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The new gym

Posted by Elizabeth Comeau  March 18, 2013 11:41 AM

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Finding a new gym is like going on a first date, isn't it?

One the first date, everyone is on their best behavior and trying to impress the other person. On the second date, you're trying to figure out if maybe there will be another date, if you like the person enough to continue. By date three, you've either already committed, given up, or are totally confused.

To me, picking a new gym is very much like a real-life relationship. Maybe that means I spend far too much time exercising.

Or maybe it's because I just broke up with my long-term gym and while this new gym relationship is new and fun and exciting, part of me misses the old standby.

Now that I'm on day 5 of my relationship with the new gym, I thought I would outline the pros and cons of both. Like a list of the great qualities of that last ex you keep comparing with your new love ...

Old gym: (OG)
I felt like I didn't have to make an effort: OG met my needs but never gave me anything extra, therefore I wasn't unhappy, but things were getting dull. OG never just randomly brought me presents like shiny new equipment for no reason. He just expected me to take what he gave me. And I did. It was consistent. And there was nothing wrong with him.

OG was comfortable. I could wear the "ugly" pair of yoga pants I own (you know the ones that are faded from too many washes). I never had to try to make conversation. I could find a dark corner in OG where I could just put my head down and hide. I could be completely myself because OG accepted me for who I was even when I was stinky and sweaty and not in the mood to work out.

But OG and I grew apart this year. It wasn't him. I changed. I needed to move on. I wanted more than OG could give me anymore. For the past few months I've been trying to hold on to the memory of the qualities I liked in OG when I first started there. But OG has been awkward lately. He wasn't pushing me to try new things anymore. He wasn't being negative, but he wasn't supporting me in my new pursuits either.

OG lacked variety, he had the same old equipment and wasn't up for trying new things (same treadmills have been there for six years, at least.) The space was cramped, and in need of a paint job. And OG was terrible at communication. Gym closed on a holiday? You were never really sure unless you showed up to locked doors. And, the one time I contacted a trainer I got radio silence in return.

Training for a triathlon was the straw that broke OG's back. I'm sorry, OG. You were good to me for the last six years. But I had to go. You need to find someone new, too.

New gym: (NG)
NG made an effort right away to make sure all my needs were met and then some: He asked me what else I wished I could have and then showed me features I didn't even know I wanted in him. He's new and exciting and extremely well kept. OG was getting shabby as the years passed. NG is meticulous.

NG offered me classes I didn't even know I wanted and fully met my new requirement for training: A pool. NG is great at communicating, and has its open/closed hours for holidays and weekends already posted for the entire year. And when I asked for help from a trainer, NG had one ready for me -- no questions asked and no extra fees. Plus, NG is close to home -- so close that I can get extra training in by biking there.

NG forces me to constantly challenge myself because he wants me to succeed. He encourages me to try things that make me nervous, and seems to always have confidence that I can tackle anything with him by my side. Plus, he has really nice, friendly people in his life who seem to genuinely like me. OG didn't have any friends, really. There were a handful of people who were consistently there, but no real stable base to support him.

NG and I instantly hit it off: Instant chemistry. Will he be my long-term gym? It's too early to tell, but for now, I'm happy I found him as I feel like he's helping me grow as a person.

If your gym were a person, what qualities would be on your "must-have" list for a relationship?

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.


Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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