Change is coming to the ladies of the circuit

Source: clipartbest.com

Everyone gets their alternate news somewhere. I get it at the gym.

I go to a “ladies” gym every morning. I’m one of the younger ones (the average age is near 80) and they make me feel good. They think I’m gorgeous! Truthfully, they need new glasses but I bask in it anyway.

The jaws are exercised more than any body part. I prefer the equipment. I can do that and listen. They don’t need me to respond. Most of the time no one stops talking long enough to get a word in.

The women are a little crazy. (Ok, a lot!) There is an opinion for everything and anything they read or heard is considered “the gospel.” On one level it’s scary. On another, it’s funny. A bit of Americana!

The owner is retiring. It’s time. She has multiple health issues and is prone to closing up at a moment’s notice because of them.

Closing the gym is no surprise. She told us five years ago when she renewed her building lease that she would close in August of 2017. Here it is.

There are many times when I am frustrated with the place. The equipment is old and hasn’t been updated in over a decade, maybe two and somethings don’t get taken care of. The lights in the changing area have been out for over two years. The stepladder is too short so the burned out bulbs were never replaced.

Sometimes I drive there in the morning and it is closed. It taught me how to “go with the flow” and not allow my frustration to build. Not going to the gym is not the end of the world. (In fact, it’s what a kid would consider a snow day!)

If the gym is closed, I head right over to Starbucks and reward myself anyway. (It is the thought that counts, isn’t it?)

On the other hand, she graciously allows anyone to put up a sign if they are selling things. Right now a former member who has chickens sells organic free-range eggs at a good price and another member is selling homemade jams.

Over the years, people have started pet sitting businesses, jewelry making and some other ventures and advertised freely there.

It was also a place to get doctor referrals for joint replacements, nursing home reviews and easy recipes.

There was a “library” of sorts, now disbanded. Members contributed books they didn’t want anymore. You could take and give as you wished. No one took names or counted days.

Some of the women will stop using a gym and resort to more walking. Others are looking around. I’ll investigate other alternatives and decide what I want to do. There are a lot of options including swimming.

In the meantime I have a month to think about it. I will miss those crazy old ladies.

70 thoughts on “Change is coming to the ladies of the circuit

  1. Sounds a little like my t’ai chi group. I’ve never done gym because I prefer to be out in the open walking, but they’re a great bunch and we’e all growing older disgracefully. 🙂 🙂 Happy Sunday, Kate!

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  2. Comfortable routines and predictability smooth out life these days. This place sounded so wonderful as it was relaxed and sounds like it was all on your own terms – not the serious competition on so many levels gym.
    Too complicated a place to take over yourself and keep running. Life needs to be simple.
    The dog walks us normally 2-3 times a day which is fun except it’s now a heat index of 105 and she’s really not supposed to be out either. TV exercise shows aren’t going to work. I hate to drive to exercise places. The treadmill here is boring, but I’ll have to get back on it…eventually HAHA
    Hope you find your place

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  3. Hmmm, I’m wondering if YOU’VE considered managing that gym. It seems too good/fun/needed to let that exercise light go out. I smiled along with you, seeing/hearing the women exercise their mouths (and maybe their muscles, a little) at the “ladies” gym.

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    • Absolutely no way! Despite the fact that she will lose her entire investment in it, she’s asking a lot of money and it doesn’t include the facility which she rents. All the equipment needs to be replaced and a marketing program developed to bring back customers. A lot of folks left when the closings got erratic. A few who are regulars looked into it and their finance folks told them it wasn’t worth it. Our area has a lot of chain gyms with new equipment, showers, lockers, classes, trainers, etc. We also have YMCAs and colleges with community programs. There are yoga studios and Pilates too.

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  4. It’s one of the end-of-an-era events that forces you to move on. It’s sad and nostalgic, but if you’re like me, there’s also a sense of ‘what’s next?’.

    The saddest part for me was your comment about how you hadn’t really developed any lasting relationships that will carry with you. That’s what I experience too when I become part of group. I still somehow manage to stay an ‘outsider’.

    Good luck! A door is sure to open somewhere 🙂

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    • Perhaps there is not enough time to develop a friendship. Many of the woman are much older than me (not that it would make a difference) and our interests are different. I’m not a crafter and at this point, not a baker. Those are two things a lot of them have in common. It is a sad thing but there is a sense of “what’s next?” I stayed longer than I should have considering the exercise isn’t all that challenging. This forces me out. I will miss the lending library part but that is easy to fill.

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  5. I like the idea of the mall walkers. We are 30 minutes away from the closest indoor mall so that doesn’t work for me. I am stuck for now on our treadmill until the weather cools off and the skeeters, chiggers, and ticks decrease in number. CH has started walking the school track two minutes away from us but it is too humid for me and he goes early and I am not am early morning person. Geez, do you think I could find any more excuses to not exercise? I am sorry you are going to lose your group of gals and the convenience of the kind of exercise that worked for you a number of ways. I know you will figure it out!

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  6. It sounds like you’ve had a good time with the ladies of the gym. My gym closed down two or three years ago, and my membership was transferred to a new, big gym. It’s farther away, and the extra time it takes to get there and back keeps me away. I go once in a while, but mostly I walk or exercise/dance to music at home. Congratulations on going to the gym every morning. I exercise most days, but I’m irregular, fitting it in where I can.

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    • I’m with you on convenience. There is a gym similar to this one but it’s a half hour away. I won’t ever do that. My requirements are that it be close, near a Starbucks, not too overwhelming and clean and in that order!

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  7. Hey, that sounds a lot like our local ladies gym….except I don’t remember anyone calling me ‘gorgeous’. I will listen more carefully the next time that I am there! 😀

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    • I also have Silver Sneakers and the YMCA is an option. I haven’t been there in almost 20 years. It’s a longer drive but not bad. I used to play racquetball there but as I remember the equipment and the whole place was old and run down. I will probably check it out though. The place I go to is somewhat run down so I’m used to that.

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  8. Marley and I have been working, twice a week, with a personal trainer who specializes in training those of us over 50. It has been absolutely fabulous!

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  9. Aside from the big chain gyms, the ones that open in our area are here today and gone tomorrow. Do you have a YMCA near you? They offer women only exercise classes. I hope you find some, it so important to get that heart rate going.

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    • There is a Y and a Jewish Community Center, senior center and local college that all offer classes. The great thing about the place I went to was that it wasn’t a class. I could come and go as I pleased. We’ll see though. Maybe I’ll try a few and see what I like best.

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  10. Such an odd situation to be in– knowing so much about people who will most likely become strangers by the end of the year. Forget about exercise, what will you do for your weekly dose of harmless gossip?

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    • I doubt it. We have nothing in common (at least with me) other than exercise. A few of them pal around. There is one woman I am closer to. We email once in a while but don’t do anything outside of the gym. I suggested lunch once a month and she did the obligatory head shake but I wasn’t seeing interest. (I know. So hard to believe that someone doesn’t find me utterly fascinating!) We’ll see.

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  11. But where will you get your ‘news’ now? 😂😂 Change happens and not always in a timely fashion. I just told H this morning we need to start riding our bikes again. We’ve taken a few months off. Hmmm…6 months to be exact! Good luck with what you find. ~Elle

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  12. I just bumped into this quote by Gilda Radner that seems pertinent:

    “Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.”

    Good luck to you and the crazy old ladies during the transition from HERE to THERE!

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    • A couple of the members inquired about taking it over. Financially it’s not a sound idea. In reality it needs a do-over. The equipment is too old and should all be replaced. It needs to open longer hours and on weekends to attract the younger (and working) women. As it is now, the closures and limited hours have caused a loss of everyone but us old biddies that show up around 8 every day.

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  13. I’ve spent the last six weeks mostly without my usual gym routine, thanks to the broken finger. Like the old ladies in your gym, I’m walking a lot more. But I miss my workout buddies, too, and hearing about their lives.

    I do not miss the Fox News TV in the main cardio room.

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  14. I love places like that (especially where people think I’m gorgeous)! So homey and comfortable. I used to go to a hair/nail shop that was similar… including the lending library. I hope that you are able to find a good alternative. In the meantime, stock up on eggs and jam.

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