What I Learned From: Y Membership (And Why I Switched to Another Gym)

I initially joined the local YMCA during the summer that my daughter was turning 5, to get a discount on summer camp.  The main draw maintaining my Y membership over the years since then has been TurboKick classes.  I loved the combo of hip hop music and moves mixed with martial arts-infused flair. Once I became certified to teach classes myself (and eligible to purchase my own TK rounds), ironically I started slowly falling out of love with it.

Don’t get me wrong–I still enjoy my old-school rounds, but gradually, I became less attached to it than ever before (from 2008 to present).

Source: In Montgomery

During the past several months, I still enjoyed my group exercise classes at the Y, but couldn’t easily fit some of the classes into my schedule. I also found myself wanting to do different things in the classes and be more independent with the exercises chosen.  For example, one instructor in particular, although very fit and good at instruction, seemed to always want to do the same exact warm-up and same leg and butt exercises when she taught every Wednesday.  It got on my nerves after awhile, especially when I thought about all the other moves we could be doing.

Yes, I’m a certified instructor, but I really don’t want to teach classes. I guess it was more like a form of (expensive) self-enrichment.

The Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

I got mailed offers to join a couple of other local gyms that are next to each other, and less than 4 miles from my house. I could literally run there and back every day if there weren’t constant construction going on.  One is a no-frills gym that has everything I need except kettlebells and classes. The other gym was more martial arts based.

The no-frills offer was available for about 2 weeks: $99 for an entire year, no strings.  I spoke to a friend who was a member, accepted the offer, and canceled at the Y (with mixed feelings). I knew that I would miss the motivation that came with showing up for a class and the friendly faces I was used to seeing every week. It was a social outlet for me since I work from home, even if I didn’t speak to a soul for the entire hour.


Me-Time vs. Real Interpersonal Interaction

I learned that I need to have regular social outlet that promotes healthy habits and human interaction. You can be around people all day long and not interact or connect with them. I don’t want that. I have found other ways to do that without compromising my values or “me”-time.

It’s been 2 months since I left the Y, and I’ve been missing my group EX classes as expected. I have DVDs and equipment at home, but it’s not the same.  I don’t push myself to do bodyweight exercises for example (burpees, planks, push-ups, etc.) like I would in a class.  I can always go back to the Y, or take classes at other places around town.