This is the last week for my gym. It’s the end of an era. I’ve been a member, off and on, for 15 years.
The owner is retiring and moving on. The last day isn’t relevant because she moved on a while back. The signs were there.
The energy left the building. The exercise challenges disappeared. No birthday lists posted. Even the food drive was sad and uneventful.
New people left almost as soon as they signed up. It wasn’t hip. Or fun!
In the “old” days, there would be excitement. Things going on.
The gym is a circuit which means that you are on a piece of equipment for a limited time. There’s a cue and you move to the next one. I never got bored. I would never spend 20 minutes on one piece of equipment. Ever!
Nor could anyone hog one piece. Since everyone is moving there would be challenges. Additional specific exercises or changing direction. Something, anything to break the monotony. Gone.
There were special classes and those went away too.
There were employees to keep it open enough hours to satisfy both working women and retirees. There were early morning and evening hours and Saturday mornings. Over the last few years the hours changed as employees left and weren’t replaced. It’s hard for one person to staff a gym for all the hours that it should be open.
Saturdays were closed, then Friday afternoons. The closing time moved up in the evening and the opening time got later. People left as it didn’t fit their schedule.
Equipment wasn’t updated. Younger women left because of both hours and lack of challenge. Other gyms offer so much more for the same or less cost.
For long-term customers it was frustrating. Many of us drove to the gym only to find it closed unexpectedly. All dressed for exercise but nowhere to go. (Thank God for Starbucks!)
The closings were due to illness. No one doubted that there were health issues but it was frustrating. There was no backup. It was a family business but the family didn’t pitch in. Everyone had “real” jobs. No one was available.
As the client numbers dropped so did profits. Some of us stuck it out but many didn’t. It wasn’t worth selling. There was little value left. Equipment was old and tired. Building was rented. Client list too small to sell. Not much left at all.
Businesses run by one person are incredibly difficult. There is no margin for illness or anything.
There is a sadness but it’s also a beginning for all of us. I am encouraged to try new things. I’m looking forward to that! Maybe yoga? Maybe swimming?
Editor’s Note: This was written on my new computer. There are no pictures because I haven’t figured that out yet. It took longer but the computer did not end up in the pond….yet! We’ll see. One more week to decide if I keep it.