After over three years of attending the beautiful HTC Center for my workouts, I joined a new gym last month. The contrast between the sparkling facility we have here at Coastal Carolina University versus the place I am going to now is quite striking.
In short, the former is really nice while the latter is not. But trust me, I am completely fine with it.
Because the hours of operation for both Coastal’s gym and Sloan’s day care don’t mesh well together, I had to find a new exercise center, one that was open 24 hours and preferably close to our house. It didn’t take me long to pinpoint a location.
I am now a member of Gold’s Gym (you want to lift some iron, bro?). Before I address the stereotypes let me explain why I made this decision.
Believe it or not, I have a history with Gold’s Gym. When I would return to Spokane for holiday and summer breaks when I was a college student, I would pull together the little money I had and use it to purchase whatever promo deal the local Gold’s Gym was offering to get me through the couple weeks or month I was home. Additionally, over the last couple years, I have frequented the Myrtle Beach Gold’s Gym on days the HTC Center was closed (on holidays and when campus shut down for weather events). Thus, because the Myrtle Beach Gold’s Gym is open 24 hours during the week and because it is within 10 minutes of my house, based on the familiarity I had already established with the brand, I went ahead and purchased an actual membership.
As I said, the HTC Center and Gold’s are worlds apart. I went from working out in a spacious, top of the line facility to sweating it out in an old, cramped gym. I went from exercising in the company of fit college students to being surrounded by extremely muscular and intimidating adults. I went from enjoying brand new equipment to lifting weights that could easily be confused with inventory meant for a prison gym.
But hold on for one second. I am being a bit dramatic. Although the above comparisons are for the most part true, I do actually enjoy working out at Gold’s Gym. Even if it feels as if I am stepping into the 1980s each time I walk through the doors, it is the atmosphere that makes a gym. At Gold’s, people work hard and treat me with plenty of respect (even the ones who can bench press 1,000 pounds). The staff is incredible. The facility and equipment might be old but it is conducive to what I need to complete my workout and feel good about myself. Most importantly, Gold’s Gym allows me to show up before 5 a.m. so I can get in my workout and get home so my wife can go to work and I can take Sloan to day care.
And, in the end, I am not turning my back on the HTC Center. Although the majority of my workouts take place at Gold’s, I still have the pleasure of exercising with the campus community twice a week. However, I have learned one thing: although luxuries are nice, it is not the gym itself that works the magic; it is the person utilizing it. Don’t Blink.