Finances · Fitness · Kids

The shabby Y

I worked out with my sister Amy last night at the brand spankin’ new 24 Hour Fitness near her house. Oh my goodness. As I walked thru the doors, I felt like I’d died while working out and gone to gym heaven.

Every treadmill and elliptical machine had it’s own tv attached. You could plug your headphones in and watch any show of the few dozen (including cable channels) options. The machines also had attached cup holders and a little tray where you could stash a towel, magazine, training log, pen etc.

I did 60 minutes of cardio while watching “The Biggest Loser” on my little tv. I cannot express how motivating it is to listen to Jillian screaming “LAST CHANCE WORKOUT PEOPLE” while pushing myself to get my heart rate just a little higher. It was awesome.

After our cardio, Amy and I did some weights. Her gym has these incredible weight machines that move with your body. Now, I’m only 5 foot 2 – some would say I’m almost “technically” a midget (Shannon). At my height it’s kind of a challenge to use weight machines that pivot on an axis. They’re typically designed for people between  5′ 3″ and 6′. I always have to adjust every part of the machine before I can (if I can) get it to fit my body. These machines that move with you require zero adjustments – I could just sit down and start crunching, pressing, lifting and curling. Wow. Plus, the motion was so smooth, no hinges banging, no weights catching on a cable…it was like pushing weights thru butter. Amazing.

After the experience last night, walking into my busted down YMCA this morning was a little rough. But there was one huge part of my workout package that kept me positive about my inferior gym – childcare. Yes, my Y is old. The individual machines have no TVs – actually, there aren’t any TVs in the workout area at all.  I’m stuck with listening to my iPod. Poor me.  It’s true that I have to walk outside in the cold and rain to get from the lobby area to the weight room. There are no fancy motivational sayings prominently displayed in artful lettering on the walls – instead there are cheesy 80’s posters of people working out. Instead of dozens of the same machine, I have one of each. The weight room is so small, the rowing machine doesn’t fit in the main room. Instead, it’s in the room where all the classes are held – making it quite difficult to use. All these things don’t matter to me (much). What does matter is that at the YMCA, childcare is included in your membership. I can drop my two munchkins off at the fairly uncrowded play area – and workout to my heart’s content – and it doesn’t cost me a dime.

I have never appreciated the childcare situation at the Y as much as I do today. You see, I was so wowed by the fabulous facility at 24 Hour Fitness, I actually decided to check out membership options. Instead of asking about the cost of the membership though, I inquired after the “Kids Club” costs. I was handed a piece of paper by the receptionist that listed out the following:

Session Cost: $3.00
10 Sessions: $25.00
20 Sessions: $40.00

One session used per child. Sessions are two hours in length.

Break it down girl. Here you go. I work out 5 days a week. I have two children. That’s 10 sessions a week. 20 sessions would (therefore) last me exactly two weeks. Which means childcare alone would cost me $80 a month. EIGHTY dollars. That’s more than twice my monthly membership at the Y. And that doesn’t even INCLUDE the membership!! Look at it another way. It would cost me, on top of whatever the actual membership costs are, $4 per workout for childcare. Talk about discouraging. I’m sure every single workout I would be weighing if I really wanted to go spend that $4. I’m sure that $4 would give me just the excuse I need on those days that I really don’t want to hit the gym.

So, here’s my big shout out to my shabby YMCA. You rock! Thank you for providing me with wonderful, caring, fun-for-my-kiddos childcare without gouging me every time I drop off the kids. Thank you for understanding that I have enough excuses not to work out in my life already, and do not need a financial reason as well. God bless you YMCA – from the bottom of my $4 a day richer heart.


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