Saturday, May 31, 2008

I Took The Plunge...

In addition to shopping for churches lately, I’ve also been shopping for gyms. I have a couple of reasons to be looking for one.

The first is that I started running this spring once the danger of ice on the sidewalks was gone (you know, late March or so). As it’s getting warmer here – 79 right now, somehow – I can no longer run outside, as I have this little problem where I don’t sweat. In the summer, exercising outdoors means that I’ll literally be keeling over, and that’s not exactly conducive to exercise.

I also have been doing yoga twice a week for the past couple of years. I do them at two different places, and I always end up with makeup classes that I need to do but that get really hard to fit into my schedule. Last week was the last yoga week at one studio, and I had two makeup sessions, so I ended up going three times in a five day span which was hard on everyone. If I belong to a gym, I go when I go and makeup when I can without worrying that a session is about to end.

My time to exercise also has generally been on Tuesdays and Fridays when Mister Man is in preschool. On Tuesdays, Little Miss also had been in preschool, which gave me time to run. However, last week she finished up her preschool year, so now she’s home on Tuesdays and Fridays, so childcare becomes an issue. At a gym, they have childcare centers.

Anyway, I was debating between two different clubs. One has more people that I socialize with who belong, and it’s in our school district and sort of the “in” club, if you will. However, a single membership is $88/month. The other gym is about equidistant from me, but I’ll never know anyone who belongs there. A single membership there is $59, which is more reasonable, and it’s just as nice. Actually, they have a great and kid-friendly set of indoor and outdoor pools, including slides at the cheaper one. Oh, and the cheaper one also has two hours of free childcare per day. The more expensive one requires you to pay $3 per hour for childcare.

They also offer swim lessons at both clubs, which is a great benefit. Mister Man started lessons in January, and I've told Little Miss that she can have lessons once she is potty trained. My dad has been taking Mister Man to his lessons and is becoming less and less thrilled with the place that we're taking lessons as time goes on. Having an alternative that's actually cheaper than our current option is a nice bonus.

Needless to say, for the past week I’ve been trying out the cheaper club to ensure that I liked the classes and the instructors, as the idea is that this will replace the two other (and very different) places I do yoga today. I did a yoga class last Sunday that was a fitness yoga, and it was slightly more intense than what I’m used to with essentially no breaks for over an hour, but I’m good with that.

The rest of the week was hard for me to make classes given my schedule and the gym’s, but I did make it there twice to go running, and I discovered that Little Miss loves the child care. In fact, when she saw me she came running up and asked if she could go there another day again. Too cute!

Today I went again and did a belly dancing class. Stop snickering! A friend of mine who lives in the city has been doing it for awhile now and really loves it. It totally isn’t about body image and being super skinny -- which had understandably been my fear -- but more about having fun and lots of movement. So I figured I’d give it a try.

When I went in, I was the only newbie to the class, which is fine. Oh, except that I really stood out because I was the only one without a belly dancing skirt. Fortunately, one woman took pity on me after a few minutes and offered me a spare skirt she had. The only issue is that you can only tie them so tight because they have coins woven into them and you don’t want to ruin the design. About halfway through the class, I realized that the skirt had started slipping down. After that, I ended up having to pull it up every few minutes, and I felt bad for the woman who owned it. By no means was she fat, but the pants I was wearing must have been to slick to have it stay up. All in all, it was a fun class, so I’ll probably try that one again – they offer it on Tuesdays, too, although starting next week I have softball so who knows how I’ll fit that in.

But since the last time I belonged to a gym was shortly after college when my gym was literally two doors north of my building on the Gold Coast, I have spent the last week learning what I need to remember to pack when I go to the gym:

1) If I am going to really workout, bring shampoo, etc. While they have soap in the showers, there is no shampoo at this gym.

2) Locker room floors are yucky. Bring a shower shoe type thing to wear when walking around.

3) If you put a child who isn’t potty trained into childcare, remember to bring a small bag with a diaper in it. The day you forget it (notice this is singular and not plural) is the one day your daughter will decide to not use the potty.

4) If you have a class that starts at 9:30, pretend the class starts at 9:10 so you can get there, drop the wee ones off in the childcare, change and get to class before it starts. I’m still working on this one – but I was only 2 minutes late today.

5) People will invade your space in the group classes. Either find a back corner or deal with it. Six inches from me is not a good place to put your yoga mat thank you. I debated pretending I had a hacking cough but then decided that wasn’t a good idea.

6) Figure out where the towels are kept in the locker room during your initial tour. I felt like a moron on Tuesday walking back and forth across the locker room as I first went to the bathroom, back to my locker, in search of towels (and found only small ones), back to my locker, back to find a large towel, back to my locker, to the shower area (of course I passed it and had to double back), etc. The poor women in there must have thought I was scoping them out.

7) Oh yeah, and know what class and what time you’re trying to do on a given day. I was going to take a belly dancing class yesterday at 9:30 but ummm couldn’t find it so I just ran instead. Duh, the class was today not yesterday. The class I had actually wanted to try yesterday was at 9am and was a spin class. I haven’t tried spinning yet, but I swear I’m going to!

8) And lastly, along the same lines, know what time the pool is open. I just assumed that at 10:30am on a Sunday, the pool would be open. My poor disappointed children… were taken into the pool anyway by my husband after he saw another family in the same boat who had decided to ignore the pool hours. And if anyone needs to know, summer pool hours are 10am to 8pm most days. Phew!

So now that I’ve officially joined, who wants to start the pool for how long I’ll go regularly and make the classes?


Karen May 31, 2008 at 7:04 PM  

They wear the skirts in the class?! Kinda serious, aren't they?

morninglight mama May 31, 2008 at 8:45 PM  

I am WAY impressed with your activity level!! Just trying to do a workout video three times a week is killing me! Seriously, you should be really proud for taking such good care of yourself-- that's something that we moms seem to often have difficulty doing. Best to you!

Connie May 31, 2008 at 11:45 PM  

Great job!

Reading this made me tired....because the most exercise I get is chasing the kids and jumping to conclusions.

The gym reminds me of the old days before kids when I had oddles of time.

Cookie June 1, 2008 at 12:57 AM  

I love belly dancing! Belly dancing has been secret on and off for almost 4 years now! I take tribal, which is very earthy and about women's inner beauty. The cabaret is choreographed (sp?) and more what you see in movies. Everyone in my class has a big belly. You know what they say, "the bigger the belly, the better the dance!"

Oh, and here's my warning about joining a gym. The last time I gym shopped, I was pregnant before I could ever sign the paperwork. Must be something in the water there ;) Good Luck!

Michelle June 1, 2008 at 9:14 PM  

Karen -- They were actually hip scarves, but since it was my first time, I don't know if that means they were serious or not.

Morninglight Mama -- My activity level is selfish. My new year's resolution was to do something for me (no matter how small) every day. Frequently stuff like this is my something for me. Plus, I had to wear a satin dress as MOH in a wedding on May 3.

Connie -- Chasing kids is quite exhausting! For me this is relaxing since I have no kids with me when I'm doing it. If they hadn't loved the childcare, I wouldn't have done it though! I do miss the oodles of time, but I wouldn't trade my kids for anything.

Cookie -- between you and Karen, apparently belly dancing isn't as unusual as I thought it was. I have no idea what kind this is. There was lots and lots of shimmying, and we did all sort of do the general movements together, but the arms were up to us. Mostly mine were at my side because I had way too much to concentrate on besides them! Oh, and don't mention third pregnancies. I have a post I need to do on that one. Maybe next week!

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