Friday, September 21, 2012

A letter to my Gym

Dear Gym,

It's time to break up. This is not a decision that I made lightly. It's one that I have struggled with for months. You were bought by a new own in June, but things weren't going right even before the new owners arrived. My kids were already complaining about not liking the kid zone. The steam room was often being "repaired" and my husband missed going in there. Some of my favorite classes were being cancelled. The towel drama. Don't pretend you don't know about the towel drama. You have to admit that things had gotten pretty bad. 

When the new owners arrived, there continued to be changes. My 4:30 classes were cancelled and still have not returned to the schedule. You fired many of my favorite instructors and cut the pay of others. It's your gym and you can do this, but it still stung. I am close to my instructors. We have developed a trust. A bond. I felt like you broke that bond. 

Now I have to ask beg for a towel at the front desk when I arrive. Remember when we use to be able to get towels from the towel counter without having to answer a bunch of questions? Small towel? One or two? I can't handle the towel pressure! It's not really about the towel. It's about respecting me as a member. Either you offer free towel service (as advertised) or you don't, but I hate having to jump through so many hoops to get a towel. 

The rules keep changing in the kid zone. I dare you to bring a snack for your kids to eat, only to be told that they no longer are allowed to eat snacks. What?!?! Major meltdown commencing in 3...2.... When the new owners arrived I heard rumors that they were working on making it more of a family gym. There is 1 (ONE!) kid class and it is offered in the middle of the day. The new check-in system is great, when it works, but I hate that the same parent has to drop-off and pick up. Sometimes I am running late to a class so my husband drops then off. Why, why, why can't I pick them up? The kid zone has become a place of stress for both my kids and myself. 

For my birthday this year you sent me a "skip the gym and be lazy" pass. Really? You want me to be lazy? It told me to do things like stay in bed all day, eat chips, relax in front of the TV. Is that the best for me? Don't you want me to be healthy? Why would you want me to not take care of myself. I'm all about balance, but I have a hard time respecting a gym that encourages laziness- even if it is my birthday. Sorry to tell you, but I wasn't lazy on my birthday. I actually ran a 5k that day with 12 of my friends. I celebrated my birthday by celebrating my health. 

Let's talk about classes..... I am a busy mom. Aren't we all? I am a teacher. My kids have homework. I don't want to take a class from 5:30-6:30. That means that we aren't home for dinner until 7. Back in the day there was always one or two (sometimes three) classes at 4:30. Now there are none. :(  You cancelled the classes that I loved cause they don't fit your "box" format of instruction. You said that in September those classes would be replaced with new amazing classes! Where are the classes? Oh, that's right. The equipment has been ordered. You've known since June that you were adding these classes. I don't want to wait any longer for "new, amazing classes". 

It's your gym. You can offer the classes that you want. Make the rules that you want. That's why I'm leaving. It's no longer my gym. OUR gym. I lost 165 pounds walking in the door of that building. There was a sense of community. Of family. I found a group of friends at my gym that I hope will last a lifetime. I learned to move. I did my first real jumping jack. I raised my risers in step class. I got bendy. I boxed. I did water aerobics. I lifted weights with the big boys. I ran and ran and ran on that treadmill (2nd from the fan in the front row) I trained for a half marathon! My gym family has moved on, and now it is time for my family to move. I'm not leaving you for a fancier model. I think we are actually going to down grade, but I think we are going to regain that sense of community, of family, that has been lacking for a long time. 


About Me

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On June 19, 2009 I started my weight loss journey. It has become quite the journey! As of today (2-1-11) I have lost 162 pounds and have gained a whole new life. This blog is a continuation of my journey. I hope to inspire and encourage others through my process.