I used to go to the gym. First it was a ratty little gym in my old apartment complex. Then I moved downtown and joined a snooty gym literally inside the pro baseball park. Sue me, it was the closest gym to my condo. It was fine – surprisingly sparse crowds most of the time and nice equipment – except for the price. Now don’t get me wrong, the price wasn’t unfair for how nice the place is and the cool location. But after two years I started to resent paying $450 a year to work out a few times a week.
Two months before my membership was due for renewal, I started hunting on Craigslist for used exercise equipment. I didn’t need anything fancy, just a bench with a cable attachment to accommodate pull-down exercises. My patience was rewarded in a few weeks. A woman was selling a bench and weights left behind by her son when he moved out of state. It was in excellent condition, like most used exercise gear. I bought the set for $120 and set it up in my spare room (where I keep my lean wardrobe and embarrassingly large shoe collection, called the “Room for Improvement”).
That was eight months ago. I have since taken two notches off my belt, added lean muscle, and increased my bench press by 30 kilos. Now I work out virtually every day, simply because I have no excuse not to. The bench is there in the next room, calling me out and embarrassing me, when I’m sitting on the couch like a lump of rapidly-softening shit. I’ve done more in eight months for $120 than I did in two years for $900.
Don’t even get me started on personal trainers.
I am a deplorable consumer.