Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007
Dear Diary:

My tiny Vermont gym is closing Sept. 28.

Do you know how hard it is to type from a fetal position while hyperventilating into a paper bag? Do you? DO YOU?

I can't say I'm surprised. I know for a fact that it has not ever made money during the seven years I've been there. I think it broke even maybe six months and after that it was only a question of how much money the owners were losing. The daycare that shares the building with the gym was always the money maker. Always.

Excuse me, I need some more quality time with my paper bag.

There. I feel much, much better.

The Quebec village where I shop has a tiny gym which I checked out last week.

Excuse me, more bag time needed. *Insert wheezing sound accompanied by the crinkling sound of a paper bag inflating and deflating.*

There. Equilibrium restored. Where was I? Oh yes …

The equipment was crammed cheek by jowl in a room that was really too small to hold it all. Some of it had worn seats and pads, and that made the place seem somewhat shabby. The cardio equipment came from the lower end of the spectrum. The newest treadmills at my gym have impact absorption, making them kinder to the knees. The treadmills at this gym looked pretty elementary.

The steppers might be okay, I could try those, I guess. The elliptical machines looked flimsy, though. *Sigh*.

Plus, the gym was completely empty, which makes me wonder about how financially viable it is.

Oh dear.

On the up side, the place was immaculately clean.

On the downside, the receptionist wasn't particularly knowledgeable and the trainer on duty was off in a corner taking a coffee break, studiously ignoring me because omigawd heaven forbid that she dip into her break time to help a potential paying customer.

Excuse me, I need some more bag time. *Sigh*.

My next gym option is a 40 minute drive from me, which isn't do-able.

Oh, I know. Technically, with all the years I've been working out, I should be able to do this at home with the equipment I already have—cardio outside if the weather is good, inside on my exercise bike when it isn't.

I have a set of free weights and a Swiss exercise ball. That's pretty much all you need. But even you know what? Leave me alone at home and I will find 10,421 reasons why I have no time for exercise.

Three of these reasons might involve things which are not shiny.

I've tried before but I'm just not one of those self-starter people. I think I speak for us all when I say those people are freaks. I need a schedule, a separate place. Plus, at my current gym I have a great social circle. When you work at home as I do, it's very easy to become isolated, especially in the winter. My gym not only keeps me fit, over the seven years I've been there, it has brought some great people into my life.

Plus, it's much safer driving in the winter. The small Vermont town where my gym lives is in the same river valley I live in, so the driving is on flat land. To get to the Canadian gym, I have to cross up and over a very steep and twisty mountain road. No biggie in the summer, but in the winter that road can be, uh, exciting.

Complicating matters, some of the members of my Vermont gym have formed a committee to try to keep the gym alive. The current owner says he doesn't need to make money on it, he just wants to break even. But if he couldn't break even after seven years, how can people without a business background do any better?

The only place to make cuts is staff. I have seen gyms where the cleaning is sub-par. I have no interest in working out knee deep in other folks' schmenge, thankyewverymuch.

Crap, crap, crappity crap.

The Canadian gym is offering a killer membership special which ends Saturday. The folks trying to keep my Vermont gym open haven't got anything nailed yet, and there's no promises they can get the project off the ground.

Man. My head hurts thinking about all this. I had hoped that by writing all this down in black and white I'd come to some sort of epiphany. Instead, I feel even grumpier and more frazzled.

Crap, crap, crappity crap.

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 338.49 miles Ten percent there rubber duck. Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Half way there

Going Nowhere Collaboration

Goal for 2007: 500 miles


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