In praise of my gym

I’ve been a member, sometimes in name only and sometimes in terms of actual attendance, at many gyms in the last 15 years or so. I’ve done the gyms at the various schools I’ve attended or worked at, I’ve belonged to swanky gyms with juice bars and fancy equipment and classes, I’ve gone to bare bones gyms with ancient cardio machines and no classes at all and now Mr. Monkey and I are members of our local YMCA.

And I love it.

I’ll preface my comments with an acknowledgement that I still don’t go nearly as often as I should but I am trying to get better about that and have stepped it up a bit this month. I feel that it is important to go to the gym as much as possible in December so you can legitimately complain about the lack of parking spaces and the crowding when the New Years Resolution crowd invades in January. One must take advantage of legitimate complaining opportunities when they arise.

I went to the Y last night to take a Zumba class and so the kiddo could take his Tumble Tots class. The Zumba class was fun as usual (a side note: taking Zumba while visibly pregnant is a really good decision for me. I tend to be VERY self-conscious of my lack of rhythm and coordination but being pregnant makes me feel like “eh, who cares? I’m not going to look sexy no matter what I do, so I may as well shake my ass with extra vigor”) but as I looked around the room, I saw everything that I like about the Y. There was an elderly man (somewhere between 75-80 years old, I’m guessing) wearing a red sweater and khakis doing his best to shake it and salsa and mambo with the rest of us. There was the teenage girl with Down Syndrome and her sister, dancing side by side. There was the preteen girl with coltishly long legs and excellent dance skills following the moves of her mother, the instructor, not yet old enough to pretend she didn’t think her mom was cool. There were the older white ladies and the younger African-American girls. There was me with my pregnant belly and my friend S. who is gorgeous and a good dancer and despite those two things, is super fun to take a class with. I’d think about being self-conscious dancing in front of her but I can’t muster the energy to do so as she is also delightfully sweet, funny and kind.

I love that our gym feels like a community center and that there is good stuff for the kid and plenty of treadmills for Mr. Monkey and a prenatal aqua aerobics class for me. I love that is $76 a month that I don’t mind spending at all. It is where the kid will learn to swim and where I’ll hopefully get into shape after the baby comes.

Now I just need to read this post every time I am sitting on the couch, tired and debating whether I really want to go shuffling into the cold to go to the aerobics class or the pool. Yes. Yes I do. Because I love my gym and I always feel better coming out than I did going in.

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