Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm Movin' On Up!

I'm telling my family tonight that I am moving out. I am taking up residence at my new health club.

Because I have much joint pain from my autoimmune disease, I can't walk on the treadmill. Heck, I can't even take a casual walk around my neighborhood on a gorgeous fall morning without hurting for days. I have decided that the answer is water. I can walk in water. I can do water aerobics.

Thus began the quest for the perfect health club with a pool. I thought we found it last weekend when we explored Schaumburg Water Works. It's nice. There's the lap pool. A diving pool. A fun, zero-depth pool with a kids' playground and water slides. It was clean and pleasant. Very kid-oriented.

Then I remembered Lifetime Fitness. The club's been in the area for a long time. But it had the reputation of being expensive. I crunched the numbers and it actually comes out pretty even with the other club because the classes are included in the cost. So I joined.

I was completely overwhelmed when I walked into the doors of this huge building. My previous health club experiences have been with Women's Workout World and the local park district club. WWW closed and neither that nor the park district club have a pool. Both were/are nice clubs, but small.

Lifetime is HUGE! The front counter is about the size of the park district fitness room. There's a salon (manicures, pedicures, hair cut and coloring, makeup application, and massages). There's a small restaurant (today I tried the Mango/Pineapple Smoothie) where the calorie and nutritional information are listed for each item.

The second floor is all exercise equipment. The salesperson who gave me the tour told me there are 500 pieces of equipment up there. Rows and rows and rows of treadmills, elliptical machines, stair steppers, weight machines and a free weight area. There are two gleaming studios.

Downstairs there are two basketball courts, racquetball courts, a gigantic climbing wall. The children's center has computers, tvs amd a kid's basketball court.

But it's the magical land also known as the women's locker room that has me considering sending in the change of address card. When I got the tour the woman joked that sometimes moms drop their kids off at the children's center and then go sit in the lounge area for a couple of hours. Instantly, I flashed into the summer months when I want to hide from Aaron and can't. But I could drop him at the children's center...and go to the locker room lounge area and enjoy the leather furniture, big screen tv, and free phone. No dirty clothes lying around. No barking dogs. No fighting kids. No game system cords to trip over.

Frankly, after seeing the lounge area I was in the salesman's pocket. He should have started the tour with that and we would have been done!

Today I took a water aerobics class in the warm water pool. There are two pools. The lap pool (which I guess is cold!) and the zero-depth pool with two water slides. (There is also an outdoor pool with water slides, but seeing as how it's late October, I've not experienced that.)

After the class I returned to the women's locker room (aka Paradise) and said in passing that I was cold. Seriously, I might not have actually spoken the words aloud. Maybe I shivered a little dramatically. Instantly the locker room attendant asked if I would like a warm towel.

A warm towel! Sheesh. I got a warm blanket when they MRIed my brain. I got warm blankets and a warm table when I got a massage. But a warm towel at the gym?! An actual towel that wasn't warm because I just yanked it from the dryer and was folding it?! That was the deciding moment.

I'm moving in.

It's a 24-hour club. There's a restaurant with healthy food. I can sleep in the lounge. Shower in the locker room. Relax in the sauna--I believe I would prefer the wet eucalyptus sauna in the locker room to the dry sauna in the pool area. I won't go into a public hot tub/jacuzzi no matter how many times the salesman assured me they were completely drained and cleaned. I worked at the Y...I saw how dirty and gross a hot tub can get. I sometimes get a rash from toothpaste! Can you imagine what I'd get a hot tub?! ugh

I'll still visit my family. And we could always get a family membership so they could visit me.

But seeing as how I am still living on Norman (Bates) Lane (in honor of Halloween, of course!) I think I'll go find a towel for tomorrow. Too bad it won't still be warm by the time I need it!

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