'Tis the season! I am a very giving person (although I don't share well with others, just ask my sister) and typically am completely focused on others during the holiday season. But this year the hubby and I did something big for ourselves for Christmas. We joined a gym. Not just any gym either, the "Caesar's Palace of Gyms" as Hubby calls it. Yes, I shopped for everyone on the list and then some and I know that this is the wrong time of year to be purchasing things for yourself - or so my Mom always told me - but they have treadmills that go downhill! And to add on a child under 12 it only costs $6 a month for which you get two hours - TWO HOURS A DAY - every day of free daycare while you're working out. Plus it is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week - something that "24 Hour Fitness" cannot even boast - which is important to Hubby who occasionally works the night shift and needs something to do while we are all sleeping but he's not working. Then there's the amazing pools that are open for family swim time almost every day that Big Sister will love, a rock climbing wall she's already hooked on, and a monthly "parent's night out" where you drop your kids off for some fabulous activity and then YOU. GO. OUT!
Hubby has been begging and pleading and dropping hints and finagling and scheming for ways to convince me to join this club since it opened several years ago. I always heard the amenities and assumed it was way out of our price league and dismissed it. Now, however, I'm a full-blown runner who wants to run 3-5 days a week regardless of the weather who has been hampered by snow at least twice already and it isn't even officially winter yet. So, I relented in going for a tour. And of course it was amazing - the yoga classes are included - even the heated ones - and they have Pilate machines and did I mention the treadmills that go downhill too?!? Of course they sweeten the deal in December by waiving fees and cutting others in half and we were suckers for the hard sell after the tour. But, there has not been any buyer's remorse and we spent seven hours there last Saturday.
Now before you call for a running intervention, let me break down those seven hours... First we had the event "Breakfast with Santa" where you could bring non-member friends (Big Sister opted to bring the BFF of course!) After breakfast, the girls got to enjoy the bounce houses, see Santa, make ornaments for the tree, decorate cookies and even meet "Santa Paws" the dog. We also took our neighbors in a shameless effort to convince them how crazy cool the club is so they would join too - not sure if that worked or not but we are hopeful... After the event was over, we dropped the girls off at the Kid's Club (aka, daycare) for two hours while we met with our trainers for our first evaluation and orientation and then Hubby played basketball and I worked out. Then we grabbed the girls, had some healthy lunch in the cafe and hit the pool for Family Swim. Before we knew it three hours had passed in the pool with the two of them having fun while Hubby and I took turns tag-teaming between the kiddie pool and the lap pool/hot tub. By the time we hit the showers and headed for home it had been seven hours of fabulousness and we were all exhausted.
What a lifestyle kind of place rather than just a place to go to work out and I know we will be super happy there. Big Sister is counting the years (she has three left) until she can do spin class and yoga with Mom and asking if we can go to the gym to swim or climb the rock wall every day. I'm apprehensive about my first experience at spin class coming up tonight and REALLY looking forward to a treadmill run that can actually mimic outdoor terrain and not just go UP hill!
Looking back on my life "before running" I can see that I'm a different person - one who thinks a big chunk of cash every month to belong to a health club is a valid use of financial resources; one who schedules time in the calendar to work out 5 days a week and sticks to it. And most important, one who is healthier and fitter and a good example to my girls as they grow up. So while, yes, the membership itself was a selfish gift bought at an inappropriate time, it is a gift that will keep on giving and I refuse to feel bad about it for a single minute. Happy Holidays - we're celebrating Yule today - of whichever flavor you prefer!