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Day 17: in which I venture into a gym for the first time ever

You remember all the overanalyzing I did about what was the best way to join the gym, because I was going to use exercise as a replacement for shopping? And then I was stressing about not going to the gym and feeling guilty, only to remember that wasn't the point of this resolution anyway?

So, it's the second week of my two week free trial of the gym (...which is less than 2 minutes away, walking, from where I am sitting right now, on my sofa in my apartment). There was another aqua yoga class for the very elderly, but I didn't get there quite on time, and so I went into... the gym part.

I was hoping to blend in a bit more than when Dita von Teese goes to the gym. Love her.
I had never been in the gym part of a gym before. This is mainly because I don't know what to do there, and I imagined it would be full of very fit people who do know what they're doing. And yes, the people there were younger and more athletic-looking than the old ladies from aqua yoga, but I casually got the lay of the land.

I blended in perfectly. Nobody could tell it was my first time.
There were signs posted saying "sign up at the top of the stairs!" and so I climbed up the stairs and peered around until I found a whiteboard. It had a chart with letter and numbers on it, and I saw that the free treadmill was marked #6 so I scanned until I found T-6 (which I guess means Treadmill 6) and I signed up for a half-hour.

While I was "working" "out" (read: running for 5 minutes, then walking somewhat briskly for another 25 minutes) I kept a keen eye on what the other people were doing. When they finished, they got a cloth and spray bottle from... somewhere... and wiped off their machines. I finally saw where the bottle was, so I knew where to get it when I was done.

I did not see this machine in the gym I went to,  alas.
There was a scary red button on the machine that said STOP, and I wasn't sure if that was what I hit when I finished, or if it would make alarms go off because I was calling the police. Luckily, it was the former.

Then I went back downstairs and couldn't find the exit door. You'd think it was the door with the EXIT sign above it, but that did not open. I was not about to ask the weight-lifters where the exit was, so again, I casually stood there and drank water like that's what I wanted to be doing. Finally, somebody came in from the water fountain and I made my escape.

The silliest part of the whole thing? The gym gives you a free lock for your locker, if you leave something important with them as ransom (i.e. your keys, your driver's license, etc.) but tonight they were out of locks! I am not about to go and purchase a lock, so I left my stuff (b/c who would steal my empty bag or keychain?) and it was all left unstolen.

At least now I have some use for my overabundance of gym wear.

So anyway. I think the reasoning between replacing shopping with exercise is endorphins. You get endorphins from exercise like I get from shopping, like these monkeys get from being rewarded on a constant basis (link via frugalforlife.blogspot.com). (Note: the monkey study shows that there is a genetic predisposition as to whether you are a spender or a saver. I like that idea. Although, my spending predisposition is apparently one of those sneaky recessive genes, since nobody else in my family is like this)

So far, though, exercising is not as fun as shopping. It smells like sweat in the gym, one TV was showing "The Bachelor" and another was showing behind-the-scenes of "Hot in Cleveland" (a sitcom about which I now know more than I ever wanted to) and nobody was very well dressed. Contrast that with a refreshing visit to, say American Apparel, where everybody is dressed cool and it smells like fresh poly-cotton blend.

Show me a gym that makes me as happy as this store, and I will purchase a membership.

Gym vs. shopping round 1, goes to shopping. Gym is cheaper, but not as cute or fun.

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