As an employee of a Very Large Software Company here on the Eastside of Seattle, JB gets a membership to an enormous, fancy gym. Actually, it’s not a gym: it’s a health club. With a spa. Where you can purchase Botox. I am not even making that up.

The Fancy Gym is over 250,000 square feet of machines, classes, courts, pools, and a restaurant. Also, an interesting little gift shop by the front desk where you can buy workout gear in addition to very expensive jewelry, in case maybe you’ve been having a lustful affair at the racquetball courts every day at noon and your conscience pings you on the way out the door.

As JB’s official spousal unit, I got a free initiation fee for the Fancy Gym and a reduced monthly rate, which we dutifully paid for a very long time. Way past the point when I hadn’t been there in months years, in fact, because I felt too guilty to just cancel it.

Of course, paying money every month for the privilege of continuing NOT to go somewhere eventually makes you feel guilty too, so we finally canceled it last year. Since then, every time I think about going to a gym I think of re-signing up for the Fancy Gym and paying their enormous initiation fee to re-activate my account, and trying to find the time to get over there — it’s just far enough away to be inconvenient, especially during heavy traffic.

In the meantime, there’s a slightly grubby 24 Hour Fitness that I drive by just about every day, that’s maybe three miles from my house. And it finally occurred to me that hey, I bet if I don’t need Botox or an Olympic-sized pool or an on-site florist (!), 24 Hour Fitness would be just fine.

So I went in to check it out (I will spare you the description of their sales pitch except to say it was like having my leg wildly dry-humped by an incredibly inept and stupid dog) and aside from kind of a crazy parking situation where I have to sprint from an overflow lot across a busy road Frogger-style, it’s a totally great gym. They have a challenging yoga class which I have taken once and loved and they have a Turbo Kick (like Turbo Jam, only gym-franchised, I guess) class that was so fast and hard I had to stop halfway through and grope blindly around on the floor for the lungs I was sure had escaped from my body.

I am so excited to be going to a gym again. I can’t even tell you. It does wonders for my self-esteem, just the feeling of walking through the doors with my workout shoes on and my hair all nerdily scraped into an unflattering, complicated holdback system.

I switched my upcoming work/daycare days slightly and so starting May 5 this is the work/stay home/gym schedule I’m planning:

• Monday, Tuesday: work
• Wed: stay home with boys, Turbo Kick at night
• Thu: stay home with boys, yoga at night
• Friday: work
• Sat: yoga in the morning

That’s two days working, two days home, one day working, two days home. I don’t know if I could possibly ask for a better compromise than that. And being able to escape to the gym at the end of my two SAHM days is going to be . . . well, I never thought I’d say this about going to a gym, but it’s going to be RAD.

It is so incredibly hard to find balance as a parent — at least that’s been my experience — and at the moment, I think I’ve got a good situation to work with. Right now I am feeling really positive about the days to come.

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
64 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Naomi the Strange
14 years ago

Wow, that is a really cool work schedule. I wish I could work something out like that with my job! Do you get a part time employee salary? All this working out is good too. I am with 24 hour fitness myself… their yoga classes do kick my ass… I haven’t done the Turbo Kick yet… I mostly just do cardio and weights on my own…

Sarah
Sarah
14 years ago

I am SO completely jealous. Your work schedule is fantastic and you get to go to a gym! I don’t even have time for laundry, much less my 20-minute crappy work out video. Care to donate some spare time? ;)

Victoria
14 years ago

It does sound good! Good for you :)

Mama Ritchie
14 years ago

You sound so happy! Good for you for making your life work for you – you’re taking care of your boys, and yourself, and that will make all the boys in your family extremely happy. It’s like Seal says to Heidi Klum – “Happy wife, happy life.”

ashley
14 years ago

Dude… trying to work, raise kidlets and workout is amazingly difficult. I have had to succomb to the fact that the only way working out will happen is if I go at 5:00am. Sadly, I actually go at that hour of the day.

Jill
14 years ago

Now I’m coveting your work schedule. That sounds like it should be a really good mix of work/home life.
And ugh the gym. We’re in the midst of a (very drawn out) move and I haven’t so much as walked briskly in weeks. I tried to convince myself that painting counted as physical activity, but my ill-fitting pants tell me otherwise.

Holly
14 years ago

your description of the 24 hours fitness sales pitch . . . SO SPOT ON!

claire
14 years ago

thank you for reminding me that i HAVE to call the crappy little gym around the corner to get my guest pass. I just hope they don’t hump my leg…

Felicia
Felicia
14 years ago

That sounds like a perfect work schedule Linda. Yay!

Colleen
Colleen
14 years ago

Wow, amazing schedule. And inspirational … I need to get myself a schedule like that too. Congrats and enjoy this happy time!

Chris
14 years ago

Great work schedule- I am very envious!

Um, I’m not only a member of the Big Fancy Gym (and drive from Seattle across the bridge for 6 am classes during the summer) but I am also (oh, the shame) a member of what we can call the Little Fancy Gym, the satellite location on this side of the lake. I use the Little Fancy Gym during the school year so I can workout from 5-6:30 am and get home in time for the morning rush.

My point? I guess we all do what we need to do to get that exercise junkie fix.

Chris
14 years ago

What a sweet deal is that?!?! Good for you and good for your boys :-)

SherE1
14 years ago

Sounds perfect! I’m feeling slightly envious. I’ve been trying to workout at home and it’s been pretty tough with such demanding kids that I have. I’ve been thinking about signing up for the gym across the street from my work but I haven’t been to a gym for YEARS and am feeling sort of “shy” about it. I feel like I wouldn’t even know where to start. Anyway, good for you! Keep up the great work on your fitness plan!

monkey
14 years ago

Is it an Equinox? I hear they’re like the Harvard of gyms.

Tessie
14 years ago

Oh, I cannot WAIT for more crazy gym stories! Those are my FAVORITE! I sincerely hope you’ll be using the LOCKER ROOM. In my experience that is where all of the most horrifying gym stories take place.

Also, I have this, uh, FRIEND who may or may not have FOUR gym memberships. Even though she mostly runs, which does not even REQUIRE a gym membership. It’s not a sickness or anything, though. AT ALL.

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

There is something inspiring about a bare-bones gym, I think – it encourages you to get in there, get sweaty, and get out. No smoothies to distract you from your original intent.

hilary
hilary
14 years ago

I find all of this so fascinating, and I’m really glad you shared your schedule! I work Mon/Weds/Fri, and before I became hugely pregnant with #2 I had a great gym schedule. Now that I can barely walk down the street, I look enviously at all the happy people jogging and biking to the gym. Sigh.

Making workouts part of a non-negotiable schedule is the only way to do it, and I’m encouraged that you can still do it with two kids! How do you work it with JB’s exercise schedule? We usually work out on alternate nights, but sometimes I feel bad that it means we’re never all together as a family at night during the week. Can I justify putting my health/fitness over family time??

Christina
14 years ago

Your work/workout schedule rocks! I struggle with leaving my son at home to work out still… SO I just workout during my lunch hour to elevate the guilt. I work full time so spending 1 hour at the gym even one day at the week makes me feel terrible. I do not mind for now. I figure one day I will get back to the gym (OR running on a real live trail/road…) You look awesome already too! It is very inspirational since I am in the midst of a pregnancy and will be where you are very very soon.

Sarah Lena
14 years ago

MY FREAKIN’ GYM CANCELLED OUR “TURBO JAM” CLASS. It was called Body Jam, and it was the ONLY reason I joined. A month later? Gone. To be replaced by Jazzercise. JAZZERCISE. I hate them. (But I still pay my $50 a month for my hubby and I to carry little keychain swipe cards that we NEVER USE.)

Melissa
14 years ago

You lucky duck! I’ve been struggling to find a workable exercise arrangement for months. These days I get up at 5:00 a.m. and work out at home before my 6:45a-6:45p workday (commute and child pickup included) begins. I miss my former gym (full-service, company-subsidized, home of the Boston Celtics training facility) but it just doesn’t work with our schedules right now. At least one of us needs to get a job closer to home. Anyway, I totally hear you on the gym high, so enjoy!

Laura
Laura
14 years ago

What a great schedule! It will be/is such a great thing for your boys to see you exercising and taking care of yourself – that is so important! So, way to go on figuring out the schedule and the little that I do know you, you’ll have no problem sticking to it.

And I just can’t wait to hear all the great stories about said gym…sick to say, but you are my entertainment every evening :)

Becky
Becky
14 years ago

YEAH Linda…that sounds like an AWESOME schedule!!!!

Lawyerish
14 years ago

I am deeply envious of your schedule. DEEPLY.

Lesley
Lesley
14 years ago

You’ve got our back, Linda, and may I just say that it’s sentences like:
“I will spare you the description of their sales pitch except to say it was like having my leg wildly dry-humped by an incredibly inept and stupid dog)”
that keep me addicted to your blog(s). This one should be trade-marked because how many sales pitches are like this?

Trina
Trina
14 years ago

I am so jealous. I wish I could work something like that out.

Jennifer
Jennifer
14 years ago

Good luck! That’s so awesome you can work a part time/job share schedule.

My parents live down the street from a Fancy Gym and I swear that there are more “things” like Botox, colonics (!!!) and merchandise than there is actual fitness equipment. I’m all for its shabbier cousin, Grubby Gym.

Having to deal with gym salespeople is THE WORST. I know they’re only doing their jobs and all, but do they have to be so “humpy” about it!?

telegirl
telegirl
14 years ago

Soooo envious of your schedule. Congratulations on making it work! My hubby is in school full time in another city so it’s me and the boy doing the weekly stuff by ourselves. I fit in workouts on my lunch hour, that is if I don’t need to do grocery shopping or run other errands. Can’t wait until he’s out of school… I swear I’ll feel like I have all the time in the world!

My B-I-L works for Nike. They have an amazing gym but not all the frills that Fancy Gym does. I slum it at Anytime Fitness, but at least it’s close to work!

Alex
14 years ago

It is a really beautiful feeling when all the various factors in your life seem to just flow so easily like that. Enjoy!

Lauren
Lauren
14 years ago

Oh, the balance! I let my guilt of being away another hour a day ride me into no exercise for three years. Then, I realized my family would miss me so much more if I died at 50 then they would miss me one hour a day. Good for you for taking care of yourself!!

Keep us posted about this “Turbo-kick” fun!

ELC
ELC
14 years ago

Sweet schedule….I’d like you to post one where you reveal how you fit in all your blogging, picture taking, and general household management too!

My “issue” with the gym thing, be it super-fancy or barebones, is the other people. I don’t like them. I HAVE to go 3 days a week to MAINTAIN, and 4 to LOSE, and right now I should be going 6. My solution? I go to the Marriot Hotel. For $90 a quarter (yes $1 a day) I can use their gym, Olympic size pool, spa, sauna, and showers with all the typical hotel amenities. They even give out free waters & fresh fruit in the AM. The best part? I’d say 1/2 the times I go I’m there ALONE!

danielle
14 years ago

I’m so happy for you!!! I am still trying to find that balance….and as soon as I stop putting myself last, I might see ya at the gym!

McWriter
14 years ago

So exciting – a new workout routine! Enjoy it. The exercise, self-esteem boost and grown-up socialization will be wonderful for you and your family.

Who knows … maybe next you’ll do a triathalon. I just ran my first marathon and it was phenomenal.

You go, girl!

daranaco
daranaco
14 years ago

As a person who has two gym memberships (can’t help it – it’s residual from the years I spent living in LA) one of which is 24Hr and the other of which is of the super-fancy gym genre I must say that it is such a relief when I go the 24Hr gym because, get this, I DON’T HAVE TO WEAR MAKE UP. If I showed up to fancy-gym looking like I do at 24Hr they would immediately rescind my membership and have me escorted out of the building. Why keep the fancy membership you ask? Because the childcare there is clean and well-run so I can workout on days my son is not in school, not to mention that the showers are so clean and beautiful that I will actually use them.

Sorry about the run-on sentences. I’m going to give up punctuation for Lent next year so I thought I should start practicing now. You really shouldn’t go cold-turkey on these types of things.

Missy
14 years ago

I have a great schedule, too. I go into my office one day/week, work from home while my son is in daycare 3 days/week, then have a 3 day weekend. I’m very grateful for this schedule, and wish all moms (well, all people, really, parents or not) could have something similar — our lives are so skewed toward work work work and rushing around to get to and from work. It sounds like you’ve found a great balance for you and your family. Love your blog, by the way. Always so real and insightful and absolutely hilarious.

Alyson
Alyson
14 years ago

Can you come over and organize my work/family/exercise schedule? My kids are way older than yours and I feel like I am constantly at the mercy of baseball games, school events, and business/social events. Exercise? What the heck is that? If it can’t be done from my bed while I’m asleep, I don’t have time for it. OK, so I make time for my knitting (lots of time for my knitting), but something has to bring me back to center again. And I need a whole lot of centering.

Sonia
Sonia
14 years ago

Good for you!! The two things that help me to be successful at sticking to a workout schedule are 1)making a schedule that is non-negotiable, and 2)meeting a friend at the gym. If I have to be accountable to a friend, I am much more likely to get there. And it’s more fun to have someone to talk to! I had THE BEST workout partner a few years ago. She was always there when she said she would be, and her friendship was very valuable to me so we always had great conversation. She was very physically fit too, so I always learned something and always had someone to look up to.

Stephanie
Stephanie
14 years ago

You work schedule is pretty much the same as mine. It’s great (and the only reason I still commute almost 50 miles one way) and I don’t think another company would pay me my full salary for working part time. 24 hour rocks, as does the TKB class. I go on Wed as well, and it’s great! I really noticed a change in my clothes after a few weeks. Once you get the routine down, you’ll be an old pro. I look forward to your exercise posts!!

Kristi
14 years ago

That is one kick-ass work schedule you are rockin there! You are SO smart to attempt a good balance right at the beginning – it has taken me so long to realize that time for myself is as important as the time I give to everyone else.

Tricia
14 years ago

My boyfriend also works for the Borg and was in Seattle for about half a year doing some kind of internshipuhthingy. He was a member of this gym while there and the two times I visited that place. Man. Have you SEEN the women’s locker room? A hair dryer at every station. Wood finished lockers. Obviously, I loved the locker room more than the actual working out part. But that place was amazing. They made good “health” shakes too.

I don’t have a point really, other than: that Gym is reeeediculous! Here on the east coast though, the company gym memberships are at the YMCA. And while the YMCA’s in Charlotte are still pretty sweet. It’s a bit of a disappointment after having gone to Gym Heaven. But I’m also a princess.

k, shutting up now.

Maximo Cellucci
7 years ago

Absolutely on paper issue stuff, value this for details. Must will be real the mother of intriguing likelihood. by Mark Twain.

trackback

Tumblr article…

I saw someone talking about this on Tumblr and it linked to…

navigate to this web-site

Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

for sale house
7 years ago

Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

swim spas
7 years ago

This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Many thanks!

construction injury attorney

This is a topic that is close to my heart… Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?

adoption financial assistance

You need to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful sites online. I am going to highly recommend this blog!

living room tv units
7 years ago

Hi! I’ve been reading your website for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent job!

dishnet
7 years ago

Hurrah, that’s what I was exploring for, what a information! present here at this webpage, thanks admin of this web site.|

marketing company
7 years ago

Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice procedures and we are looking to exchange solutions with other folks, be sure to shoot me an e-mail if interested.

bill bohack
7 years ago

Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that will make the most important changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!