After living in New York now for roughly 7 years I have been a member of most of the city gyms several times over. Dolphin Fitness and NY Sportsclub being the most noteworthy. The problem for ME has always been discipline, and often the vicious cycle would occur, I get pumped to join a gym, go several times a week for a month or two....or one...and then skip a few times, and then begin to feel guilty, hate it, and realize it's not for me and quit. Of course quitting these expensive gyms doesn't come without a hefty "early cancellation" fee, which I always justified by the money I was wasting by not going.
When I worked for The Coen Brothers, which I would like to congratulate on receiving their well deserved Golden Globe Awards, their was a NYSC across the street from their office. It was extremely convenient, and I could go before work, or after and thought nothing of it. When I left them in 2004, that was the last time I went to the gym. Prior to working with them, I was a Theatre Carpenter, and didn't much have a need for "working out" as the physical labor of the job was enough to keep me in shape.
Well, several years later, here I am. I work mostly from home in front of the computer and excersize for me has become a distant memory. Until now. My metabolism is slowing and I have the extra 25 lbs to prove it. I can't just eat whatever the hell I want anymore without repercussions. Gone are the days of eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's or an entire bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. And NOT excersizing to boot, well, that just won't do. I've got a wedding coming up in May, and I want to look my best. I want to be healthy for my new wife-to-be and future kids! I want to reach the "ideal weight" for my frame of 148-155lbs.
So recently, My fiance and I joined A NY Parks and Rec gym. The great thing, is that it cost only $75 for the ENTIRE YEAR. So missing a day or two comes with less guilt. It is just a few blocks away and has a pool. These are all good things. But, I'm here to tell you that there is a downside.
Living in the city, one often feels like Meg does here, from Family Guy:
This is similar to how I felt this morning at about 7:10am when I was sitting on an excersize bike, watching a few people walk or run around a tiny track hovering ABOVE a Basketball court. An alternative would be to hoof it to Central Park I suppose, but in the winter, this option is less desireable.
We just started going regularly last Friday, so this is only the third time I've stepped through the doors of my new gym. But already, I see the HUGE differences between this establishment and it's pricier and glitzier neighbors. I am beginning to understand WHY those gyms charge you upwards of $70 a month.
My NYC Sports Club experiences have always been pleasant. Their establishments are large and sparkling clean. They are Mecca's of fitness filled with beautiful people. They have rows upon rows of Cardio machines of several varieties. This is the opposite spectrum of the NYC Parks and Rec.
On my first visit, we did some laps in the pool. The water was fine, heavily chlorinated, but a good temperature. But I wouldn't use the word "clean." With my new goggles and swim cap tightly secured I could see the bottom of the pool. Many things were down there which I thought shouldn't be. Now I keep to the top and try to forget what is 9 feet and 1 inch below me. I stepped out of the pool and grabbed my towel. There was a cockroach hiding underneath. I hate cockroaches.
This facility has a very small Men's Locker room. ONE bank of lockers and ONE bench. 8 shower-heads in a line with no dividing curtain for privacy. In the entire place, they have only four treadmills, three excersize bikes, three elliptical machines, and one "stair master." You are supposed to sign up on a queue to get on one of these machines and their is a 20min time limit. Come on, 20mins! It wasn't until about the 15min mark on the bike that i even started to feel a sweat. I swapped machines with my lady and did another 20 mins. on the Elliptical. So all in all I got a good 40 min. cardio work out in, which was good for me.
However, the cardio machines are all broken. I like to do the target heart rate workouts, where it monitors your heart rate and adjusts the resistance to keep you at it, (mines 124bpm). But not a single machine has the "heart monitor strap" required to read your heart rate. Usually it's built into the grips of the machine, but these must be hand me downs.
I live close enough that I don't have to shower there, I just shower when I get home. We are going to do our best to stick to our at least three day a week schedule. I look forward to losing the weight and getting healthier. I have adopted what I am referring to as the "Tito" diet, which has proven results. My Best-man stuck to it and he has lost 27lbs in about 3 months. He has a Banana to start the day, soup and salad for lunch, a sensible dinner, and he hits the gym 3-4 times a week, with at least 30mins of Cardio. The guy is looking fit, and I like the simplicity of his plan. I am trying (my hardest) to not engage in eating sugar. So far it's not terrible, but it sure as heck isn't as fun as eating a bag of a dozen Zeppole's.
So here I am, all 175lbs of me. I'll keep you updated to my progress, hopefully in a months time I'll have good news for you. And for me :)