Ok, I'm not known for being a fitness buff. In fact, I purposely avoid looking at gyms while I drive down the road, stuffing my face with a deliciously greasy hamburger and smearing fries on my hips. Since my divorce from a meat-head of a husband and a boyfriend who insulted my physical appearance being 'sub par' (AKA: not 2% body fat and size 0 pants), my fear and loathing of gyms has increased to the point where I hyperventilate when I come close to one.
So you can imagine my dismay when I stepped on the scale last week and realized that running every so often - especially in my area's weather - wasn't cutting down the pounds like I needed it to. I sighed, gave in, and looked up 24Hour Fitness prices, grumbling and moaning and gnashing my teeth. As I drove to a location one evening, my eye caught a small gym on the side of the road. Located in a shopping center with minimal parking, it promised no bright lights and fancy colors. The words on the front of the building read: "Costa's Gym". On a whim I pulled into the small parking lot and stepped inside.
The gym itself is smaller than the typical uber-gym with 42 treadmills and 18 TVs, social cocktail hour on the outskirts and Barbies walking by giving you dirty looks for not coordinating your hair scrunchie with your socks. A few people were on the machines, concentrating and unaware that their lack of makeup was the end of the world. There are 2 or 3 machines of each and a full weight set, plus a boxing room and 2 separate locker rooms. The owner popped out of his office and offered to give me a real tour, sending me into the women's locker room, explaining the use of each piece of equipment, and finally sitting down with me to discuss my health and fitness routine. We talked about nutrition and my workout goals and plans for the next 6 months, afterwhich he wrote up an exercise plan for me. He offered my fiance a 30 day free pass to see if he would enjoy coming/had time to come in and workout.
Last night I met with a trainer for my free introductory session. He stayed with me for about a half hour to show me the ropes and teach me the proper way of lifting weights, then left me to my own devices. I was checked on a few more times afterwards, otherwise never bothered nor made to feel uncomfortable for being in my own skin and not being able to run 3 miles straight.
Overall, if you live in the local area, you need to check this gym out. The location is not as convenient as 24Hour, but the service, the lack of snot-nosed teenagers who spend more time texting than answering your questions, and the friendliness of the staff is something that makes it worth driving a little out of the way for.