Fitness: Day One - I Joined a Gym!

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

It's been raining all day. There seems to be a break right now, but the forecast didn't look good this morning so...

I joined a gym! My insurance company offers a program that covers gym membership costs for certain gyms, so I went to the website and found the one closest to my home, St. Louis Fitness Club, which turns out to be just over a mile away.

I grabbed up about half the stuff a person needs to take to the gym, because I haven't been to a gym in years, and headed out. No water bottle, no armband for my phone, and no lock for a locker. I left my purse in my car, on the floorboards in the back, under a blanket and a sweatshirt. But I did have my phone and headphones. 

Signing up was easy and the woman who signed me up showed me around. It wasn't too crowded at noon on Monday, but I have seen lots of people going in and out of that gym around rush hour. I will rarely be there at that time, though, so the small crowd at noon made me happy. 

A long time ago, I belonged to a Gold's gym in downtown St. Louis and, after that, to the gym in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in the Central West End. St. Louis Fitness Club was more like Gold's, at least today. Everyone looked serious about working out. The gym at the Chase was fluffier; it seemed like people were there to check each other out more than to actually work out. I prefer the serious gyms, because everyone just does his or her own thing and doesn't interfere with what you're doing or talk your ear off. 

My running shoes, back in August, toes stained by my nail polish. 

My running shoes, back in August, toes stained by my nail polish. 

And I Ran On a Treadmill!

I had an excruciating minute of indecision about which treadmill to use. Fancy one with a television? No television? Tablet? There were too many choices. I think I ended up on the oldest treadmill in the place, but it worked. After another five minutes of trying different settings, most of which had me walking more than running, I figured out how to run with a pace and incline I picked out myself. 

I used a 1% incline, which I've read mimics the effort flat ground outside takes, and I started slowly, gradually increasing my speed until I was running for a couple minutes at the speed I ran at years ago. 30 minutes later, I stopped.

However boring the treadmill is, there is one thing going for it: it's easier to pick up the pace. Outside, there are all kinds of things going on. Unless I want to stare at my phone all the time, there's no way to constantly monitor pace or speed, so I usually just run how I run, however fast or slow that turns out to be. I haven't been trying to increase my speed or do anything special, other than making sure I get some hills in. 

I plan to use the gym to run any time the weather is bad or it's dark out at the time I can run. They also have a stair machine, which will be useful when I start training for Master the Met

But It Wasn't All Great

When I left, the driver's side window on my car was shattered. In the pouring rain. Miraculously, my purse was still there, where I'd buried it in the floorboards in the back. Whoever did it also broke the window of a truck, but didn't take anything from there, either, so I think it was just random violence rather than an attempted theft. 

I've been lucky in that regard all three times someone's broken the window of my car. The first time, I had Blues tickets and binoculars in the car. They broke the passenger side window, but didn't take anything. The second time, they got the stereo partway out, but must have gotten interrupted, because it was still there when I got to the car. This time, my purse survived. 

I wasn't in an area of the city where I'd expect to have a problem like that, but it can happen anywhere, I guess. And with everything that's going on in St. Louis, it's even less surprising to experience something like this. My "free" gym membership ended up costing me $300 in window replacement costs. Not the gym's fault, not my fault - and it could have been much worse if they'd taken my purse. Right now, I'm feeling like I got off easy.

Before I go back to the gym, I'm getting a lock, so I can take everything in, and making list of things to take, so I have everything I need. And maybe parking in a different place. 

Week Seven: Fitness - Exercise Every Day

  1. Day One - I Joined a Gym!
  2. Day Two - And why you should exercise seven days a week
  3. Day Three - Why I shouldn't run at night
  4. Days Four & Five - Boring!
  5. Days Six & Seven - Fail!