The other night, while sitting on the toilet at 1:43am with smart phone in hand, I decided to sign up online for a 7-day free pass at Anytime Fitness. It’s a small gym near my wife’s workplace, but I guess they’re actually a national chain.
Her job is on the other side of town from our home. So when I drop her off at work, I always just hang out nearby and work on my laptop instead of driving back and forth across Las Vegas. But going to a gym instead would be pretty cool.
I didn’t realize until recently that there’s this little gym around the corner, so I decided to check it out today. It’s not cheap ($35-$55/month), but I already spend that much money on gas and food just hanging out in the car or at a fast food place while she works. So why not spend that money at the gym instead and try to lose some weight while I’m at it?
My First Experience at Anytime Fitness
So this morning, I dropped off my wife at work, found a nice shady parking space for the day and walked over to the gym.
It’s a little different from other gyms that I’ve used over the years.
First, it’s not very big. Max occupancy signs says 66 persons. And it doesn’t look like there are rooms for classes or trainers or anything. It’s like the size of the dining area at a small restaurant – but with exercise equipment instead of tables and chairs.
Also, they aren’t real big on staffing lol. Basically, once you sign up, you get an electronic keychain fob that you scan to get in the door. And then you just do your thing. If you go during “staffed” hours, then there will be a person or two on site. Otherwise, it’s basically just you and your fellow gym members.
But it sounds like they’re accessible 24/7, and you can use all the other locations too.
I wouldn’t recommend this place for a first time gym goer with no training knowledge or experience, since it’s almost like a self-serve atmosphere.
But I’ve done this before.
And I like it when people leave me alone to do my thing.
So this might work.
No Crowds – But This Is Amurrica
I only went for an hour, and it was pretty slow while I was there. I think there were 10 people max, and most of the time there were only half that many.
Before I even got in the door, I reached into my pocket to grab my face mask, and that’s when I noticed.
Because it’s impossible not to notice…at this point.
At this point…in life…on planet earth…
I noticed that there wasn’t a single face mask in sight.
- No signs on the door or in the lobby.
- No staffers wearing them.
- No gym members wearing them.
- And no mention of face masks from the owner/manager as she was explaining to me how the place works, even though I was literally holding my mask in my hand the whole time we talked.
If this had happened last month, I would barely notice. Mask mandates were only for unvaccinated folks back then, and there was zero enforcement anyway. It was just an honor system. So few people were wearing masks indoors…a month ago.
But two weeks ago, with the Delta variant numbers spiking worldwide, our Guvnuh signed the order to have Nevada go back to mandatory masking for everyone while indoors at restaurants, businesses, gyms, offices, etc. – whether they’re vaccinated or not.
At this point I’m not too worried about it for myself, even though I am morbidly obese and am not exactly young.
Well, maybe I should be slightly concerned idk.
But I’ve been fully vaxxed since my age group became eligible a few months ago. And I feel relatively healthy. And like I mentioned, this place was mostly empty compared to the gyms I’ve used in the past. So it’s almost like there’s physical distancing, even though there isn’t.
At this point, not wearing a face mask indoors in public is more a political statement than anything else.
This gym, it’s owner, staff – and perhaps its members too – are intentionally making a political statement by defying local mask mandates. When I worked at major franchises, corporate regularly sent managers unannounced to do inspections. So it’s fair to assume the whole company is on board with this.
Anyway, it was hard not to notice, considering the context.
So for my part, what exactly am I supposed to do in here?
To mask or not to mask, that is the question.
As I worked out, I found myself automatically reaching into my pocket a couple of times to grab my mask and put it on. But then I thought, “Wait. Are people gonna walk up to me mid-set and be rude or something?”
I can just hear it now…
‘Oh. Nice mask. So you’re a COMMUNIST SHEEP who HATES AMERICA, then.’
As a 300+ pound dude with his fat belly peeking out the bottom of his shirt on every rep of shoulder presses, I already feel self-conscious enough at the gym. The last thing I need is some random stranger being a dick while I’m just minding my own damn business and trying to work out.
Or even some random stranger trying to be nice…
“Oh honey, you don’t have to wear that silly thing in here. We uphold THE CONSTITUTION in here.”
So I just left my mask off like everyone else and did my workout while Fox News played on the TV.
Man, I really need to get some earbuds.
Well, beside the political nonsense, there were only a couple things. They matter to me, but they’re not deal-breakers.
First, the lat pulldown machine cable was jammed in the pulley, making it unusable. That’s the main strength exercise that I cannot do at home. For everything else, I can do an alternate version with my dumbbells and bench. So this machine is kind of important to me.
At least they have one.
Maybe they’ll fix it soon.
Also, they didn’t have a recumbent bike, which is literally the most important cardio machine for a guy my size (with an ass my size) who regularly has foot and knee pains.
Sure, they have a couple spin bikes. But those spin bikes with the tiny bike seats are basically just torture devices for people like me.
There’s no way in hell I’m going to give myself a 30-minute stainless steel enema every day on one of those little spin bikes.
Fortunately, later on I noticed that there’s actually this funky sit-down elliptical type thing with a wide seat. It resembles an upright recumbent bike, but it has those ski pole handle thingies that fly back and forth at breakneck speeds when you pedal. So I guess I can just use that.
I just gotta remember to keep my hands and feet inside the ride at all times so those suckers don’t hack them off.
Too bad there’s only one of these machines tho.
Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?
Overall, I am pretty happy that I went. I mean, I couldn’t ask for a better location for the days that my wife works out there. It is RIGHT THERE nextdoor.
And I did get a pretty decent chest and shoulder workout. They’ve got plenty of dumbbells, Olympic free weights and benches for that. And hardly anyone was using them. I mean, this is literally the first gym I’ve ever been to in my entire life where not a single person was using the bench presses.
It was a little odd, but in the best possible way.
I Might Join
My wife is scheduled to work again on the weekend, so I’ll most likely use my pass for those other two days too.
As long as I don’t have any super negative experiences (crowds, zombies, murder hornets), I don’t see why I wouldn’t sign up for a regular membership when my pass expires. Once I figure out where everything is and get some earbuds, it should be ok going forward.
I’m actually looking forward to it.
Plus, toward the end of my workout, I noticed the manager was trying to unjam the pulldown cable.
5 Days Later…
Sometimes, I don’t know what the hell I’m thinking.
One thing I didn’t mention is that I actually already have a gym membership to another gym chain in Vegas (LVAC). I signed up for a 2-year contract right before the pandemic started. They allowed me to freeze my membership last year, but I haven’t reactivated it yet.
So don’t ask me why I suddenly figured I would just join this new gym (which would actually cost a little more per month) when I’m already locked into a 2-year contract at another gym.
Idk…I’m just feeling desperate right now.
I hate being fat.
And I miss the gym.
But this just might not be the best time to be heading back to a crowded gym again. So I’m not sure what I’m gonna do right now. I’ll have to think about it. And if I do take it up again, it’ll be at LVAC. I’ll just reactivate my membership and start going there again. There’s actually a location that’s not too far from my wife’s work, so I guess I can do that.
As for Anytime Fitness, looking back I really don’t care for the political vibe there.
I mean, nobody likes wearing masks. I sure don’t. But I don’t belong there. They can politicize the pandemic all they want and live in their conservative, conspiracy-filled bubble. But I’m not joining them. And I’m not gonna be the only dude following the rules in that place while everyone rolls their eyes at me.
Plus, do I really want to support a business that is actively sabotaging efforts to limit the spread of Covid-19, save lives and end this pandemic?
No, I do not (yay capitalism).
So I turned in my fob and got my deposit back.
I’ll just go work out somewhere else.