Thursday, May 3, 2007

Yea for Ottawa!

You might think I'm saying "yea for Ottawa" because the Sens won last night. I'm happy for us/them about that, but that's not why I'm saying "yea for Ottawa." I'm saying "yea for Ottawa" because of the cool gym that I just joined yesterday that is practically right across the street from me and is cheap cheap cheap!

I'll back up. I am not a gym type of person. I am a yoga type of person. A long time ago when I lived in the States I joined a gym for a couple of months and went a few times. I did that while I had a full time job at Omega and found that first of all, it was culture shock to go from the hippy-granola scene of Omega to the nearing "redneck" scene of Red Hook, New York, and second of all I didn't like it and didn't want to go there. So my working out at the gym didn't persist and instead I rode my bike to work a couple of times a week (very hilly!) and walked a lot and did yoga. So that was, like, 12 years ago.

Then just over a year ago after I stopped working at lululemon, my sister said, "why don't you come with me to the gym where I go and we'll work with my trainer, Rick, together?" So I started going to this private gym on O'Connor and "worked out" with my sister and Rick (awesome trainer if you need one). I say "worked out" because it was more of a "visit" than working out. We did weights and stuff, but I couldn't tell you much about what we did because we were chatting. Rick would hand me some weights and say "lift this like this" and I'd just do it. I don't know how much I lifted or what we did really. But I liked how I felt stronger and how I could carry my sleeping daughter out of the car and into her bed without feeling pain the next day.

I had also gotten into running a few years ago partly because it was something I could do when I wanted to do it (a very important value of mine!) and it didn't cost much. I noticed that my running practice got easier and I could do my route that I like without stopping and I just felt good.

Then my sister changed her time at the gym (Personal Health Fitness) to a time I couldn't go and I also realized she wanted to get back to her own time with Rick as she wasn't getting as much of a work out when I was there, and there I was on my own.

I started running again after a break when it got really cold in February and March and by the end of that month when I started up again I felt a lot of pain in my knee! Not what I had before! What was different? Hmm. Same shoes, (Tamsin said I should get new ones), same route, same me. No weight training. Guess I'd better get it together and get back to doing the weights.

If you know me at all, you'll probably know that I'm frugal, let's say. So paying someone for something I should be able to do on my own is difficult for me to do. I started asking around, "what gym do you go to? What does it cost?" While it was still freaking cold out I was calling around different gyms and finding out their prices. Goodlife wouldn't tell me how much they charge. Not even a ball park price. I was thinking, "what is the closest gym to me?" And I thought that the Goodlife gym at the Rideau centre was probably the closest. I broke down and went in even. Yuck. Sorry if that's your gym. I even considered making it mine. I would have to wait over half an hour to talk to someone before getting a PRICE. I thought maybe I'd come back later.

While I was at the St. Laurent complex waiting for my daughter in her drawing class I noticed they had a gym there, which was the first hint I had that there were CITY GYMS. I didn't know! I'm not a gym person so it was not in my reality! It was only $7.50 to drop in. I asked if there would be people there to help because I really don't know how to use the machines and stuff. I was making my plan to go there when I was walking down King Edward and noticed the flags outside the Champagne Bath that said "Boxing Training." "If they have boxing training there, maybe they have other training there," and I went in. The person was on the phone and I was on my way somewhere so I just picked up the flyer that said "Weight Training Hours." What do you know? It was right here all the time!

I called them when I got home and set up an appointment with a trainer, which is FREE when you join the gym. I joined for $22 a month. Beat that. I know some people with jobs get free memberships and stuff but for the self-employed this is quite a find.

So I go there yesterday and meet Andrew, the trainer. I was afraid I'd be meeting someone in university who wouldn't understand my 40-year old body. Nope. Andrew's 9 months older than me. I know because we talked about stuff. He takes some breathing lessons with Vishva to help him with his running. He's into Deepak Chopra. He's an inventor and designed some labels for the machines that help people understand how to use them. (I asked him if he could do it for yoga poses. We'll talk.) And the gym is small. There are a few people there but it's not busy and it's a low-key place.

And it's a City of Ottawa gym. A B gym actually. So it's cheaper. Love it. Going back again today.

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