m inspired to hike at sunrise, go to yoga classes, ride my bike, trail run at dusk, take a boxing class, explore my neighborhood. Rut no more!
Work out at home. The gym is often a two-hour ordeal –1-hr drive to and from, and an hour to actually work out. Working out at home saves time. Plus I can do these amazing workouts by Australian fitness guru, Tanya Poppett, in the comfort of my own space.
Group exercise. My friends and I always want to work out together but, because they don’t have gym memberships, it never works out. Now we can schedule classes, take hikes, and yoga together.
+ Does anyone else feel me on this? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Follow Joanna on Instagram.