Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Year of Gratitude: Day Three Hundred Fifty-two

Day 352 – Chain Gyms

I don’t normally have much praise to offer large chain gyms such as 24 Hour Fitness; I dislike their lack of customer service at every gym (though more on that in a minute), their preference toward new memberships rather than keeping their facilities (buildings and equipment) in good order or otherwise caring about existing customers, and other principles that large companies simply don’t have to worry about.  But there is one advantage that they can offer which I appreciate: having them all over the area so that I can find one close to me.

I put off looking into finding a 24 Hour Fitness close to my work because I have been enjoying the gym in Long Beach now that they’ve finished a huge remodel and expansion.  Tommy, the manager, seems to have prevailed on at least a few of his staff to offer friendly service, and the place is clean (granted, I arrived the same week they re-opened, so there hasn’t been time yet to wear it out).  I’m enjoying working out there even though there seems to have been a decrease in the choices of equipment in spite of having more floor space, and a reduction in the number of showers in the locker room.  I’m not sure what’s up with all that, but I’m enjoying this gym a lot more.

What I haven’t been enjoying so much is the commute to work; a friend who had initially expressed interest in carpooling seems to have cooled on the idea, so I’m doing the 405 drive with all the other plebeians heading south on the busiest freeway in the country.  I don’t know why I have put off looking into the gyms closer to work, which could afford me the chance to beat the traffic by driving to Irvine earlier, but I finally took care of it.  I found the 24 Hour Fitness at the Irvine Spectrum to be a good alternative; the gym’s layout and features are different, and the workout space is quite small; the parking structure is at quite a distance from the gym (which will not be pleasant on those infrequent rainy days sure to come this winter). 

I tried the morning 405 commute a full 90 minutes earlier than before, and what a difference it makes.  It’s busy, but it moves.  If I can get used to the miniscule lockers at the new gym (though there are more of them), and there isn’t too much competition for the small number of weights and equipment, this will be a good move for me. 

I’m glad there are enough of these 24 Hour Fitness locations to make my drive to work easier.  (Now let’s see how consistently I can make it down to Irvine that early.)

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