Sunday, April 8, 2012

My New Home - Gold's Gym

Yes, I changed Gym's and I couldn't be happier! Courtside sent me a letter (along with everyone else) that the monthly fees would go up again, just as they do every single year. Now I have no problem paying for quality, but this place is a "club", they call themselves a "Pacific Sports Resort" and frankly I was not using the amenities.

I never used the three pools, or the 16 tennis courts, or took the Zumba class, or employed a Personal Trainer there. I did have one massage in the spa, I shopped a couple times at "the shop", and I will miss the steam room; however, the occasional steam I took was not worth the hundreds of dollars a month I was paying.

So the Friday that I got the letter happened to be an afternoon I stood in line at Kaiser for 45 minutes waiting to get morphine and Fentanyl for Emily, I stood there fuming. On my way home with the meds, I stopped at Gold's Gym, told the guy "I don't care what classes you have, I am not interested, show me the weights" and I signed up on the spot.

Gold's is a huge, warehouse style gym, exactly the kind I love! Big, open, super high ceilings, no paintings or fancy materials. 

I never even considered Gold's because it is further away from my home, but I couldn't justify the outrageous expense any longer so I figured I would cut my training short by five minutes, that would do it. Much to my surprise, it doesn't take any longer than getting to and from Courtside because I take the expressway instead of residential roads, so the speed limit is twice as high!

Gold's has more than twice the number of stairmills, and every conceivable piece of weight training machinery you could imagine. I have never seen so many neck machines! Too bad I don't want a thick neck....they have 5 power racks, and more benches and barbells for every form of pressing than you can imagine. Calve machines, every kind! Hack squats (4), several different leg presses, Glute Ham Raise, a great pull up tower that looks like a big electrical station, I could go on and on.

My first week, at least one person came up and welcomed me to Gold's every single day. I learned more names in one week than I did in one year at Courtside!

One day, a couple young college guys were training, obviously brothers and I asked them if they were using something. They replied "no" then one looked at me and said "When I grow up I want to look like you!" and a big smile broke out on his face. I thanked him and said "Well, thanks, it doesn't really get much better than this, and I will be 51 in two weeks, so you have plenty of time to practice" His eyes got wide and he stood there, then said "Wow, you never would have known!"

It's not that I am there to socialize, but the crowd is like minded, they all have a goal to create a physical specimen, and they are on a mission. It's a much younger crowd, more working class (I don't think there are any Ladies Who Lunch working out there), many, many tattoos, lot's of gallon water jugs, and a lot of smiles.

The parking lot is full of economy cars, trucks and work vans instead of BMW's, Porsche's and Mercedes (did I mention Courtside has free valet parking too?). 

There is no free coffee at Golds, nor free towels; but there are weights, and after all, isn't that the only reason I am coming to the gym? Fixed barbells, fixed e-z bar curls, lots of free weights, racks and racks, rowing apparatus, and a lot of like minded people.

The crowd lifts, I mean they LIFT. They all do, the young, the old. And when they do cardio, its a warm up or after they lift weights, I have only seen two "cardio queens" there (and one was a guy).

The signs make me laugh, instead of something that Courtside had such as:

"Cell phone usage is welcome in the lobby or sub-lobby, please refrain from cell phone usage on the fitness floor"

Gold's has signs like this:

I like Gold's so much I upgraded to the 5 club package, and it allows me to have 72 guest passes a year! Yes, that's 72 of the same person, or 72 different people, they don't care! And it set me back $29.00 a month. Roy said he will come train with me, and help me figure out some of the stuff I have never seen, I said I would take him out to The Counter for cheeseburgers after! 

I enjoyed Courtside, I was there for three years. I met many wonderful people and had some great experiences. I enjoyed a lot of coffee in the Cafe, but it really wasn't "free" was it? Some of the people I met, I will continue to socialize with, most I won't. 

I remember years ago "the Doc" at Courtside was talking to me and he said "What are you doing here? You belong at Gold's". I thought that was a very snooty thing to say, that he intended it as a derogatory remark, but I think he knew, he knew I would be happier there. 

I drove home from Gold's one morning, wondering why on earth I waited, what kept me at Courtside? The gym is a huge part of my life, it's a very important place for me.  I should have changed years ago. I will miss some of the people, but I won't miss Courtside, you see,

I'm home now.