Thursday, January 19, 2006

Joining the gym that has everything for the mere price of my right arm

I've been shopping around for a decent gym to join. There is the option of joining Bally's Total Fitness in association with FCB, where I'd only have to pay 13 bucks per paycheck, pre-taxed. Then I discovered my long lost passion for rock climbing. The passion came to fruition when I went to the Travel Expo last Saturday. I woke up late Saturday morning with nothing to do, and I flipped on the TV. The sketchy Jersey City version of the Today show was featuring the Travel Expo, and they were showing sails being rigged inside this Expo Center. So, right then, I decided that the Travel Expo was my destination that day. I worked my way through the booths, greeting the Vermonts, the Berkshires and the New Hampshires, and peeking my head over to the sunny areas. I entered to win vacations and packages and grab bags full of wine and exotic drums and memorabilia from Tanzania, until I finally made it to the boats. This is where I discovered the Offshore Sailing School in New York. I expressed my interest in teaching sailing on the weekends, and the regional manager gave me his card. I knew that there was a purpose as to why I came here. I stayed shortly for the raffles and not surprisingly, I won a bottle of South African wine. On my way out the door, I found a local hiking shop that had the climbing shoes that I own, and I was reminded of how I needed new ones. The woman at the booth gave me a list of all the local rock gyms and this is how my voyage began. I began with the gym that was closest to my work. The Manhattan Plaza. This was a lot further than I thought. I have to remember that 11 avenues is whiskey fucking tango far. When I arrived I had to go up three flights of stairs, through a gym, out the door and around the corner. While trying to find this place, I almost forgot I was on the roof of a gym and not at street level. There may have well been a stop light, because I was walking all over the roof before I found this crouch space of a gym. The rock gym clerks were helpful, though, because they went through the list that I had and told me about the vibes of the different gyms. Then my finger ran across the Chelsea Piers Sport Club. They told me that the rock gym was phenomenal, but the fee was over a thousand dollars per year. I had to see it for myself. This was the largest wall, I have ever seen, inside or outside. And I discovered that this membership includes a regular sports membership, with gym classes, intramural sports, basketball courts etc. Most people would figure out how to get the money to afford it. I tried to find a way to get this membership for free. I called up my uncle, who owns a exercise equipment repair shop, and I asked him if he had any connections with the Chelsea Piers Sports Club, and he just said no. So, with that idea down the drain, I looked in the pamphlet to see what else I would be missing. This is when I discovered that the Offshore Sailing School is located within the Chelsea Piers. So, with luck, if I'm hired to teach sailing on the weekends, I'll get a complementary membership to the Sports Club. I have a feeling that this won't happen. I also know that this Sport Club is the type of community atmosphere that I need, and it would be worth it to spend 100 bucks a month in social fees. I already found a climbing partner, who wants to climb at the same time that I do, so why not? I'll just have to rotate SPAM into my diet, every three weeks to pay for it.