Any of you who were Friends fans (and who hasn’t been at some point in the last 15 years) will remember the episode where Chandler wants to ‘quit the gym’. The episode is a bit over the top with extremely attractive membership personnel who keep everyone from successfully canceling their membership. While this doesn’t really have any basis in reality (at least not in my experience), but changing Gyms is a bit of a traumatic experience.
About a year and a half ago I changed gyms. My old gym was a long time local establishment. Great facility, but it had it’s drawbacks, mostly in the service area. The pricing was a bit high, there were lots of days the facility was closed and the staff spent the last two hours of the day vacuuming and cleaning. I typically went from 8-10pm, which were always the hours they were cleaning. I finally got tired of paying a premium price to listen to vacuums and get sprayed with bleach, so I changed facilities.
My new Gym is a 24 hour facility, lower priced than the previous place, but it has it’s drawbacks. First off it’s small, only about 10 cardio machines and a handful of weights and machines. That’s not really so bad, but they also don’t have locker rooms. There are two unisex bathrooms, so if you want to show up without your workout gear on, you have to wait for one of them to be open. The other thing I don’t like, and this may sound funny, it’s not very busy. Back when I was working in an office, I liked it when the gym was quiet. Now that I’m self employed, work from home, and just hang out with the dogs all day long, I kind of crave human company. Not nearly as much fun to go to an empty gym.
So here’s my dilemma. The city I live in offers some very good facilities. They include a pool, great workout facility, basketball courts and locker rooms. Pretty much full service, and actually $5/month cheaper than my current membership. Downsides? I don’t know how busy they are. That might be annoying. Also, it is about 5 minutes further away from my house than my current gym. The other thing is it’s a public facility. There has been a recent debate about how the facilities are losing money and have to have tax dollars to stay open. So is it evil of me to join the cheaper, tax funded location than to support the independent (well franchised) facility? Is it fair to independent facilities when the city provides a better service at a loss so they can be cheaper than their competitors? Is it right that independent businesses have to compete with these publicly funded gyms?
I don’t know, but I think I’m going to change.