Marie Antoinette's pastry slave (mark356) wrote,
Marie Antoinette's pastry slave
mark356

I just got the strangest chilly reception I've ever gotten in a gym. I had been debating between 2 gyms (see post in TQC here: http://thequestionclub.livejournal.com/114930343.html ), but a coworker just told me about another gym. It's a little farther away than Close Gym in above post, but it's on a 50 kph road, so it takes the same amount of time to get there. I checked it out online, and it looked awesome: generally 3 classes per day, and it charges only about 2/3 of what the others charge. It has aquabics once a week, and it also sometimes does Tai Ch'i.

So I went there to check it out, and felt sort of disappointed right away. It's a small studio in the middle of a shopping center with restaurants and pools, so the 3-level parking garage was crowded. Next, the guy at the reception desk seemed sort of disappointed that he'd have to guide me. Then, there were people lined up outside the studio, and he said that that's because the studio is locked when not in use, until 10 minutes before the classes. There was going to be a barbell class in 10 minutes, so the teacher had just showed up, and I asked if I could talk to her to get a sense for what her class was like, and he pointed to the description on the schedule, and said, "Just read the description. The class is starting soon, so she doesn't have time."

Next, there is another studio that is always unlocked, but it's just a largeish room, with one of those nubbly carpets that you see in offices. There's no mirror, and the only equipment I saw were yoga mats and cushions to sit on. He said that I could use the yoga mats but not the cushions, since they belong to another group that sometimes uses the studio. "In that case, can I bring in my own equipment?" I asked. (After all, being honest with myself, even if I have some no-equipment or low-equipment workouts, I don't really want to do them in my living room.)

"What sort of equipment?"

"Like a Pilates wheel, or a yoga ball, or a stretching pole," I said.

"What's a stretching pole?" he said.

"A pole about so big (gesturing with my hands). You use it for stretching."

"In that case, no. It would be a bother to the other people who want to use the studio."

"I don't understand. It wouldn't be much more of a bother to other people than my arm or leg would be."

"Well, if that's the way you think, then we would prefer if you restrain yourself from joining."

He also showed me the pool, which is about a third the size of the one at either of the others, and said that it was 1 meter deep and 31 degrees C (about 88 degrees F). He didn't let me go up and stick my hand in, either. But it seemed to be more a pool for relaxing in and less for swimming or even pool-walking in.

I left feeling sort of disgusted. I called Close Gym, and they said that bringing certain equipment in is OK, but not others. Stretching poles (which they already have anyway) or tennis balls for stretching are OK; hula hoops and jumpropes are not. (I already know that Far Gym also locks the studio until 10 minutes before classes.)

But on the other hand, I kind of don't want to completely lock this one out of my decision just because of that one receptionist who I didn't like. This has more classes and more bathrooms than Close Gym does, and is cheaper, too. But I have never gotten such a chilly reception at any kind of gym or studio before.
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