To Gym or Not to Gym?

One of my goals for this month was to join the GoodLife Fitness down the street. Well, I still haven’t done that. And I don’t think I will be joining any gym for a while…

When I started working out earlier this year, it didn’t take long to figure out when the best time for me to workout was: before work. A few days a week, I would wake up at 5:30am, pick up a friend, drive to the gym for 6am and be home by 7am, so I could shower and leave for work at 8am. That might sound crazy to some of you but that’s what worked for me. I’m a morning person – always have been. Even as a teenager, I couldn’t sleep in. And living in a new city hasn’t changed that.

The Problem
Where I’m living right now, I’m currently spending 1.5-2 hours commuting to and from work. By the time I get home, I’m hungry for dinner and I usually have a blog post to write and/or shows I want to watch. What I don’t feel like doing at night is working out. And that should be ok! Because I don’t need to leave until 7:45am, I could definitely wake up early and go to the gym. But, after finding out that GoodLife charges $73/month (advertised as $60/m but is actually $30 + HST bi-weekly), I can’t seem to stomach the idea of paying for a membership (+ enrolment fees).

The Other Problem
Gone are the days of living down the street from a community recreation centre. In my neighbourhood, GoodLife is the cheapest gym I can join. I’ve done a ton of searches, price comparisons, etc. and it’s really my only option. There are slightly cheaper gyms in this city but I would have to commute to them. Without a car – and especially in the cold weather – I know I’d find excuses not to go. The bonus is that joining GoodLife in Toronto means you’re paying for the ability to workout at any location in Canada (and there are plenty to choose from in this city).

The Loophole
I’ve started doing a little apartment hunting online, to get an idea of what prices I can expect to pay in certain areas, and have found that a number of buildings have gyms in them. Now, there’s nothing saying I’ll even end up in a building, but if I do there’s a chance it could have some of the equipment I miss the most (elliptical and treadmill) so I wouldn’t need to join a gym at all. On the other hand, joining a gym could lead to me making a new friend or two. I don’t know that I’m willing to pay $73/month to make a friend but, in general, being an active gym member could help me feel more connected to this city.

The Solution
I don’t have a solution yet. This week, I will probably start doing a couple of the boot camp DVDs I have on my computer at home (free workouts!). I’m also going to research tips for running in the cold weather. And when I go home next month for Christmas, I’m going to visit the GoodLife my mom is a member of and find out what Victoria charges for an all-gym membership. I’m sure it’s the same but it’s worth seeing if there is a price difference because, if there is, I will join with Victoria as my “home gym”.

Now, I have to ask you all something: am I just being cheap? If I worked out 20 times each month, that’s $3.65 per workout. I was working out 18-22 days every month, before I came out here, so it’s not an unrealistic number. And that amount per workout seems ok to me. But it’s hard to imagine paying $73/month for something that I used to only pay $30/month for; especially when I know I will soon be paying more rent than I ever did in Victoria.

What would you do, if you were in my shoes? Buy a one-year gym membership, knowing you could soon be moving into a place that has a gym? Or wait?

Damn you, endorphins, for being so addictive!