When I say I’ve cancelled, what I actually mean is that I’ve given notice to end my membership, since my gym/sports club demands a whopping 3 months’ notice to terminate.
And what I’ve done is in contrast to what I was talking about four years ago.
But things change.
What brought this on?
A month ago, the aerobics class which I have been attending twice a week for nearly 15 years (Body Attack) was taken off the timetable.
Lack of ‘adequate attendance’ was cited as the reason by the club, despite other classes with low attendances remaining on the group exercise timetable.
A petition was signed by 50 members asking for the classes to be reinstated to no avail. Numerous emails were sent to the club manager asking for the time slots to be replaced with a suitable aerobics replacement class but really, Legs, Bums & Tums is not a suitable replacement! (this isn’t to diss people who love Legs, Bums & Tums classes, but they are very different classes!).
For many years, my gym membership was heavily subsidised by work. It’s only these last 3 years where there’s been no reduction but I put up with the price because it was my club which I attended frequently and because my gym membership was something which I was prepared to spend money on – my only extravagance.
After being a member of the club for over 20 years, I suddenly realised that despite it being more of a social club than a gym (I meet my friends there, we eat there, relax in sauna etc), without my preferred classes, the club as no longer was giving me what I wanted. The high membership price could no longer be justified.
Plus I was really dissatisfied with the inadequate communications from the club and their pathetic reasons for not reinstating the classes, especially as it just looks like it boils down to them being too cheap to renew the licence to run the classes.
So I gave them my written notice.
Importance of class times
The recent bout of working many late nights can be partially blamed on not being able to attend my preferred classes. Previously, I would leave a little earlier from the office to be able to make my classes on time.
With no set classes to attend, I was working late and then going to the gym even later. That left very little time to eat when I got home before it was time for bed. I needed to get back into a routine which didn’t make me feel tired.
In response to my notice and to probably try to entice me to stay, the club gave me a free personal training session.
I already did my own bit of weight training in between my classes but what happened was that the PT session gave me a fantastic weight training exercise programme which I can do on my own…at any gym.
In the few weeks which I’ve been following the programme, I already feel a lot stronger (and according to friends) look stronger.
I do however still miss the aerobic classes, miss the camaraderie, miss people looking like they’re half-dead after the power/cardio tracks, miss the challenge of keeping ahead of people half my age.
But, I’ve been enjoying this new challenging weight training exercise so this will do in the meantime.
I guess I’ve always been a bit of an outlier in FIRE circles in that I’ve continued to pay for my gym membership. So no surprises really to hear that I now need to find another gym which is convenient in location and timetable.
Apologies for the deceptive title of the post and to the extreme followers of FIRE but gym membership is very much part of my life for my health and well-being.
I know many people can keep fit for free by running or cycling but I’m not one of those people, that’s not how I like to exercise and keep-fit. What I do works for me.
In any case, any other membership will most certainly be a lot cheaper than what I have been paying, so this should have a positive impact on my savings rate, probably to the tune of around £50 a month…