|health| On being a gym rat

Nov 7, 15 • feature, |health|9 CommentsRead More »

gym rat, fitness, health, workout | Piloting Paper Airplanes

One perk of the new job is free gym access. I didn’t know about this particular perk when I accepted the position – though it alone is a big selling point for me.

I need you to realize how novel this is for me. I’m frugal and all about convenience. I’ve never paid for, and honestly can’t imagine paying for, a gym membership. I run outside, have weights at home and enjoy a good living HIIT session. I took full advantage of the state-of-the-art Rec Center in graduate school, but have trouble justifying a regular gym membership. I roll my eyes at expensive boutique gyms and shake my head when people don’t use those memberships all. the. time. (Looking at you, Sarah).

gym rat, fitness, health, workout | Piloting Paper Airplanes

But I have to say, I begin to get it.

It’s dark in the mornings already and I don’t especially like dark runs. The gym is located in a sister building two blocks from my office. The moderate space is well finished and bright, the equipment spot on. The manager/personal trainer is fantastic. Equally important, the dressing rooms and showers are quite nice.

I say equally important like a snob because I go before work. I cart along my work clothes, shoes, shower stuff, makeup, accessories, the whole shebang. Lately I’ve showered at home maaaaybe 20% of the time. Having a spacious, functional, and I’ll say it – pretty – space to get ready has made a bigger difference than I expected.

gym rat, fitness, health, workout | Piloting Paper Airplanes

And so my weekly routine has evolved. I’m about to get really Type A here, so hang with me.

• Sundays I prep lunch stuff and plan work clothes for the week. Oh yes, I dry-erase 5 days of outfits on my mirror.

• Each evening I pack my bag. This means work clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc. A box of hair and makeup things has a permanent place in my bag. I also set out workout clothes and have my lunch packed in the fridge. When all I want is to climb into to bed, that weekend planning pays off here.

• My alarm goes off before 6 am and I get one snooze. Then I’m up, throwing on gym clothes, eating breakfast, adding lunch to my bag and checking that the bus is on schedule.

• I’m out of the house by 6:30 and on the bus ~6:40. Dupont Circle awaits.

• I’m usually on the gym floor by 7:20. Most days I get a solid 45 minutes of activity, clean my equipment, and head to the shower about 8:15. Then I’m getting ready, packing up, leaving the gym at 8:55 and walking into my office at 9:00.

gym rat, fitness, health, workout | Piloting Paper Airplanes

I have a solid schedule of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday at the gym and Thursday I work an early shift at my yoga studio. There are a handful of us that frequent the morning hours; good morning’s and smiles acknowledge that we all see each other most days. With one exception of my team’s overtime Monday Night Football game that kept me up far too late, I’ve stuck with this morning gym time.

gym rat, fitness, health, workout | Piloting Paper Airplanes

You guys, I feel good. That’s the important piece of all this. My body is in a rhythm that works for me. I’m alert and focused at work in the morning. Weekends have been full of outdoor activities like hiking, apply picking and trail running. With consistent weekday workouts, I leave my weekend activity unplanned and go with what I want to do. It’s fresh and spontaneous.

gym rat, fitness, health, workout | Piloting Paper Airplanes

And honestly? I don’t really miss my living room workouts. There may be some snowy mornings that I stay in and come spring I’ll switch some days back to neighborhood runs. The rest of the time, this is the best gym membership I never paid for.

Thanks for reading!


Do you like gym memberships?
Or are you a home-gym rat?

The Ultimate Coffee Date, lunch date

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9 Responses to |health| On being a gym rat

  1. I do most of my workouts outside and at home w my gear but I love having a gym membership for classes. It’s fun to mix it up and try new things. Have fun! Thanks for joining us for the coffee date-they are fun aren’t they?
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Ultimate Coffee Date-NovemberMy Profile

    • LarissaDaltonS says:

      Come spring I plan to mix it up with more outside workouts as well. I kind of forgot how I had trouble with regular workouts in my apartment last winter – pounding on neighbors below isn’t great at 6:30 am!

  2. I workout at home now, but when I did have direct free access to the gym, it was great! I do love the “weight room” environment for some reason 😛

    • LarissaDaltonS says:

      Agreed. I have a good assortment of free weights at home, and enjoy a body weight workout… but those never feel quite as accomplished as strength training at a gym.

  3. Having spent most of my career working in gyms, I’ve not paid for a gym membership for years. I’ve worked in both high end and pretty basic gyms, and have always enjoyed the early morning members. They have a no-nonsense approach to their workouts that I admire. These days I have a gym in my basement so I only get to see my clients who come for their workouts. As much as I love this setup, I do miss my interactions with a variety of people, including members I wouldn’t train, but become friendly with.

    Have a great week!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…Indian Summer And An Honorary MRTT MemberMy Profile

    • LarissaDaltonS says:

      Oh I imagine you have an entirely different perspective as a trainer. Did you ever get tired of it? I think I would enjoy a good home gym with a trainer more than on my own. But maybe when we’re out of an apartment and I have more space I’ll switch back to building a home gym.

  4. Kristen says:

    Love this! I just joined my first gym ever as well, and I’m really loving the classes. I’ve been spending my lunch breaks there and it’s making a huge difference in how my afternoons go – and gives me so much free time after work! Congrats on finding a routine that works for you and for feeling so great.
    Kristen recently posted…Why I’m Not Running This Week (And Maybe Next Week Too)My Profile

    • LarissaDaltonS says:

      Nice! I have a few coworkers who go in the middle of the day as well. I also enjoy having my workout done before the evening – I just never stick with a schedule if it’s after work. I’m too worn out by then, ESPECIALLY when it’s dark out now.

  5. It’s great when you can get into a routine, it just makes life so much easier! We have a gym at work, but the problem is we have no showers…so I can’t go there before work and knock it all out.
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Weekly Meal Plan for 11/15/15My Profile

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