Free agent

Well, I guess I’m a free agent now. It’s been 15+ years in this virtual prison. At long last, I’ve broken free. I’ve, like, taken a spoon and dug my way through the concrete in my cell. I army crawled through the sewers which dumped into the muddy river which emptied into the sea, all the while withstanding torrential downpours and seriously cunty jellyfish. It was exhaustive.

I’m referring, of course, to my bold escape from the gym. I’m gym-less, you guys, and I’ve been a gym devotee for the entirety of the millennium. I hardly remember what life was like prior to this virtual incarceration. When I first joined, I of course fantasized about life on the outside, likening myself to a hamster on a wheel while my contemporaries roamed free, milking their metabolisms for all they were worth.

I tried to break free from Gym a few times, of course. It was not unlike Chandler’s brave attempt on Friends. Fruitless, time and time again. At a certain stage, I became comfortable on the inside. I grew to really have an identity in there.

Fruitless attempt at ending the cycle of wallet abuse
Fruitless attempt at ending the cycle of wallet abuse

Today, that all changes. I join the hordes of active humans who refuse to subscribe to any one fitness regimen, preferring instead the freedom associated with dabbling in various philosophies as a regime all on its own.

Wait, what? There aren’t hordes of said humans? I’m the first, you say?

Well, in that case, a few words are likely springing to your mind. Brave. Hero. Trailblazer. It’s not as if you’re the first to throw around those, frankly, accurate descriptions of my foray into life as an active human without a set fitness regimen.

I'm the sparrow, Gym is the pigeon (obvs)
I’m the sparrow, Gym is the pigeon (obvs)

Allow me to detail the years of abuse (on my wallet) I suffered while on the inside.

I began gymming when I was 16 years old, which is definitely on the young side considering most teenagers in the Zeros were guzzling soda on the daily and getting scurvy from diets that were 90% vending machine.

I did time at the local YMCA back then. And, you know what, it was fun to stay there. They had all the machines, no competition to use them, and the rates were cheap. I stayed for the next couple of years with no complaints of abuse. 

I managed to stay out of the joint through most of college, but that’s not to say I was a reformed free agent back then. Quite the opposite, actually. I turned towards the unequivocally less virtuous Sloth, which allowed for little more than excessive hunch punch consumption. Gym would have been a welcome sentence back then, truthfully. Abuse and all.

I moved to New York post-graduation, and I wasted no time getting back into Gym. That’s when the abuse began. I spent $65/mo I didn’t have back then, all the while convinced I’d meet my goals of transforming into Gisele Bundchen. The physique would never come, and I’d continue over-drafting my bank account in hopes of said reform.

By 2009, the relationship really turned. I was somehow convinced that spending $89/mo in a facility with fewer locations than my prior and less advanced machines would help me turn to Bundchen. No dice. Instead, so began a veritable cash hemorrhaging as I bounced from high-end facility to high-end facility, spending at one stage $150/mo for Gym.

Gisele - a look no amount of wallet abuse could provide
Gisele – a look no amount of wallet abuse could provide

Every time I tried to break out, I’d end up falling for an alternative facility. Barre classes for $35/class and spin classes that charged $17/class seemed like my answer at first. Surely I’d notice before the abuse began, and I’d be able to get out before the damage was done. Nope, quite the opposite. I once spent upwards of $1500 in one month on these alternative regimes. Gym was positively virtuous in comparison.

I moved abroad in 2012, and as can be expected I instantly fell into Gym. Your problems always follow you. I spent £70/mo for Gym, and it wasn’t long before I was convinced to hire a personal trainer for a cool £50/session. At the height of my time, I was regularly spending £370 a month on Gym alone. I mean, what the f&%$?!

The virtual bars were sealed around me, you guys, and my wallet had had enough. That’s when I decided to take a stand. I picked up that metal spoon, and I started to dig.

And, so, today I’m standing in front of you as a free agent. I’m going to attempt to bravely meet my fitness goals without falling into any one Gym for the first time in more than a decade. I’ll instead subscribe to a tailored treatment of iPad yoga apps, YouTube workouts, occasional runs and no shortage of one-off pay-as-you-go classes.

I think it can be done.

One thought on “Free agent

  1. Pingback: Backslide

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