Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gym Versus Going It Alone

I don't have a gym membership.  There are number of reasons behind it including finances, scheduling, etc.  However, just about everyone I know belongs to a gym and I sometimes wonder if I'm missing something.

I will say that I have a small home gym with a spin bike, rowing machine, an ellipse, and some weights.   I use the weights once a week and the other cardio equipment when its rainy or too cold to head outside.

So I don't have a room full of mirrors and bright lights to go workout in.  The music comes from my iPod and not speakers in the ceiling.  I don't have to worry about what I look like to the other members.  I don't have a sauna, steam room, or hot tub in my gym, just my plain old shower.

I don't have classes that I can take.  This is probably the one thing I miss.  I used to take classes to mix things up once in a while and fight boredom.  Now I have to vary my routine myself.
This isn't always easy, but I talk to friends and read magazines to find new ways to lift, new running routines, etc.

For most of the year, I try to work out in the great outdoors.  I love the energy I get from being out in the sun, rain and snow.  I also feel like its given me a sense of determination that I didn't have before.  Unlike others who can skip their run if its cold or rainy, I have no choice but to brave the elements in order to get my workout in.  As a matter of fact, if I skipped my workout every time the weather was bad, I'd be out of shape and over weight.

I will admit this past winter in New England was a test.  Not because of the temperatures, but because the snow was piled so high the places to physically run were very limited.  I did have to invest in a lot of cold weather gear.

So instead of paying a gym membership, the outdoors is my gym.  I can cross train on a mountain, get cardio in on the trails, and have some play time with frisbee and soccer.  I know that the park awaits my arrival every day instead of the person at the front desk of a gym.  I make sure that I still take pride in my workout appearance, even though I'm working out solo.

My motivation have to come from myself and within, instead of signs, lights and fellow gym members.  I know that each and every day I have to get my workout in, despite what its doing outside.  So, the moral of the story is that while it might be nice to be a member of a beautiful, spa like gym, I love my outdoor gym and all that it has taught me.

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