Thursday, 27 September 2012
Husband wants to do the Ironman next year. If you don't know what that is, it's a triathlon in super size. You swim a stupidly long distance, then get on your bike and ride even further and when that's all done, you then run a marathon. Lovely. The UK event - for it has gone global - is held in Bolton but the cycle course passes within a mile of our house. I think the fact it's so close is tempting the husband.
This means he will need to train. That means hours on a bike or on the road. So far, so good. But then, he also needs to spend time in the pool and some time in the gym working on strength. Currently, he does not have gym membership. Two years ago, he bought family membership for the local public gyms in our area and that was what got me back into Body Pump. It was familiar as I had been a member for a few years before Monkey and Missy Woo landed on this planet.
After a few months, I was the only one using the membership although I did benefit from half price holiday clubs for the children. Come renewal time, I changed my membership to a single one which was limited to the centre where I go to classes. This doesn't have a pool.
When husband told me he was thinking of doing the Ironman, he started looking at the prices of gym memberships. He does get a NHS discount so thought he would consider everything available in the area.
Yesterday afternoon, he came home from work and told me that he wanted to go to see the gym I used to belong to ages ago. I joined it as it opened, which just happened to coincide with my moving into the area. I was a member there a few years but to me, it was just a little too far to encourage me to attend when I had had a long day. I decided to trail along. With the children. This could have been a mistake.
Well, we loved it. In particular, the children. As a non-parent before, I never really appreciated how brilliant the stuff they did for children was - nor how huge the kids area is. Free classes, up to 4 hours in the kids club every day, the pool, everything. The basic layout of the rest of the gym has not changed much but the gym floor is huge, the studios are enormous and most importantly, everywhere is so well equipped. This has been something that has been my major problem with where I go now - a lot of the Body Pump equipment hasn't been replaced in over 10 years, some of it is bent or broken, and in busy classes, they regularly run out of the stuff you need unless you get there 15 minutes early.
Apart from the cost, it should be a no-brainer. I could go to class, relax in the spa, even do some work there (free Wi-Fi) whilst grabbing coffee or lunch. If I went to classes when husband is at work in the evening, the children could go into the club and be occupied. Nearly all their out of school activities could be covered.
But all around the gym, I felt totally torn. Why do I feel so bad? Some of it is guilt, like I'd be cheating on the people I go to class with - some of whom I've known for 10 years. And yet, these people aren't really friends outside of the gym. I might bump into them out and about (usually in the supermarket!) but that's it. I like the teachers who take my classes - but one of them teaches at both places and I'd be able to get to at least one of her classes. Another teacher I'm familiar with already takes another. I know all the staff on reception - most of them know me pretty well and one of them even recognised my voice when I rang up to book a class. The only thing that really annoys me is the state of the equipment and the fact the management won't do very much about it. One of the weekend staff told me once that I was the only person who ever complained about the equipment; with the subtext that I was a moaning Minnie - but I know that even the teachers have complained.
It's convenient (round the corner from school, 5 minutes from home), and it's comfortable, despite its failings. Perhaps it's the suddenness of it all that's thrown me. Perhaps it's the fact that I'm almost part of the furniture there. Perhaps I am not so comfortable with change as I thought I was. Perhaps I'm only happy with changes that I want to make. Perhaps I didn't love the potential new gym enough - as it does have a few downsides around class scheduling.
I don't know what to do. Husband has offered to pay the difference whilst I try it out. I want to give it an extended try whilst not giving up my current membership so I don't have to rejoin if it doesn't work out. In reality, I don't think that's going to happen - husband wants to join, the children want to join (and to take them to activities, I have to be a member too). Guess that means I will be joining too.
How would you react to a situation like this? Would you follow your head or your heart? Having said that, I'm not actually sure which one favours which option! Perhaps I should just get a life...