Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ode to Planet Fitness

Photo by Daniel Oines, do check out his lovely work!

You guys, I am in love. With a gym. A freakin’ gym.

No, they’re not paying me to say any of this. (Although if anyone from the Planet Fitness marketing department wants to pay me for an endorsement, I am SO down for that.) It’s just that I signed up approximately a week ago, and the soreness of attacking weight machines with all my strength has subsided, and I’m in love. The best part of the whole thing is that it’s only costing me about $20 per month, and it’s open 24/7, so no matter what stupid schedule work throws at me, I can easily stay on the wagon!

(Not that I’m still bitter at work for changing my schedule so I couldn’t keep up with the half-marathon training group last year. Nope, not at all….)

Anyway. They have a 30-minute allover weight training circuit, which is brilliant for defeating that “But I don’t have time!” excuse. The décor is predominantly purple, which is the best color ever, as anyone who is anyone already knows. There are approximately a zillion cardio machines and treadmills, so even in the thick of Resolution Season, nobody really has to wait for a turn. Members get unlimited tanning. (which, uh, means absolutely zilch to my snow-white hide, but more power to the tanorexics out there.)

Members also get unlimited access to HYDROMASSAGE BEDS! I’m telling you. After a rough day of solving first-world problems and getting cussed up one side and down the other by self-entitled iPhone users, that hydromassage bed is saving me from either committing homicide or suicide. Its warm, soothing water jets are a blessing upon mankind.

Then, there’s the “judgment-free zone” they promote. My curvy behind is right at home on the elliptical, flanked on one side by a rail-thin chick and on the other by someone whose potbelly hangs to their knees. We’re all there to maintain, or become, the best possible versions of ourselves. It’s a beautiful thing. We welcome newbies into the fold every day, showing them how to work the circuit, asking each other for form checks, whatever. It really feels like an empowering environment to me. There’s been one evening so far in which a few guys got into Leery McStare mode. I gave them a dirty look and they straightened up. If they hadn’t, I’d have felt absolutely no qualms about telling staff and trusting them to handle it appropriately. People can relax and get fit here.

There’s also the lanky, cute guy on staff who always greets me with a silly lopsided grin. “Hey, you made it in again!” he says. “Are you kidding? This is my therapy!” I reply. “That leg press is gonna feel my wrath!”

Last night, I caught him and one of the other staffers in full white-boy dance mode to whatever peppy, generic pop music was wafting from overhead. It was totally adorable. I wanted to invite them both goth clubbing.

Not insignificantly, they have over 600 locations. Three of them are in Indianapolis, so if I do get to move back in the near future, my membership will transfer. Score!

One more anecdote from last night. There are huge televisions everywhere, which… well, ugh if you’re a TV-eschewing hipster like me, but whatever. On one screen was Fox News. On the adjacent one was the History Channel. I caught, side by side, the “Rent is Too Damn High” guy and the “I’m not saying it was aliens, but it was aliens” guy. Total meme-ception!

This is approximately what it looked like.

 And then I finished 5 ½ miles on the elliptical, and imbibed a low-calorie grape Gatorade. At the time, it seemed like the greatest-tasting nectar that had ever crossed my lips.

Do you think exercise seems to make the other moments in life somehow more significant and enjoyable, or is it just me?

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