Lately, I’ve been finding it difficult to go to my local gym. It’s accessible, so that’s not the problem. The issue is that I’ve stopped enjoying the experience. While I love to exercise and the gym scene in general, navigating this fitness club, one of a large chain, is exhausting. My issues are that the bathrooms are located on the far side of the building, that it’s like a mini high school reunion, and the gym is almost always packed so most of the time the machines I prefer to use are unavailable.
I understand that most of the stuff I have mentioned may seem trivial to others. But these factors have played a larger role than I like to admit in keeping me at home. Where the bathroom or locker room is located makes a big difference to the quality of my workout. It’s a massive inconvenience for me if I’m riding a bike or in the middle of my weightlifting routine and I have to stop and rush to the other end of the gym to use the restroom.
It can be awkward to frequently run into people you have grown up with or have known for years, but the experience can be at another level of uncomfortable when you have a progressive illness. I know I always talk about caring what other people think, but sometimes I can’t help feeling scrutinized. I can feel the stares, and I can’t blame them — if I was in their shoes I might do the same. I would have 100 questions for someone I knew whose health was visibly declining. But while I understand the reactions, I still dislike them.