Three Months of Gym Membership

As you all know, a while back I decided to join the gym.  I was pretty excited about it, and at the beginning, I was able to carve a few things out of my day to make the time to do it.  Those times were great, but after a while it just became too much time at the gym to go there and do what I wanted to do.  It was getting difficult to keep  up the routine that I was doing, and I needed to find more time.  Right then, I was gifted another challenge.

A long time back-burner project at my 2nd job was now front and center, and we needed to go full bore to finish it ASAP.  To kick that off, I started putting in 18 hour days, sometimes more.  It was a lot of work, a lot of driving, and a lot of money.  Unfortunately, it left absolutely 0 time for to get to the gym.  I figured that would be the case when I heard about the sharp increase in workflow, but was kind of hoping that I’d still be able to find the time to head over there.  It is my health, after all.

Fast forward to Wednesday.  I get over to the gym, scan my card and the truth stares right back at me: last check in date: 9/21/10.  Well, that smarted a little, but I decided that it was time to get to work just the same.

The one thing that I did do in my almost 2 months of absence from the gym is think of ways that would make the program stick.  The first one that I came up with was to tie what I was doing in the gym to a real problem that I was having trouble completing (or found far more difficult than I would have liked).  Immediately, I thought of a hike I went on down in Colorado.  The hike was an 8 mile round trip, going up (and down) three 14,000 foot peaks (4 peaks if you’re willing to go against the rules).  It was the first substantial hike of the year for me, and did not begin well.  My roommate was planning to come along, but ended up getting very sick.  I was worried that I would end up with the same stomach bug, but decided to go anyway, as I was feeling ok when I left.  I started to feel worse as the night wore on, and couldn’t really eat much for dinner.  I woke up, grabbed my pack and got on the trail.  I had packed a gallon and a half of water (admittedly, overkill) but it was also very heavy.  I struggled through the first portion with the major up hill, slowly going step over step and chewing on some of these to try and regain energy that was sapped the day before.  It was also the only thing I felt like I could keep down.  In the end I was able to finish, but I realized that this was a problem, so I came up with a way to work out like this at the gym.  I’ve decided to fill my pack with water and take it to the gym while working on the stair stepper.  It will provide me with a clear explanation as to why I’m going to/at the gym.

For now, this is the only solid reason that I could come up with, but I’m sure in time there will be more.  Unfortunately, investments made in good health don’t pay off right away (for some people) but could take years (and years, and years) to pay off, in the form of a longer life or fewer joint problems when aging.

What do you all use as your reason to go to the gym?

Have you found that it works well, or are you looking to strengthen your commitment?

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Jeff is the founder of sustainable life blog and has been interested in sustainability for most of his life. After realizing in 2007 that his finances were a total wreck, he started reading financial blogs and quickly realized that what is best for your wallet is typically better for the earth, and is usually healthier. On sustainable life blog Jeff shares his journey to a more sustainable lifestyle. For updates, subscribe by email or like us on facebook.


  1. Right now, my reason to go to the gym is to win money! Woo! I love work competition.

    Once the challenge ends, I hope to continue going just out of habit, but I know that may be difficult with next semester’s schedule. I’m crossing my fingers that the good feelings I get from working out (increased energy, confidence, etc).

  2. I wish that someone was paying me to go to the gym, I’d be in there a lot more often than I currently am. Right now, it represents an opportunity cost for me, and actually results in lower wages because I can’t work while I’m at the gym.

  3. Wow, that sounds like it was a pretty brutal project for a while.

    My own personal thoughts is that exercise should not be a chore, and it doesn’t have to be a chore, but the gym often makes it feel like a chore. Our ancestors were all highly physically active, and if it was so burdensome, none of us would be around today. Do what feels fun for you, and enjoy the outdoors. Also, intensity (and diet) is what counts, not time duration. :)

  4. IIW

    I typically dont see exercise as a chore, and I enjoy doing it (most days). I have to go to the gym because I just cant work out at home – I would never do it.
    I agree that spending most of the time outdoors is fun, but unfortunately the weather doesnt always cooperate with me. I probably should just forget about it and stop whining. As far as diet, I do well in that form – I say ‘no’ to treats a lot.

  5. I tend to be a perfectionist and I used to have the attitude that I needed to workout everyday or it would be useless. I have now evolved and realize that I need to do what I can. I too have a gym membership, but I realized I do not like to workout on machines. Instead, I have decided to take advantage of the things I like best like the racquetball courts, the gym itself to work on basketball with my kids, go to the rock-climbing walls, etc. I don’t pressure myself to spend an hour on the cardio and 30 minutes on weights. I do what I like to I want to go again. I have a treadmill at home that I try to use most days as that is what clears my head the best.

    • Tips
      Thanks for stopping by. It’s been a difficult transition from when I was in school and was able to go 7 days a week to now when I don’t have that kind of time. I also would prefer to do most of my work outside, but that isnt as easy now as my area is covered in snow. I try to do the things I like best at the gym as well, but unfortunately that does not always involve a complete workout.

  6. I haven’t regularly excercised in way over a year…and it kills me! Prior to that the only way I was able to keep it going steadily was by doing a class (Krav Maga) this way I knew I’d be made fun of by guys or get hurt if I took too long off.

    • Evan,
      Classes are a good way to keep up your commitment. I’ve looked into them, but most of the ones that are offered at my gym are not feasible with the schedule that I keep.

  7. why not Cancel the gym and just focus on classes like a martial art? Just a thought.

  8. I am one of those guys who would pay for annual gym memberships and never show up more than twice in the entire year. I recently learned that I can get tremendous health benefits from using a rebounder so last month I paid $40 for mine 38″ rebounder from (I heard walmart has them for $35.)

    I am not only having fun every morning, I can feel the difference in my energy level afterwards. Using a rebounder is also suppose to clean out our body’s lymph system at the same time. It is quite a worthy piece of equipment to keep in every household who is into wellness… especially the few who are lazy like me.


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