Opinion: Worth the wait


I used to work out regularly at a gym. I was a stay-at-home mom with four young children and a full-time nanny for my nephew. The Fishers YMCA provided two hours of daily free childcare plus an adults-only women’s locker room. ‘Nough said!

Once my kids were in school and I returned to teaching, though, driving the twenty-plus minutes for Turbo Kick just didn’t make sense. So I invested in a pair of decent running shoes and hit the roads. For the most part, I’ve done okay on my own. I miss the classes and the “destination” aspect of a gym, and my workouts are often horribly inconsistent, but until recently, I couldn’t justify the time or cost of membership.

I’ve registered for an April triathlon, which puts most of the training on days that are too cold/dark/icy to run/bike/swim unless you’re inside. And since my husband Doo already belongs to a fitness center, he could simply add me to his account. So last night, after dance drop-off but before tae kwon do practice, I headed over for the first time, excited to try something new.

That excitement ended two minutes after entering when my card triggered a warning message: “Not valid. Please see Client Services.” Apparently Doo had listed an incorrect automatic withdrawal number. Amidst a sleety drizzle, I was forced to return to my van to retrieve my Mastercard and dignity.

Financial crisis averted and access finally granted, I immediately located a stationary bike, clearly more technically advanced than the Y’s 2005 recumbents. It took three dismounts to make the proper seat adjustments while my phone kept falling through the holder. Then I realized I hadn’t brought earbuds. This meant either watching a soundless collection of 80’s music videos or staring at my fellow exercisers. I opted for the latter.

Boredom set in at minute four (there just weren’t that many interesting individuals), the same time I began to sweat profusely. My display kept flashing, “Decrease resistance!” but I didn’t know how. None of the buttons or knobs seemed to help, and I grew increasingly frustrated and fatigued. Quads a-burning, I attempted a “Standing climb” position and nearly vaulted myself into a nearby treadmill. Luckily my feet were strapped in and I only managed a chest bump with the monitor. Miraculously, I survived another twenty minutes, of course locating the simulated gear shifts in the last sixty seconds of cool down. Finally, resistance decreased!

Overall, not a wonderful hour. And yet, I’m kind of looking forward to the next visit. There is something about being surrounded by people who are making an effort. And honestly, I still enjoy a kid-free moment at the gym!

Peace out.