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Gym Culture

November 12, 2012

Ok, so I belong to this really BIG, BEHEMOTH of a gym called The Pro Club in Bellevue, WA.  It has everything.  3 cardio rooms, a private woman’s gym in case you don’t want to be seen by men, 2 full gymnasiums, 4 tennis courts, 2 restaurants, a pro shop, a florist, a salon for hair and nails, a spa for facials and massages, a medical spa for more intensive procedures like laser hair removal, chemical peels etc. It’s got a lap pool, a family pool, a physical therapy pool with a treadmill in it (I used it when I broke my foot) a lesson pool and a training pool.  

This place has 2 different locker rooms for men and women.  One is for families and the other is only for people 16 and older.  The fancy one has a steam room, dry sauna, and 2 whirlpools with 3 different shower rooms.  They have hairdryers and nice soap for your convenience as well as deodorant, hairspray and mouthwash.  They give you as many towels as you want at the door.

Also, they have car detailing for you if you so desire.  Their free weight room is immense and when I first joined 6 years ago I frequently got lost.  They have an amazing daycare available that also serves as a pre-school.  They have rooms for classes too.  This place is crazy.  The top floors are for the weight loss specialists and Doctors who can help with sports injuries, a podiatrist, nutritionists and the like.  Then there are the personal trainers.  The fit elite there to guide you to your fitness goals.

They’ve got it all and I still hate it.  Gym culture is just not my thing.  I try to stay away during the lunch hour, because everybody is there trying to fit in their workout and will mow you down if you walk too slow.  The locker room is a madhouse of frenetic energy as women shower and apply makeup, ready to jump back into the fray of their work day.  No matter how hard I try to stay out of the way, invariably I fail.  SO, it’s a bit better during off-peak times for slower moving humans trying to catch their breath before hitting the  showers.

Thankfully, the place is so huge, you never wait for a machine and there is a spray bottle of cleanser and a wipe towel at EVERY SINGLE MACHINE that they have.  Every last one.  Frequently, during my workout, as I’m trying not to breath too hard as not to alram others around me of my impending heart attack, a man or woman with a basket of small fresh towels will smile at me while they take away the old wipe-down towel and replace it with a fresh one.  Very nice, thank you very much.  My music is blaring in my ears to drown out the rapid and loud pounding of my heart and the terrible music they have piped in and the conversation between the 2, 20-something gals behind me, prattling away, hardly breaking a sweat on the stair climbers. I’m drenched, of course, and my face glows bright red, further alarming others around me as they grow more and more concerned about the lady in black on the elliptical.  By the time I get off the thing I’m a mess and I have to walk slowly around the room drinking more water to cool down.  My earphones are soaked and my small towel is completely damp.  I finally gather myself enough to grab a mat from the pile and begin stretching on the floor.  Then I resist the temptation to just lay there and begin my crunches.  

Again, I am spent and it takes all my might to get up off my mat and drag it back to the pile, spray it with citrusy cleanser and wipe it down with the allotted towel.  I barely make it up the stairs without falling and I make it back to the locker room very dazed and out of breath with my bright red sweaty face.  My pony tail is soaked and my hair is plastered to my glowing forehead.  Then, as I sit down on the bench in front of my locker, some lady wrapped in a towel rounds the corner and her locker is either right next to mine or right over it or under it.  Always happens.  We smile awkwardly at one another and I move down the bench averting my eyes so she won’t think I’m a perv staring at her getting dressed.  Finally, she moves and I can begin peeling my clothes off.  I don’t even give a shit at this point about what I look like naked.  I just want to be under some cool water.  I emerge clean, my face still glowing an alarming shade of red and I can barely get my clothes on before I start sweating again.  No hair dryer for me.  With my sweaty clothes tucked away, I sweep my wet hair into a pony tail and I exit the locker room as deftly as I can.  I take the stairs down, holding onto the handrail and I make the precarious walk from the stairs to the exit.  People are almost bowling me over to get to their workout or wherever, maybe some squash?  I finally step outside after returning the staffs’ cheery hellos and I walk slowly to my car, still dodging the influx of people coming into the Pro Club.  I breathe deep and have a coughing fit.  I make it to my car and melt into the driver’s seat only to get honked at by someone who wants my parking space.  So I start my car and back out, weaving through the parking garage and then I’m on the road, with the windows down no matter that it’s raining, and my head feels like it’s expanding and contracting in time with my pulse.  I get home and lie down on my bed until I feel somewhat normal again.

That’s the gym experience for me.  For now.  

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 13, 2012 11:03 pm

    Nicey Niecy – You inspire that you perspire. You just rock, girl! I am grateful you’re my Northwest Niece. 🙂

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