Monday, September 25, 2006

Well, if you're gonna splurge on something...

You might as well have a really good excuse. Or make sure that what you splurge on is undeniably a good idea. That is, a lot less deniably than a host of other horrible ideas for splurging that might have crossed your mind. That's a good rule to go by, I think. So yes, I splurged. Arguably, it wasn't really splurging at all, but I can't help but see it that way, given the surrounding circumstances. Here... see if you buy the argument.

Since we're Fordham students, John and I get to work out for free at the Fordham gym at Rose Hill. Very nice of them. Anyway, that's all well and good until it becomes clear how useless that priveledge is, since I don't have much time at Rose Hill to devote to a workout, and John, well, never even goes there. Basically, it would mean that we'd both have to make extra time in the week to travel all the way to the Bronx for a workout. And, the way our schedules are looking, that amounts to about once a week. No good for a workout regimen, I'd say. So things were looking bleak; John had resigned himself to a life of getting fat again, and I was wondering when my clothes were going to start fitting instead of being too loose (which makes it easy to show everyone how much weight you've lost by doing that thing where you tug on your pantswaist and show the space there while you stand at profile... I do have clothes that actually fit, of course, but I like to keep some of the big ones around, just for show). That's when I had the really bad idea.

To be honest, it's a good idea, just not a very economically sound one. A block away from the Lincoln Center campus, there just so happens to be an Equinox fitness club. We pass by it every day while walking from the subway stop to campus... you can actually see the door of one building from the door of the other. You really can't beat that for convenience, right? Besides, it's like a ninja of gyms... the front looks like a really fancy smoothie/juice bar (which it is, actually), and then you take an elvevator (which you can't see from the door) to an underground level, where the gym is. Cool, yeah? Sure... so I decided to go online and look it up. I expected it to be really posh and pricy, given the location. Thie pictures I found were definitely very nice, and I didn't even have to ask about the price, since it was pretty obvious it would be out of our leauge. So I asked about it anyway. I made an appointment to meet with one of their reps, and I got the grand tour, which, of course, was fantastic. (Incidentally, I called a couple of trusted resources who helped me do some competitive pricing on the nicer gyms in NYC, just to check on how this one stacked up, and so I could have some ammo when I went in there.) After about four hours of haggling and math, I walked out of there with two gym memberships and a free tee shirt. And yeah, it cost me... but here's why I think it's okay.

First, and most importantly, there's the issue of convenience. It's RIGHT THERE. Seriously... it's on the way to school, and it's on the way home, without throwing a kink into the way we already do things. Second, the place is pretty primo. They have everything you'd expect (towel service, bad-ass locker room, dry sauna, brand-spanking new equipment, people who work there being so nice that it's a little scary) and a few nifty extras (a three-lane lap pool, wet sauna, lots of really cool classes for which you never pay extra, comfortable blend of extremely hot people and regular joes). A friend of mine basically sealed the deal for me when he said that if the place is so nice that I really want to be there, I'm probably gonna work out more. Between that and the location, I don't see how I don't work out at least every weekday.

Third, it adds a new fantastic element to our lives. The shower in our apartment is nice, except for the fact that it isn't necessarily always able to give you the water at the temperature you request... basically, there's a serious shortage of hot water in our building. Come wintertime, I don't think John and I will be willing to test fate with the shower. Enter the new gym. We leave home in our workout clothes and bring our other clothes along, then get a morning workout in, after which we shower and spruce at the amazing facilities they have there. The showers are really fantastic, and they have everything there for you already, from shampoo/ conditioner/ bath gell/ shaving creme in the shower to lotion/ q tips/ mouthwash/ towels/ hair dryers/ deodorant waiting for you at little vanity stations. And then, when you're done, it's just a walk down the block to campus. Freakin' fabulous. I actually tried ithe morning regimen thing out today, and it went beatifully. Besides, it seems a lot of folks up there do the same thing (granted, not in terms of being Fordham students, although there are a few who work there, and I've seen a couple of professors there already). And, thanks to my resources, it turns out that the price was below comparable to the other high-end gyms, so I wasn't being cheated or anything. Actually, I managed to get a really good deal, so I'm not complaining there.

So okay, yes, we could have just bitten the bullet and taken stock of the fact that we had free use of a facility at our disposal. But sorry, the whole quality-of-life argument seems to be winning out more and more these days. In the past year, I've done my share of accomodating a tight budget, and this sort of thing would have made me slap myself at the mere thought of it. Now, seeing the way things are unfolding this semester, and noting the limited time John and I have to breathe, let alone to do so in each other's presence, I decided it wasn't asking too much of our finances to approprite this little luxury. John actually went for the first time today, so I've yet to hear his thoughts on the place, but I've already been three times, and I have to say that I'm loving the decision. And, as far as I can tell, so is my expanding wardrobe of loose-fitting, waist-tug pants.


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