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My Gym Phobia and Why

Monday, January 28, 2019

Okay so here’s the short story. In my late 20s I worked for Bally’s Total Fitness, they no longer exist in Texas. So I worked for one of the worst ones, eventually my primary location made the news for being a central location for male prostitution and more. Eventually the health inspector came through and shut down our pool and required us to get it together.

But before the media attention, most of us knew there was a hot mess going on down stairs in the men’s locker room, and to be honest we really didn’t get many if any complaints. I guess the people who had a problem with it just changed gyms.

So cleanliness, cleaning a gym does not pay much! Even though maintaining cleanliness of a gym is, a never ending job. So our clean up guys would half a** clean.

What I eventually realized is the big box gyms anticipate most member to stop coming, even though they will continue to pay their memberships. Therefore they can sell memberships 10 times over capacity. In addition when you buy a membership to a gym they expect YOU the member to assist in the cleaning. Meaning if you take shower or brush you hair in front of you locker vs the mirror, they expect YOU to pick up your hair. Most people don’t and most employees in the gym don’t feel they don’t get paid enough to clean.

So the jest of it is when I go in and out of gyms I am over analyzing the cleanliness of the facility. From the reception desk to the pool. I am by no mind a germ-a-fob, but I am terrified unclean gyms and trust me, most of them are. They are not required to do daily cleaning on certain areas of the gym.

Then I am afraid of any inappropriateness I see in the gym. I know there are gyms that ban grunting and inappropriateness. But certain behaviors seem to trigger thoughts of Bally’s. At one point I joined a women’s gym, and I started to notice behaviors in some of the women that made me stay out of the women’s locker room. Am I homophobic? No way, but when I’m in my work out Zen, it’s hard to stay focused when certain behavior are triggering memories of things I saw or experienced in the gym.

*And just a side not. Bally Total Fitness is and was my favorite job. I miss the friends and guests I had there. Despite the mess going on, it was supper fun the people that came in that gym were like family. That location was in a primarily homosexual neighborhood, so most of the guests new each other form the community, and I’m sorry, but I (heart) gay men and drag queens. I (heart) them to my core.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    @mdimaur06 I should have mentioned in my post that even though I've given up on gym workouts, I love working out at the lake and hiking in Saturday morning, and I take deep stretch yoga weekly.
    430 days ago
    @casheersmith11 I have learned to live with our gyms, and volunteering somewhere is a great idea. I host a festival travel group and once a month I live to volunteer at festivals to get a little extra walking in.
    430 days ago
    I hope you are able to find something that you are able to feel comfortable with. We have a mini-gym here at the complex I live at and I am lucky that they clean it daily. I still take disinfected wipes to clean up after myself though.
    433 days ago
    I hope you find a gym that you like.
    433 days ago
    Gosh I hope you can find a gym that is just what you need. I am blessed!! I an a member at a Community Center. 90+ percent retired folks or employees. I also volunteer couple days a week that gives me a lot of insight and precious friends. Good luck
    433 days ago
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