I walked outside today and said, "Yuck! Rain!" Yes, believe it or not, that cold snap has suddenly turned warm and our snow is disappearing quickly with rain, rain, rain. Thus, rather than hit the ski trails today, I headed to the gym (Fancy that--subzero, I'm outside skiing, but rain? I head inside!). I peeked into the pool area and saw I had the whole pool to myself--joy! It redeemed this yucky-weather day.
The Bay Club is our local gym. It is twice the price of our gym in Michigan, and maybe slightly nicer. We weren't sure it would be worth it, so just signed up for 6 months last year. When we arrived back home after a summer of traveling, we discovered we did indeed miss it, so in the gloom of fall, doled out a large amount of pocket change and joined again. This time around, it feels like we are using just about everything they've got!
The climbing wall is the kids' favorite. Both Aurora and Denver look like they were born climbing, so I took the class, got my belay card (the person on the bottom who holds the ropes and keeps the climber from falling) and now the kids climb a couple times a week. They climb at the high school also, but that is a straight wall. The Bay Club's wall has ins and outs that one must climb around, so is more challenging.
The swimming pool is another favorite. Every Sunday we go to church, get some lunch and then head to the gym. The kids swim and Douglas and I take turns swimming with them and working out. It is a fairly warm pool, so it is a fun one for playing in--you don't start shivering after 10 minutes!
I personally love the racquetball court! At our gym in Michigan we had to pay $12 per person each time we played even though we were members ($24!!). Here it comes with the price of membership. Doug and I manage to play racquetball once a week, and we appreciate the awesome workout we get doing it! The kids come on in and play too, which is just a blast with the ball bouncing crazily off all the walls. Denver, especially, likes hitting the ball against the back wall so that it goes and hits the front wall.
The gym has the usual plethora of weight equipment, treadmills, ellipticals, stairsteppers and rowing machines, all of which we use. The best part of it is the view out the window, seen from any machine or the pool: the Homer Spit, Kachemak Bay, the Mud Flats and the Kenai Mountain Range, as seen in the picture above one morning a few weeks ago. It is so easy to count my blessings when I am rowing along, gazing out on such a glorious panorama with bald eagles cruising by regularly just outside the window.
All the exercise classes are free, though we have yet to take advantage of any of them. Yoga, Pilates, spinning, tai chi, etc. They are well attended, and we can always tell when there's a class because the parking lot is full. The sauna and tanning booth are in regular use too, but we don't use those since we usually have the kids with us.
The other big difference I've noticed about the Bay Club compared to our gym in Michigan is how people dress. In Michigan many females would be in scantily clad workout shirts or tight shorts. Here many women wear long pants and t-shirts while working out, and skimpy isn't something I've seen, so it doesn't feel like a pick-up place that I'm embarrassed to have my kids hang out. The locker rooms, on the other hand, see a lot more flesh than Michigan (I know, this is strange) and feels a heck of a lot more liberal than our gym back home. I'm not sure why this is. I keep expecting to get used to it, but the difference in dress and attitudes of patrons continues to strike me often.
Overall, belonging to the Bay Club is a welcome place to spend some time when we're in town, and it is an important part of our lives. We still get out skiing, ice skating, and play basketball, but it is nice to have a place to take a shower and head to work after the workout--and it is a great place to have some family time too!