This is really a rhetorical question. Gyms are a great place to workout, socialize, get motivated, increase physical fitness and, if you’re not careful waste a ton of money.
I’ve probably done all of the above when it comes to joining a gym. I get suckered in by all of the great equipment, the fun aerobic classes, the Olympic sized swimming pool and the loud pulsating music of the spinning classes. I’m all gung-ho for a few weeks, even a month and a half and then something happens. Whether it’s a cold/flu, an injury, an out of state wedding, vacation or a child’s stubbed toe, something always happens and I stop going. Once I stop, it’s hard to get back into the rhythm again.
Unfortunately, the monthly membership fee doesn’t stop when I do. Each month I look at the monthly fee vowing to return to the gym and I never do.
I think I’ve finally found the solution to the wasted gym membership. The answer is a gym precursor. A gym precursor is all about engaging in a fun activity that requires some sort of physical movement. For example, join a learn to rollerblade class or take a belly dancing class. In my case, it’s a learn to row class.
By doing something you truly love to do, you’ll take the time to develop the muscles and gain the flexibility necessary to become proficient at the activity. Personally, I find that rowing requires endurance, so as a result of rowing, I started running again on my non-rowing days. I don’t like running, but if it makes me a better rower, so be it.
My Gym Epiphany
My mistake, I now realize, when it comes to a gym membership is that the gym is not my be all and end all. When I thought about physical fitness and getting in shape I thought of spending time at the gym whipping my body into shape. Instead, I now understand that the gym is a necessary means to an end. It helps me to be better at what I’m passionate about.
I now think of going to the gym and using the necessary equipment as a means to improve my rowing. Let’s face it football players play football but utilize the gym to become better football players. The same goes for swimmers, dancers, ice skaters, baseball players and so on.
Back to the Beginning
Are gyms really necessary? No, they’re not absolutely necessary. However, their equipment sure comes in handy when it comes to developing the necessary skills to perform well in a particular sport.