A Gym Where Nobody Knows My Name

Chances are, you’ve been a member of a gym or fitness club sometime in your life. You probably made some friends and they helped motivate you to work out. What do you do when you burn out even though everyone knows your name?

My gym experience started in an auspicious way. I snuck into Vic Tanny – the first fitness chain in the US – a few times with a friend to use the hot tub for my notorious knee injury in the 80’s. One day, I got busted. I threw up my hands and signed up. Best thing I ever did. I’ve continued to belong to fitness clubs ever since. I joined the last one to meet others from my neighborhood. I played competitive tennis as a member until diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer and subsequent double boobectomies in 2013, but it was a partial knee replacement a year later that really slowed me down. I tried physical therapy, fitness classes, and yoga, but nothing made the impact I needed to get back into fighting shape.

Typical day in 2016:

“Come on, let’s go to class,” I said to myself.

“But I’m in the middle of writing,” myself countered.

“You’re always writing,” I said.

“In a minute.” I adjusted my focus back on the computer and another day passed.

In January, I set reasonable goals for myself. All are within my own control. Priority #1 is to become fit and strong once again. How would I accomplish my goals if I couldn’t motivate? After being a member for sixteen years, I needed a change.

My kids are members of 24 Hour Fitness, so I checked it out. I looked forward to a gym where nobody knows my name. It would be fun to start fresh and meet new people. Maybe I’d learn something new.

During a three day trial, I checked out a few classes including yoga. The gym filled with Boulderites. I rolled out my mat between a middle-aged woman who had a lot of plastic surgery and a cross-dresser complete with blond wig. I had found my people!

My membership came with a free hour of personal training. After a wicked session with TRX, (straps used by Navy Seals when stationed on ships), free weights, and dead lifts, my muscles groaned. But it felt good to wake up with sore muscles. I hadn’t considered weight training, but remembered hearing how it strengthens bone. My anti-cancer medication, Anastrozole, obliterates estrogen which is what my cancer ate, but also dissolves bone. I don’t want to become shrinky dinky because of skeletal fractures. That would not be good, at all. I’m short enough at 5’4″.

With the help of Brian, the fitness manager, and Sam, a personal trainer, I am officially locked and loaded with sessions bought through a package. Soon, they’ll set me loose to train on my own. Oh, wow… That’s coming up soon. Scheduling me for gym time started a new habit. Endorphin addiction will keep me going.

In the meantime, I’m learning all kinds of torture chamber methods to wake up my minuscule muscles. I trained today and can feel them crying out for mercy. They are total wimps and woosies.

“Pipe down,” I said to my whiny muscles, “You need to be exercised. It’s good for you! We can try new adventures again knowing that I won’t hurt myself because of your puniness.”

“All right. You don’t have to yell.”

I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, two people know my name at my new gym and that’s A-okay.

Clowning around at 24 Hour Fitness

Do you belong to a gym? Do people know your name? Are you a gym rat or a occasional user? I’m striving for the rat category.

51 thoughts on “A Gym Where Nobody Knows My Name

  1. I have been a gym rat for years and then moved to Florida and I moved away from the gym. I love getting out on the trail to ride my bike or take a nature walk. I joined a great yoga studio. Recently I decided to get back in the gym – luckily the company I work for has company gyms so great price and can keep going to the yoga studio that I love. I enjoy getting on my bike to ride to the yoga studio – great double work out!
    Happy Weekend – Enjoy 🙂

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    • I loved riding my bike everywhere! Now we live on an enormous hill and it’s not as enjoyable. 🙂 I’m glad to hear you were able to find places to continue to work out. I think I just needed a change and boy, did I get one!
      Have a fabulous weekend too, Renee! 🙂

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  2. Five years ago when I was around the corner from turning the big 50 I told myself time to get fit . Mind you I’m very shy so it took a lot to get myself to a gym. The first two places were big chain places and I was definitely just a number .As the years went by I was getting older and my body was falling apart. arthritis ,fibromalyga and big tear on my shoulder ..Finally found my home small place where every body know your name sounds like a song .training with a trainer who has worse issues then me she has lupus and that doesn’t stop hurt she cracks the whip and I don’t dare complain well I do but that doesn’t stop hurt .. She is what the doctor ordered I found my happy place

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    • I’m so glad to hear that, Zees! It takes a lot to get out of the house sometimes, especially when some of the workouts aren’t that comfortable. (understatement) Your trainer sounds fantastic! Mine went through knee surgery and is the resident expert. I’m feeling muscles I haven’t used for years. There is hope…
      Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment!

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  3. I’m on Week 2 of a six week beginners’ fitness challenge at a CrossFit gym. Only five people in the class. I’m loving it! I’m thinking of joining a 24 Hour Fitness gym when the challenge is over, but I know it won’t be the same vibe. Unfortunately I can’t afford CrossFit. Keep us updated; it will be good inspiration.

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  4. I was supposed to go today but I slept badly, so maybe I can drag myself tomorrow. People definitely know my name, though, as I occasionally run into familiar faces, like my doctor! (Alive is affiliated with the hospital she’s with, plus she donated to get it up and running.)

    In case you missed the tweet I sent you a few weeks ago: YOGA HURTS! I’ll stick with the treadmill and weights. 😛

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  5. I use to belong to gyms in what ever area I lived or worked in. In fact, my friend and I were the first two women to join Cardillo’s long ago when they were still popular. John Cardillo was a famous body builder in Canada and we joined his first gym and learned how to body build. It was great. The day I was married I was there working out in the morning to destress. That was a lifetime ago. For me and the Cardillo’s franchise.
    It has been years since I belonged to a gym due to finances but I always think it would motivate me. I certainly like that idea of nobody knowing my name.

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    • You were hard core! Your wedding day? Wow!
      24 Hour Fitness is only $40 a month, so I bit. I hadn’t heard about Cardillo. It is nice to get out of the house to exercise and having scheduled time with trainers is forcing me back in the habit. My home gym is starting to collect spider webs. Ha!

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  6. “But I’m in the middle of writing,” myself countered.

    “You’re always writing,” I said.

    I have a complete gym on my third floor that my oldest son left..
    I am always writing
    Good for you.. I live through you.:)

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  7. You know how it is with a gym: you either love it or abhor it. I keep getting shunted to all parts of the country due to my work which makes finding a comfortable gym difficult. I have joined three to four different gyms so far but barring the first one, I didn’t last long anywhere. That said, I keep planning to join one…

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  8. hmm; the opener sounds like me; my inner self is saying get fit again, the default mind is fighting against it. Great post and encouraging for me to read !

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    • Thanks, Gary! I find a tipping point between habit and results.The trick is to make it that far. Part of the results include the hyped up feeling of endorphins. I’m just starting to feel that urge to work out. Good luck to you! Keep me posted on your journey!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I run on an elliptical 3-4 days a week (my hips can’t take the impact of outdoor/track running) and yoga classes 2-3 days a week! The instructors and regulars in yoga know my name but not in the actual gym area. I also take two ballet classes a week- it’s an advanced class (10+ years of experience), so we all know each other really well! Cheers 🙂

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    • Wow! You are the EXERCISE QUEEN! I bow in your honor. I would love to get into a program like yours, sans ballet. No one wants to see me try to plîet. I will leave that to you and my daughter. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve joined precisely two gyms in my life. one I went for a month, got ill, got out of the habit and paid for a year! The second time I went for 6 months then my gym partner went on holiday and we stopped! The Gym and me don’t gel well lol!

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    • It’s not for everyone. After going through a couple of surgeries, I really need to build muscle. Sam told me my knees are just now starting to track properly. Progress!
      Thanks for reading, Ritu!

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  11. I loved that last picture! You look like you pack quite a punch for someone who’s 5’4! It’s so important to find an exercise you enjoy otherwise you just keep quitting. Hula hooping is the only exercise I’ve stuck at – and that’s because it still makes me laugh at how bad I am!

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    • Hahaha! There’s one guy who drops the barbell every time he lifts it. It’s so annoying!!! I want to “inform” him that he will elongate his muscles if he lowers the weight sloooooowwwwwllllly. Not sure he’ll appreciate that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12.     I’ve just been appointed to the Grand Council, but I don’t yet know if they have a public gym in the Palace. Since the previous High Priestess committed crimes and is on the run, I think I’m about to be named temporary High Priestess. But I don’t know enough yet so they’ve assigned me a Regent who’ll handle most things until I learn all the protocols and law. But theoretically I have absolute power over the cave people. So I suppose I could order them to build me a new gym.
        But, anyway, I don’t really feel like going to a gym because I’m sort of busy trying to nurse Doug back to health and I’m trying to get him to finish his expanded novel: it’s a blog that we’re writing together sort of. The only exercise I’m getting now is jumping on his bed. But I think I’m going to have to walk up and down major staircases to get to various ceremonies in the Grand Council chambers and in the Grand Ballrooms in the Palace.
        Up-top, nobody knows my name (well, except for the spies), but in the Palace, everyone will be required to know my name… um, well, maybe just my first name because I think I’m going to get an official title in the Utd’mbts language and they’re going to have to call me “Your Majesty” or something. I think it’s going to be hard to get an honest personal trainer because he’s going to be afraid to be critical because I might have him executed if I don’t feel that he’s doing a good job.
        I’m glad you were able to find a good pre-existing gym where no one is required to bow. But with all that equipment and your muscles crying, have they been able to get you to confess anything yet? We have a facility like that but we don’t call it a gym.

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    • What happened to Doug?
      Sounds like you are a level-headed king and the power hasn’t gone to your head as long as your personal trainer keeps theirs. I can only imagine what kind of “gym” you use!
      Thanks for the reblog, Your Majesty!

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  13. I joined “Planet Fitness” back in July 2016 just before my Dad passed. I wanted to buy equipment, but the cost was … wow! So PF at just $10 a month, no time contract, and a $28 maintenance fee every June or July. works out to less than $15 month. And their hours are 24/5 and 7-7 on Sat/Sun. No one there really knows my name except for a couple of friends who I see once in a while. I am a “go at 8pm” person a couple nights a week and work on upper body because I need my other hip replaced so it hurts right now. Feels good when I am done and I try to ignore the “morning after” feeling of pain I have. I need to go 3-4 times a week…we shall see.
    Scott

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  14. I joined a gym. I have not lost anything of my waist and don’t feel any better. One of these days I am going to find out where it is , drive over and get my money back ! So much for joining a gym.

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