Technically speaking, it is fall. Practically speaking, it is still summer. I worked up a nice sheen of perspiration taking the laundry (and the boys) to the laundromat yesterday and it was still 80 degrees at 10:00 last night. Although this feels like the never-ending summer, we know that the summer will, eventually, end. And because we’re industrious little ants over here and we have long memories for uncomfortable situations — like running in sub-zero temperatures — we’re thinking about getting a gym membership to carry us through the cold, dark months. It pains me to say that. There is something so free and easy and basic about running out in nature (even if nature is asphalt and concrete) that I cringe at the thought of running on a machine. But I realize that going to the gym is better than doing nothing, and Micah is pretty sure he’s going to be doing nothing once the temperature hits 32 degrees unless we get a gym membership. And because I am a supportive wife, I am willing to support him in this decision. There are other reasons we’re considering it, of course. Cross-training is a big one. I’d love to take a yoga class, do some weight lifting, or go swimming now and then. The gym will also watch my children for me while I rock out in the aerobics room. And then there is the fact that the insurance company will subsidize our membership so that it is actually affordable for us — as long as we join before the end of the month when the gym’s special offer ends.
We got some guest passes to the local YMCA and checked it out tonight. We did a mile on the treadmill and I realized the importance of bringing your iPod. We did 4 laps around the track, which equaled 1/8th of a mile, and that was more fun than the treadmill. And we wandered around, peeked into all the classrooms, watched people lift weights, and tried to imagine that place as part of our lives. It was much more difficult for me than it was for Micah. I worry that my running will suffer because I’ll feel like I need to be at the gym (we have to go a certain number of times for the insurance company to reimburse us). I wonder if it will cause me stress to leave the boys in the Child Watch room (at least at first . . .). And I fear that we are becoming too focused on our bodies and our work-outs going to start running our lives.
Then again, I’m pretty sure I’ll still run a lot. I’m pretty sure the boys are going to enjoy the Child Watch room once they get used to it. I’m pretty sure my body could stand to be used for more than walking around laden with children and bags of groceries and running with a stroller. So despite my reservations, I think we’re going to do it. And you never know if the weather is going to be too blasted cold to run at all. I’d hate to be stuck out in the cold, losing my mind, while the busy little ants are pumping iron and pounding the treadmill decks at the Y.
What are your thoughts about going to the gym? If you go, what is your favorite part about it?