To Gym? or Not To Gym?

So I’ve been sick for a little over two weeks, now. It started with a cold – funny feeling in the throat, feeling crappy, etc. Then it morphed into a sinus infection. Now all that remains is a nagging cough – you know the one we all get every winter that lasts for weeks and weeks after you are actually sick. The thing about me and my horrible sinus problem, though, is that if I work out while I still have any symptoms at all, I start to get sicker and my sinuses clog up again and I’m back at the Ear, Nose, Throat doctor – who I am desperately trying to avoid now that he’s dropped the ‘it’s time to seriously consider surgery’-bomb. So I haven’t been to the gym in two or three weeks now, since just before I got sick.

But this is happening all the time. I’m always coming down with something that turns into a sinus infection, and I’m missing a few weeks of the gym to deal with it. Probably three days of the week, I wake up with exacerbated allergies and cannot go either – because if I go to the gym with an allergy flare-up, the same sinus thing will happen. And then there are the days that I’m just too busy – cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, and homeschooling get in the way. There are the periods when I’m binge-writing: writing blogs, journaling, and working on my book so much that I barely even remember to eat, let alone go to work out. And so on and so forth, you get the point – I am often finding reasons not to do the one thing I really enjoy.

This frequent absence is also compounded by the fact that I hate my gym. To begin, it’s twenty minutes away from home. Long story short, when I joined it was in Los Angeles, where I no longer live; that location has since closed, and now where we live the closest branch is miles away. When I get there – no matter what day of the week or time of the day it is – the place is invariably packed. The last time I went before getting sick, I left completely enraged because there were long lines at every single one of the cardio machines I wanted to use, as well as weight machines completely filled with elderly people having conversations (rather than pumping the iron).

It may sound like I’m setting things up for a No Gym vote, here – talking myself into canceling my membership before I’ve even clarified that this is the main question behind this post. I’m not though. There are a lot of things I really like about the gym.

For one, I enjoy working out around other people that work out because it motivates me to keep going and work harder. There are machines that I use at the gym, as well, that I do not have any access to at home (particularly the one that is apparently only for sluts or gay men … which happens to be my favorite machine. I had no idea that every time I made eye contact with someone while using that machine that I looked like a skank strengthening her vag muscles for a hot night on the docks…). I have more options at the gym too, and while I never use them (like classes, the swimming pool, etc.) I like having options were I to ever really want to take them.

So all of that considered, I’m starting to wonder if I should really continue with my gym membership. In the last five months, I have gone less than 40% of the time. What’s worse is that I’ve worked out more at home than I have there – possibly because of the distance, it is now just more convenient for me since I cannot stay at the gym long anyway when I do go. But again, I like the options I do not have at home – the classes, the swimming pool. Ignoring the fact that our new apartment complex has its own pool and fitness center (albeit a much smaller one than my gym), the motivation factor is a big one too. Just by having the gym membership, i feel that I work out more.

I see there being definite possibilities on both sides:

To Gym

…is to be motivated to work out as often as I can.

…is to have machines I don’t have available to me at home.

…is to interact with more of that crazy society that gives me topics to blog on frequently.

…gets me out of the house and in the company of other humans.

…gives me a few minutes sans Dora the Explorer.

Not To Gym

…runs the risk of losing the motivation to work out at all.

…presents me with limitations of what machines I have to use when I do work out.

…separates me from society even more than I already am – which is already at somewhat of a fever pitch.

…would save me ass-loads of money.

The real point is that every month my husband and I divvy up what remains of our monthly income between the two of us for miscellaneous spending – a third of my half is taken up by the cost of my gym membership and Kid’s Club childcare. That is a lot of money every month that sometimes goes straight into the lining of the LA Fitness pockets with me having been unable to workout often. Think of all the make up and purses I could buy with that money.

I fear I have reached an impasse, faithful blog followers. To Gym? or Not To Gym?



  1. LunaSunshine

    Isn’t there a possibility that you could skip the gym and still get exercise? There are a lot of websites out there that could help you set up and at home gym without spending a fortune. Not that I’ve ever tried, but I have family members who did.

    And I’m so sorry to hear about you being ill. We have the “perpetual sinus infection” here too. I have that cough all winter. Stupid asthma. Anytime I get any kind of respiratory infection, that cough. I feel like I haven’t stopped coughing for over a year now. (I had a bout with walking pneumonia over the summer. Ugh.)

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Aww, thanks regarding the being ill. It is getting really old, this whole sinus/allergy thing. Ugh!

      So I DO work out at home…actually more than I do at the gym, which is why I am kind of asking myself ‘what is the point when you are doing more exercise at home anyway’…thanks for the comment!!

  2. Curly Carly

    Any possibility you can join a rec center in your area? I’ve found those to be great because you get acceptable equipment at a freakishly low price.

    That’s my favorite machine, too. I get pissed when a clueless guy walks by and doesn’t think to look away.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I was thinking about that, although I would have to look into it and where the closest one is. We definitely have equipment we can use at our apartment complex’s fitness center it is just very lacking.

      They do have my favorite machine, though, which may really be the only deal-breaker for me!

  3. Frugalistablog

    hmmm, I think the real question here is, ‘to surgery or not to surgery?”
    If you got the surgery, you wouldn’t have the sinus problems and then you could go to the gym.Snap.
    You’re welcome.
    Am I right?

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      You are right.
      Sadly, I think that falls under “not to gym” because that stupid surgery is SO EXPENSIVE. My insurance sucks a hard one and will only cover about 1/3 of the cost – which is fine if I HAVE to do it, but I just want to avoid it as long as possible. I think what the gym question really boils down to is money and do I even like the gym I go to anymore? Another idea is to stop going to the gym I go now and save the money for fees and stuff at a new gym to join that I actually like in the area where we live now, for after I eventually have the surgery.
      BLAH, I hate making decisions!!

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