I never thought I would say this, but I miss gyms.
It’s not that I miss the equipment. Even when I did go to a gym before Covid, I rarely used more than a pull-up bar, medicine ball, and a plyo box. I certainly never touched the weight machines or cardio equipment (I always bring my own jump rope to the gym, anyway).
In fact, my workouts don’t look much different now than they did before the pandemic. They continue to be mostly bodyweight, with lots of sprints, calisthenics, plyometrics, and the hitting of things. And I still prefer outdoor workouts to indoor ones and get an extra dose of happiness every time I discover a new outdoor fitness park I can work out at.
But as the months have dragged on, and gyms have remained closed, I miss having a place to go.
To be able to have a dependable, separate space outside of my own home. A place free of screaming children, or lawnmowers, or gawking bystanders wanting free training advice.
Somewhere where I can walk in the door and let go of all my other worries of the day. To switch off my monkey mind, focus, and get into the zone.
I’ve realized that gyms are a place where I can get my alone time while also being inspired by those working hard around me. This is similar to how I use coffee shops as a change of scenery for work (such a typical introvert — I love being alone but together).
Without gyms, I find it easy to get distracted by the weather (what if it rains?), or other people (will I be in someone’s way or get kicked out of the tennis court?). As the days get shorter and shorter, I know this will become even more challenging. Working out at a park when it’s cold and dark outside does not sound very appealing.
In spite of my frustration, I know one thing is for sure: no matter what, I will continue to find a way to get movement in.
In my experience, there is no better way to combat feelings of depression, hopelessness, lack of motivation, inability to focus, anxiety, and lack of meaning in life than getting in some movement.
And when the gyms do open back up, and our lives return to some degree of normalcy, I will be more appreciative than ever before.
How have your motivation levels been over the past six months? Do you miss gyms at all, or are you enjoying finding other ways to stay fit?