How did I get beach ready this summer? I quit the gym.
After working out at a bargain-chain fitness center for a few years, I started experimenting with at-home fitness about a year ago. I checked out Pilates and yoga DVDs from my local library, started following a few fitness blogs, and bookmarked some YouTube channels. I also kept going with
sprinting running jogging around the neighborhood using the MapMyRun app on my phone.
The more I found myself exercising at home and in my neighborhood, the less I felt the need to go to the gym. Between the commute to the gym and fighting the siren song of donuts on Tuesdays once I was there*, I realized that gym just wasn’t for me at this moment in time. Makes sense, right? Right.
Here’s where it stops making sense and starts costing
cents dollars. Hundreds of dollars. My membership cost exactly $10 each month, totaling $120 a year. Plus that pesky $20 annual membership fee. Nonetheless, I waited over a year to cancel my membership. Why? Simple. Ten dollars didn’t seem like that big of a deal, especially since I kept telling myself that I might go back to working out at the gym one day. One day in the distant future when I’m no longer turned off by the ever-increasing amount of gym mirror selfies and sweaty people who ignore the signs asking them to wipe down machines when they’re done**.
I’m not sure if it was the constant fear of inadvertently photobombing someone else’s selfie or the fact that I started making a mental list of all the things I could have bought with $120, but I realized the gym isn’t changing anytime soon and I’m not going back either. So I marched in and asked to cancel my membership.
Apparently it was a long time coming. Turns out that not only did they have my name wrong in their system, they also had my birth date listed as January 1, 1919. Sadly, they had my credit card information stored correctly, and I owed them one last $10 payment. Don’t shed too many tears for me, though. After all, I look pretty good for someone who’s not a day over 96. Of course, this was also a good lesson to be more mindful with my spending.
*You read that right. There was also a pizza night once a month. It was either a form of torture or THE most genius marketing ploy ever. Full disclosure: it might not have been Tuesday. I avoided the donuts about as well as I avoided the communal floor mats.
**I can do a lot of things. Sitting in a puddle of someone else’s perspiration is not one of them.
So Tell Me…Have you ever lit $10 bills on fire? Are you guilty of any mindless spending? Do you have a gym membership that you actually use?
Shannyn @ Frugal Beautiful
I love the part about visualizing what you could have been spending the $120 on instead. That’s a powerful way of thinking about your spending. Running and doing workouts at home is what works for me!
Glad you agree! I can get in a whole workout in the time it would take me to commute to and from the gym. Plus, nothing beats being outside when the weather is nice.
Julie @ HappinessSavouredHot
I was a gym enthusiast for years, and reached nice fitness goals, but this summer I did not renew my membership. I wanted to test and see if I could remain active. I have. Winter might be a different story, though. Will have to see. But the money saved (plus the time in commute to and from the gym) is really nice.
That’s really reaffirming to hear. I’ve been able to stick with a pretty consistent fitness routine this summer even though we’ve had some sweltering days. I’m nervous about winter, though. Do you do a lot of outdoor workouts?
Hey, Penny! I’m loving your blog so far (making my way through the archives). I’d love to know which fitness blogs you read. I’m considering a gym membership right now, and I need all the motivation I can get. The gym that’s less than a mile from our home has all the regular equipment (cardio, weight machines, free weights) plus a pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub. I’m mostly considering a membership for the pool so I can ease back into fitness. (I was a bit of a fitness fanatic before I was hit with chronic pain in 2012.)
So cool to hear! Thanks for stopping by.
My very favorite one is Pumps and Iron. She’s so down to earth. She’s gotten a lot more hardcore, since she quit her job to fitness blog and teach fitness full time. So I love going back in her archives. I’ve followed her since almost day 1! I can recommend some others, too. I’d love to chat fitness – definitely not an expert, and would love to have more people to motivate me. I’ll look for you on Twitter!
Just reading this now, I’m going to check out Pumps and Iron, in the past few years since writing this have you found any new fitness blogs or channels you like best? I’m starting to work out at home and would love some recommendations!