Yesterday morning, my mom woke me up to let me know it was time to go to the gym. I started getting out of the bed before I realized what time it was---it was 6:55, which was 4:55 in Utah time. But, I figured I'd committed at that point, so I rolled out of bed and put on my gym clothes.
It was odd going to my mother's gym. I'm used to going to Gold's Gym, south of BYU campus, where the young and vain gather to look and be looked at. Or at least whittle themselves down to the point where someone may actually like to look at them. We have the rare appearance of someone over thirty, but it's rare enough that when such a one enters our excercise mecca, we stare and reflect upon our own mortality for a few moments before getting back to our television program.
My mom's gym was different. There were few people under forty there (which leads me to believe that somewhere between Utah and Maryland, the thirty-something crowd is gathering at some gym somewhere...). The gym had a more mature, more subdued, albeit more hospital-like feel to it. It was maybe too white and too sterile. Where was the action music blaring over the speaker system? When we signed in, we were welcomed by a host of middle-aged men and women who were wearing "Columbia Association" polo shirts. Where was my host of perky twenty-somethings to scan my card, look up at me, and say, "Thank you, Cicada! Have a good workout!"
Once inside, I was ready to boast to my mom about the TVs at my gym. I was shocked to find that my mom's gym had five large plasma TVs at the front of the room. And that was just the general section. The premiere section had treadmills with individual television screens attached, plus the five plasma TVs at the front. (In my gym's defense, you can't watch your own DVDs at my mom's gym.) The televisions are set to stations like CNN, ESPN, and Animal Planet. In Provo, they're set to much less mature stations.
In the premiere section, there were pitchers of ice cold water, and ice cold water with lemon. My gym has a drinking fountain in front of all the aerobic machines where you have to bend down in front of a whole audience to satiate your thirst. It's cruel.
My mom's gym provides towels for all its patrons. My gym provides paper towels. I opt to simply wipe my sweat on the sleeve of my t-shirt. It may not be sophistocated and it may not be pretty and it may not be terribly effective, either... maybe I'll have to start bringing my own towel.
I guess in the end, what matters is that I only pay about $30/month for my membership. My mom pays $70. And for $40 savings, I'll forgo the plasma televisions and sterile white towels.