I hate exercising. Always have – occasionally I like to dance, or take antigravity yoga at Om Factory or Aqua Spin in Tribeca – but generally, movement isn’t something that I take kindly too. But I know that’s not helping me with any of my goals, so four years ago I bit the bullet and got a membership to a mid-level luxury gym. While it set me back about $285 per month, I could swallow the expense because I was getting healthy. I can recall the moment that I stepped into Chelsea Piers. With its vast array of windows, bright streams of sunshine, brand new equipment and a ¼ mile lap track along the perimeter (not to mentioned my favorite Malin Goetz bath products, it was heaven.
Every morning I would wake up at 5:00am and be on the train at 5:30am but not to the gym until 6:30am. Why? Because I would have to take the train from 135th to 14th Street. And then get on a cross town bus and walk three and a half blocks. EVERY MORNING.
But the thing about Chelsea Piers is that it was worth all of it. The access to a deck to lay out on each summer, the steam room, the boot camp classes and the spin classes the fueled a transformation in my body and spirit were unmatched. And for two years it was my gym home. Until I fell in love with my now fiancé – and the thought of ripping myself out of bed and away from her became too much to bear. So I changed gyms. To Clay Health Club.
Associated with Soho House, Clay’s slogan was “Our Temple for Yours”. And you could understand why the moment you walked in. While Chelsea Piers was home to triathletes Clay was home to John Legend, Leonardo Dicaprio and Gwyneth Paltrow. The café was situated next to an all white fire place, in addition to the individual saunas there was a roof deck with private cabanas and room for outdoor sunrise yoga. With a capped membership each class was 15 people or less, it was heaven. And on my train line.
But it was tiny and not inspiring me to be fit. While Chelsea Piers had impressed me with its sheer size, Clay won my heart with its customer service. It was a boutique experience – and I ate it all up. Until I realized that my workouts had devolved into acai smoothie drinking on a rooftop lounge chair sessions and the only events I attended were the prosecco filled summer socials.
In a last ditch effort to regain my physical fitness momentum I joined Equinox. With their fun ads, mini fridges filled with Eucalyptus soaked face towels and innovative classes, I enjoyed the first four months. Until it dawned on me that the morning workout enthusiasm I had in the middle of my twenties was gone. And I wasn’t going to reclaim it. Leaving the house before 7am to be with throngs of sweaty people had become unfathomable. Then two words appeared in a dream – Home. Gym.
Growing up my mother had kept a treadmill and TV in the basement, my dad added a stationary bike, weight bench, free weights and a heavy bag. And every morning, almost religiously my mother would wake up and “do her miles” on the treadmill. And its kept her fit as a fiddle. I’ve lived in my two bedroom apartment for over 4 years and essentially every six months I come up with another brilliant usage for the 12 x 10 second bedroom that I’m happy to have. It’s been a guest bedroom, arts and crafts studio, office for two and for a moment it was almost a walk-in closet.
But all that changed the moment I realized that a Home Gym could be mine. While the room isn’t that large – some smart rearranging of the existing furniture freed up enough space for a stationary bike – and in the future a rowing machine. And I was lucky enough to find a used Schwinn A.C. Performance Bike on Craigslist for $150 rather than its steep $1,300 in-store price tag. Add in a yoga mat and a set of free weights and personal fitness is mine!
It’s been two weeks and I’ve worked out for 12 days! I think that this is the beginning of a beautiful and healthy relationship. Good by $285 monthly charge and hello strong calves and sleeping in until 6:30am!