Communist Gym

by Marisa Olsen


Ah the gym. The quintessential American establishment that houses spandex-hugging gym rats, body builders, walkers, joggers, runners and the occasional grunters. Of course each gym varies depending on its level of sophistication. I once was the proud member of the Chatham Club; a state-of-the-art exercise facility that offered unlimited towels (gasp), two spin rooms, water coolers everywhere, squash courts, locker rooms with saunas, hair dryers, lotions, individual tvs for each piece of equipment and even a zen-like stretch room, purely for the purpose to stretching in the dark. It was heaven and definitely worth the 15 minute drive from my house and even that one minor car accident, oops.

Now one of the perils of moving out of the house is the quandary of a new gym. Things to keep in mind: location, cost efficient memberships and some sort of cleanliness level. After relocating to Boston, I did what all new comers to the city did; joined the gym my friends all went to. How could I complain? It was only $30 a month (and we have a sauna! My NYC counterparts all paid upwards of $80 - $100. I felt like I landed the best deal ever. Little did I know, the former SuperButtFitness, now acquired byPlanetoftheApesFitness, would become the biggest joke of all exercise facilities.

Let me give you all a few facts about this cost-savings gym (prior to Planet Fitness's buy out). There are no lockers. Seriously. 99% of the lockers are occupied. Even lockers that are unlocked contain valuables galore (this reads: steal from me please, I am begging you). If you are lucky to find an unoccupied locker, it is surely the small one, which is great for your dry cleaning bill. (Note that towels are not handed to you upon entry. Nor do they exist. Although, urban legend says that they did. ) After finding a secure location for your personals, your next quest is to find a machine. Bear in mind, most machines are taken and the few that aren't, are broken. Fun! Welcome to Conn Coll's Athletic Center! (Side note, please read: "Students Have a View of the Thames River While They Run on the Treadmills-The Facility Recently Added Four Satellite Television Viewing Stations" what?) Then there is the challenge of hydrating. The only water fountain offered is down stairs in the boy's lair where the main grunters reside. And for a limited few week's time, water was not even offered due to a broken fountain. Bring your wallets, fellas, because that Vitamin water and HydroProtein shakes are not cheap.

Although SuperFitness had its challenges, at least we had our classes. I became addicted to the pilates class, abs class and total body conditioning. Enough with those antiquated machines. I had it all; these classes were the silver lining that made SuperFitness worth staying for.

Until PlanetFitness acquired the gym two weeks ago....No more classes. Instead, we get tanning booths and free pizza at every month! What? Tanning beds? Aren't gyms supposed to promote well-being and fitness? Not melanoma-inducing sloths? And what about pizza? Are you trying to motivate me to work out harder? Or just make me feel worthless, bloated, pathetic, and add a few inches to my hips? Thanks a lot. I'd rather work out and take an abs class that sit in a coffin and inject fake sun into my skin while wearing funny googly glasses.
Oh, and I was told that we would receive free massages to. Wow, things were starting to change. Until I read the little print shouting "massage chairs." Please. I'd rather lounge in BrookStone for free then pay to linger in some infested, worthless massage chair. Mall trip anyone?

To all of you grunters out there, be no more. PlanetFitness has done away with your silver lining as well: all heavy weights. Sorry guys, I guess it's "lean and mean," they say.

A few other things worth mentioning: the sauna no longer appears to be working. Management has also taken attack on our coat hangers. Like stuffing your freshly laundered blouses into that little ring box wasn't annoying enough, now we have to stuff our expensive wool coats to boot. After politely approaching the new staff assistant at the front desk (who looks like she just spent the last five years in Cancun), I was shocked and dismayed to find out that PlanetFitness is purposely taking away our rights to hang coats and refusing to restock.
Enough with this Communism! I say a mutiny is in order!