Why I quit the gym!

In early December last year I quit my Gym. Of course they don’t make it easy, the gym web site said that to cancel, I had to call. This reminded me of an episode of Friends where Chandler goes to the gym to quit his membership and takes Ross along for support. Chandler tries really hard but fails because when left to mercy of the staff, Ross joins the gym instead.

Assuming that someone would attempt to guilt me into staying “for my own good of course”, I decided to do it by e-mail. I was totally surprised when they just let me quit. One e-mail was all it took. Maybe they were banking on 10 new people to replace me come January 2nd.

So, why did I want to quit the gym? Was it because, like Chandler I was paying monthly but never going, and if so why wasn’t I going? After all I need to stay healthy and I definitely needed to lose weight.

I had joined 18 months earlier, it was within walking distance of where I lived and open 24 hours a day. I have always enjoyed the recumbent bike and running on a treadmill but not much else.

Unlike Chandler I did go to the gym. Sometimes I would go two or three days in a row. Sometimes I wouldn’t go for two or three months. In my 18 months of membership I probably went a total of no more than 18 times. I wasn’t getting fit, I wasn’t getting healthy, I wasn’t losing weight and it wasn’t helping me meet any of my fitness goals.

Now, why wasn’t I going to the Gym? It came down to the fact that it was too convenient. Crazy sounding I know. When I signed up, a gym that was a few minutes walk from home and open 24 hours a day was just what I thought I was looking for. It would provide me with no excuses not to go. Yet provided me with the perfect excuse. I could always go later.

There was no call to action. I didn’t have to fit it into my schedule. I could go any time I wanted, not on the way to work, at lunchtime, or on my way home. It was more convenient to go from home and once home, there was always something else that I needed to handle first. I figured it was OK, I could always go to the gym afterwards.

Of course afterwards never worked, I was always tired, but that was OK. I would promise myself I would go tomorrow. It was the availability that was fooling me. If they gym had closed at 10pm, I knew I would have to go by nine, or not at all. A small amount of discipline a few times did get me to the gym between 11pm and 1am, but day after day I just put it off until tomorrow.

If I wasn’t going to make it to the gym, I would have to find something else to do to keep fit and ideally lose a those few extra pounds.

I quit the Gym in mid December and started my research into an alternative plan with a resolve to have it all sorted by the New Year. I came up with a plan, started it and it is working better than the gym ever did.

Stay tuned, the story continues here.


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