The lesson I’m learning right now is that change is inevitable, even thought I might resist it.
Three days a week, I spend some time lifting weights and taking a dance class. Weightlifting is good for muscle tone and strength. Dancing is a great way to burn calories while listening to music.
Leaving the house to exercise also has a social aspect. Because I spend so much time at the computer, going to the gym forces me to change the scenery. In other words, the gym is an important part of my life. It’s where I go to have fun and de-stress.
Like a lot of women at the gym, I’ve been taking Teresa Cull’s classes off and on for about twenty years. Based on our shared interest, we’ve formed an informal community. We might not know the intimate details of each other’s lives, but there’s a camaraderie of kindred spirits.
Lately, I’ve been thinking that the gym and the class have outlived their usefulness.
Because Teresa’s Fit Jam class is so popular (and crowded), the management is now limiting the number of people who can attend. In the past, there have been more than seventy people in the room at times. Now that fire and safety codes are being enforced, the new limit is fifty. While it’s nice to have more room to move, it means that many women who have been coming for years can’t get into the class.
Last Wednesday I was one of them.
The chirpy guy at the desk smiled and said, “I can put you on the wait list.” Let me just say that my reaction was not pleasant. I was angry and upset. Although management has been making people sign in and get a card to enter the class, the reason why was never clear. At no time did I realize that the class size was exceeding the limit set by the fire marshall. Had this been made clear, I would have been much more proactive in making sure to claim my space.
Instead of fuming in silence, I expressed my frustration to the staff. I suggested that an email be sent to other members explaining the reason for the change, but that was never done. I was at a conference on Friday, so yesterday was my first day back at the gym. You can be sure I signed up early the day before. My space was secure, but another regular didn’t get in. Of course, she was upset for the same reason I was.
I’m sure the dust will eventually settle, the people who love the class will make the extra effort required to get in, and others will find something else to do. For now, I’m going to continue going. But if by the end of April my attendance continues to cause stress—which is clearly not the ideal outcome— I have a Plan B.
Plan B: My Option for Change
Put my gym membership on hold (perhaps indefinitely). Go to Jazzercise, which I also love. Hike often—especially now when the wildflowers are out. Work out with free weights at home. Call the gym friends I miss and schedule time for coffee.
Jan Fishler, MA, is currently co-authoring a new book, Don’t Stop Now, Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life (DontStopNow.us). She is also the author of Searching for Jane, Finding Myself (An Adoption Memoir), and has written several articles about alternative health and PTSD. You can learn more about Jan at www.JanFishler.net.
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