Winter fitness: I just broke down and joined a gym

Alright. I admit it. This rugged outdoorsy wannabee just joined a gym – at least for the coldest winter months. I wasn’t gonna do it, but a couple of recent polar blasts sort of tipped the scales for me. Nope, I’m not gonna spell out right here exactly which gym I joined. (Some of my local friends already know, and I’m good with that.)

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I asked around and visited a couple of local gyms. Some were full-service athletic multiplexes (so to speak). A few were simple storefront facilities, loaded with high-tech equipment and TV monitors. Most were pretty nice, but more than a couple were just a little creepy.

I especially disliked the idea of clicking in solo with an automated membership card to work out in an unattended gym. Exercising alone at home (or running in my own area) is one thing. Hanging out solo in a strange fitness center is something else altogether.

On the other hand, I don’t exactly relish the idea of huffing and puffing in a crowd of sweaty huffing and puffing strangers. But that sort of goes with the territory.

I figured I didn’t need a juice cafĂ© (or coffee bar), dance classes, a massage studio, an indoor skating rink, a martial arts setup, a rock climbing wall, or a swimming pool. Those things are fine, but not for my current fitness goals. Cross training is great, but my main focus was finding a place to run for a few months. (I’ll even opt for the great outdoors, if there are no wind-chill advisories, deep freezes, icy roads, or gobs of white stuff falling from the sky. I have running dates penciled in with a few intrepid winter runner friends. And I’m already registered for a few winter races.)

Finally, I picked the place.

I took the tour. I filled out the forms. I signed up and paid. Now I just have to show up and pump the iron.

Well, not exactly. I just want to run.

They won’t see me doing any of this:

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But I might try a bit of this:

Pixabay - public domain
And I will certainly pound my sneakers plenty on this:

Pixabay - public domain
Here’s the goal:

Pixabay - public domain
I can’t run from winter. But this may be a way to keep on going, even on the worst wintry days. Hey, if I’m really gonna clock 2,017 miles in 2017, I gotta make a few concessions. So there it is.

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