Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Outgrowing the gym?

I realised this morning how little I go to the gym at the moment.

Don't take this the wrong way. As you've probably guessed I'm nowhere near giving up exercise. But I don't tend to do it in the gym any more. The treadmill has lost the little bit of appeal it ever had, and I run outside. Sometimes I go to the gym first, dump my stuff, run up the canal and shower at the gym afterwards. But increasingly I'm going for a run from home, having a shower here and then getting the bus into work. I have more variety of routes round here, rather than simply up the canal for the required distance. I go to the gym on Mondays to cross train (weights and swimming usually), and sometimes to do a pace run on the treadmill, but otherwise I'm happy exercising outside.

For summer, at least...

This is interesting timing. It's almost two years since I joined the gym for the first time. I'll miss the actual anniversary because I'll be on holiday, but this is what I wrote last year on my first anniversary. Can you believe I've been exercising regularly for two years? I can't!

The gym was good motivation for a while. I could try different things, and paying for it kept me going. But now? I kind of feel like I've learned about how I like to exercise, and I've sorted out a routine, and I can fly solo without the gym there as my safety net.

I'm even thinking heretical thoughts about cancelling my membership. Not because I don't exercise, but because I exercise in different ways, and one swim a week in the council pool would add up to much less than my gym membership.

But a bigger part of me wants that safety net still, I want to know that even if it's raining or snowing I can go somewhere inside and run, I can use the weights, and the pool, and the fluffy white towels. If I can't run for some reason, I have other options at the gym. I wonder about how I'd keep on track if I didn't have the option of the gym. Would cancelling the gym membership make me think that I'm not an exerciser any more.

So I'm torn. Financially I could do the same exercise cheaper by paying per visit. But psychologically, could I cope with not being a gym member?


Blogger kathrynoh said...

Can you put your membership on hold?

That's what I'm doing once we get into summer here and I can run outside more, just using the gym as a winter option.

10:50 PM  
Blogger K said...

I don't know. Personally, thinking about the money I waste by not going has (mostly) kept me going to the gym - but then I find the structure of my gym visits useful. Once I've packed my stuff in the morning, I have to go, and once I'm there, I have to run so many minutes (and so forth). And I'm very bad at getting around to going for a run outside when I don't have access to the gym.

I would say you've amply proved that you don't need much encouragement to discipline yourself. You can always take out a new membership if you find using it casually doesn't work.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Lainey said...

Hmmm- it's a tricky one. The gyms does cost a fair whack but I do feel that I get my money's worth. That was until I ventured outside for summer running (sounds like a song).

I'm with Kathryn - if you can freeze your membership for summer I would go for it. Just think what you could do with a few months worth of fee.

Rock on.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

what about using the gym for other purposes, like weights? As you build up your running, you might consider adding strength training to your regimen as a way to avoid injury.

2:56 PM  
Blogger skinnyminny8 said...

Heya.. I shouldn't think you need the gym.. you sound like you prefer running outside anyway.. and go running in all weathers!

Could you put your membership on hold and see how you get on? Or just buy daily gym passes when you need to go? I don't know how it works.

Keep inspiring me anyway :D

Ooh u got me onto Greens and Blacks... so addictive.. but where I live.. can only get the 100gram bars!! oopsie

3:52 PM  

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