Runfessional-In a Moment of Weakness…..

Well, it is cold here.  It is pretty much cold everywhere.  Did you see that on Tuesday every state in the United States was at or below freezing?!  I promised last winter, during the most bitter of days, that I would not complain even one time over the summer about running in the heat.  I stuck to my word.  I ran 200 mile months all summer in heat, humidity, rain, you name it.  So I think I deserve a moment of complaint.  After all I believe I paid my dues!


On Wednesday we drove back to Chicago and away from super snowy Michigan.  I spent most of the ride thinking about how I couldn’t wait to get back to Chicago where the ground wasn’t covered in snow.  First thing I was going to do was throw on some running clothes and break a sweat.  And then we stopped for gas in Indiana….

When I stepped out of the car I couldn’t keep the door open because the wind was practically pushing me back into my seat.  You know how I feel about the wind (as in I am the nut who yells at it when I run).  Add in the single digit temps and I was pretty much fed up.

If this is what it is like in November I am not sure what I am going to do in the coming months.  Last year was cold.  Really cold!  But November was pleasant and so was most of December.  We eased into that weather and once the snow and brutal cold hit, I was already into the winter running weather and wasn’t ready to back out.  This time is different.

I saw that this was from Buffalo, NY this week.  Yikes!

I saw that this was from Buffalo, NY this week. Yikes!

So yesterday I did something I haven’t done in over four years.  I took a short walk down the street and joined a gym.  It is new and the machines are all shiny.  Better yet, my favorite grocery store is on the second level.  If I want, I can run a few miles and then go upstairs where I can grab a drink and browse the produce over a cocktail.  Yep, sounds like a perfect combo.

There are things I like about the gym.  I like the fact that I can walk inside in my nice warm coat and throw on shorts and go for a run.  I like that I can catch up on crappy television while I get my run/sanity in.  I appreciate that if my body isn’t feeling a run on that particular day I can opt for a different cardio machine or even take a class.  Did I mention there is no wind?

But there are a few things I do not like about going to the gym.  The first part that stinks is the registration.  I kind of dread walking around the gym and listening to their spiels about the machines and equipment.  Every gym I have been to acts like I have absolutely no knowledge of exercise and especially when I go into the weight room.  I love having some young guy tell me how I can use these machines to tone up my arms and butt.  Thanks buddy….

And then there is the registration process.  Yesterday I sat at a desk and the employee brought a sheet over showing me the various pricing plans.  I had done some research on the car ride the day before and saw that they had some decent prices listed.  This employee was showing me rates that were twice as much as I had found online.  I mentioned this to him and he went into some story about how they often have online promotions and he might not have read the recent ones.  So he took a look and sure enough he had a few rates.

The problem is that I am not looking to belong to a gym for the whole year.  I just need a place to run while winter takes over Chicago and the rest of the Midwest.  That being said, I was not loving the idea of having to pay these annoying initiation fees.  I told him that much and was kind of settled on leaving.  But a manager must have noticed my discontent and came over.  He introduced himself and asked if he could help.  When I told him why I was apprehensive to join he immediately mentioned that they had a month to month plan that didn’t require an initiation fee.

There you go!  And here is my advice to you:  If you do decide to go into a gym and inquire about membership, do not settle on the prices they first show you.  There are always ways to work around those rates.  They know that people are desperate this time of year.  Many people join gyms over the holidays and do not know better.  Don’t get taken for a ride on the treadmill (or elliptical or spin bike).

Even the dogs want to stay inside!

Even the dogs want to stay inside!

See you at the gym!