I’ve been going to this class at my gym for the last few months. It’s a Zumba class, and a friend who used to take the weights class with Deb recommended it. I took my first class back in May and I was hooked, and this whole summer, on Thursday evening and Friday at 11:30 AM, I’ve been shimmying and bopping and otherwise moving my body to Latin and Bollywood and African and Egyptian music with a group of other people who like to dance. Zumba has been a great workout, and I really like the instructor.
Today I took my last Zumba class at my gym. And next week, I’ll go in for the last time, say hi to Kenny and Sam at the desk, grab my towel, log in to the FitLinxx kiosk, perform some sort of cardiovascular activity while listening to music, go back downstairs to shower and change, and say goodbye to everyone there. Because on September 22, Dan and I are moving to California.
I joined the YMCA in August of 2004. It was right after I’d started at my current job, and I realized that I was just not happy with the amount of regular exercise I was getting. I’d been in the habit of walking stairs with some of my coworkers, but when I took the new job I moved to a different building, in the basement with only a few other people around, and walking the stairs there just wasn’t as interesting. My clothes were tight and I was feeling all-around bleah, so I decided to check out the Y which at the time was across the street and half a block down from where I worked.
Over the course of the last several years, the Y has become my third place, the place at which I feel most comfortable and spend the most time other than at home or at work. I’ve seen trainers come and go; I’ve seen other gym patrons get pregnant and have babies and get pregnant again and have second babies. I’ve taken a plethora of classes: yoga, mat pilates, cardio salsa, qi gong, step, cardio/weights, weights, and Zumba. I’ve made friends and knitted blankets for babies and gotten injured. I’ve gone there nearly every work day for an hour or more a pop and sometimes twice for over six years. That’s a lot of time by anyone’s standards. So what have I gained?
Peace of mind. Stress relief. A reason to get up out of my chair at work. Something I do for myself, on nearly a daily basis. Physical and mental health. A place where I could keep track of some sort of life progress, even if it was only a machine telling me how many hours of cardiovascular activity and how much weight I’d lifted in the past day, week, month, year, lifetime. The gym membership has been worth every penny I’ve paid for it, every month of the last 73. I’ve lost weight and gained weight and gotten way, way stronger and it’s all been such a big part of my everyday existence that I know I’m not even going to know how much I will miss it until we are gone and I’m not in there every day, getting high fives and smiling at Cate’s baby bump and sweating while I move my body around.