I have not been to a real gym for a workout in roughly 5 and a half years. I know this, because my first child is that age and my jogger stroller became my number one piece of workout equipment after she was born. I used to go to the gym all the time. It used to be a big part of my life. My mom worked as an aerobics instructor at the Ogden Athletic Club when I was a kid, so I really grew up there. I recall learning to tie my shoes at the gym. Just being there all the time was a good way to learn the value of fitness. I got to take loads of tennis lessons there, and I would swim there all summer long.
When I was in high school, I loved going to the gym for the "meat market" aspect of it. Lot's of good looking muscle boys to be admired and flirted with. I knew what time of the evening was ideal for man watching. "Red Hat" shows up around 5:00, "Roid Rage" usually starts his workout at 5:30 and if I'm lucky, "The Fireman" will show up shortly there after. Maybe the dream boat known only as "Adidas" would make an appearance, maybe not. I could stay on that stair-master for nearly an hour with this cast of attractive characters to watch. (their real names are insignificant and I never bothered to learn them. I was boy crazy for so many years that it would have been impossible to remember all their real names. Besides, my cast of characters were all over town. There was "Chevron boy", "White Teeth", "Drakar Noir", "Checkered Snowboard", "Snapple boy" and lots of "Car Wash Boys". Even my poor future husband was temporarily known to me only as "The dude eatin' chicken") People watching is a great pass time while you're getting fit.
Eventually, I had to grow up (work more) and workout in the morning at a different gym. I've gone through all the different class phases. Step aerobics, body combat, body pump, kick boxing...you name it and I've loved it for a little while. I would love it still if I had a membership! But we are too cheap for that. Dave is a germaphobe (no gym daycare allowed) and I realize that if I want to be in good shape, I have to make it happen on my own. This means, hitting the pavement with a jogger stroller, loaded down with 80 lbs. worth of kids (excellent workout), Dvd workouts or my trusty treadmill.
There are some huge advantages to working out at home. It's convenient for sure, and I can look HORRIBLE and there's no one here to judge. I love Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. It's a quick, yet effective workout DVD with three different workouts on it. I do that a few times a week and I love it. This time of year, the other days are treadmill days.
I know what you're thinking. "But you're so cheap! I can't believe you even own a treadmill!" I bought it at Costco and it's AMAZING. Very sturdy and it can also be used as an amazing dust collector when I'm not running on it! It's a good piece of machinery, even though I may ignore it for weeks at a time. When I need it, it's there for me. I bust out the I-pod and it's on like Donkey Kong!
I have reached a point in my life where I CAN'T use a public treadmill. This is not me being a spoiled brat, this is me admitting that I look like a freak show when I run. Dave and a few others have commented that run like that liquid, cop dude from Terminator 2. I would agree. It's not a good look at all. But that's just the tip of the freak show ice berg. I get those jams playing on the i-pod and I can't help myself, I gotta dance (while running). Dance running should only be done in the privacy of your own home. Trust me on this one. I'm sure I look like I have a severe case of tourrettes syndrome when this is happening. Depending on the song, I might even appear to be skipping rather than running. It's so bad, but I can't help myself! If I had been born 6 years earlier, I'm sure I would have been a regular on Mtv's "The Grind" (the nineties, skanky version of Solid Gold), with host Eric Nies. (the pretty boy from the first season of The Real World). Who knows, I may have ended up married to Eric! I do have a soft spot for washed up, D-list, reality stars....
But back to my problem. Me, music, running and the public don't mix! I'm certain that dance-running burns way more calories than running alone. And I can't stop myself from doing it, so I will continue to do it, even though I look idiotic doing it. But I will spare the public the horror of watching it, and do my treadmill time in the privacy of my own home. To all those with gym memberships, you are welcome.