My first day at the gym… Or why the YMCA sucks ass!

27 Jun

Many of you are aware of the many bad happenings that are going on in my life. This year has simply not been my year. I knew it wouldn’t be, but I tried to keep a positive attitude and before this year happened, I did my best to forge a plan that had a few set-in-stone goals. These goals were simple: Get my A1c (blood sugar) down, get to the gym, not stress out over my kids, be a better husband, support my family, maintain my small business, become a more integral part of my church. It is now half way through the year. My A1c has increased to 9.7, I want to pull my hair out over the rest. I have accomplished nothing.

My wife and I have been members of the local YMCA now for over two years. When we heard on the radio that they were offering some special, I contacted a few friends of mine who are active and former YMCA board members. They were aware (at the time) what my needs were and were very excited to hear that I was seeking membership. Since then, all hell has broken loose, and today was the first day I was able to actually GO to the YMCA. The experience was both disappointing and discouraging. I hope they appreciate the $1200 donation. I could have had my roof done three months ago, had I not frivolously spent that money on this worthless experience, by that’s a whole other blog post.

So the episode went like this… I walked in with my infant and my toddler. One of the things that enticed us to join the YMCA in the first place was the fact that they had a Fitness Center and a pay-by-the-hour child care room. I stopped at the front desk to check in, only to have to wait ten minutes or so for someone at the front desk to tell me I didn’t have to check in. Undeterred, I took my kids into the child care room. Everything seemed to go smoothly, even though the only older lady there could barely speak English. Then as I was about to leave I was told, in horribly broken English, that they did not accept children under one year old. I thought to myself for a moment, but could not recall that rule ever stated, but again, undeterred I hoisted my infant up in her car seat and made my way to the fitness center.

I swiped in, grabbed a towel, and made my way over to the treadmills, where I hoped to get a good 30-45 minutes of walking just to say that I accomplished what I set out to do. As I sat down my baby daughter, I could hear the ladies flocking around me, cooing and awing at my daughter. I figured I could sit her next to my machine and all would be fine. That was when I heard a man clear his throat behind me. I turned to see a fit, older, black gentleman standing there in a ‘staff’ shirt. Instead of greeting me, perhaps asking me if I was new there, he says, “You can’t have that kid in here.” I paused a moment, looked the man up and down and said, “Oh, really? Why is that..?” The man replied, matter-of-factly, “There are no children under 12 allowed.”

Now I knew I wasn’t born last night, but it seemed a bit odd that I had just come from the room where they watched children and was told that they wouldn’t accept my six month old daughter. Here, they were not accepting anyone under twelve. Instead of looking this guy dead in the face and asking him how in the hell anybody who comes to this facility with an infant even uses it, because think about it — you can’t swim, use the gym, roller skate (I hear there are certain times/days where they’ll let moms use a stroller on the rink), or any other damn thing without someone screaming ‘abandonment,’ but they don’t allow you to participate *with* your child at this place. So much for *family friendly!* This had been one of my biggest stumbling blocks when it came to the whole idea of going to the gym!

So I just said, “Fine” and walked out of the Fitness Center. My phone in hand, I called my wife and told her that we would be promptly cancelling our membership to the Edwardsville YMCA. Yeah, they’re going to take out their mid-July payment, but I guess I should be so blessed. As I went to the desk and filled out all the paperwork, I saw many frustrated parents with infants in car seats who had a similar look on their face — that look of “I pay good money for this?” — and I’m betting that many a membership was lost that day. And they were so rude. As I filled out my paperwork, the gal who was awaiting my paperwork strolled into a side office and talked to some administrator for twenty minutes, basically leaving me standing there waiting on her for most of that time.

Really, if I wanted to be treated like shit after paying all that money, I would have gone to the Boys and Girls Club! Needless to say, my board member friends will be getting a call from me. This was definitely one of the lowest points of my year so far. Now, I’ll either have to make some sort of deal with my father-in-law or my wife’s aunt to watch both my kids (not likely), or I’ll have to basically put my infant daughter in a stroller and walk the busted sidewalks of my neighborhood in this 90+ degree heat. The nearest ‘mall’ to me is in either O’Fallon or Alton (roughly 40 minutes to an hour away) and most other gyms (I am finding out the hard way in the Communist State of Illinois) have similar ageism restrictions regarding infants. It was both aggravating and a discouraging experience.

Oh, and the YMCA sucks ass! Rude.

 

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5 Responses to “My first day at the gym… Or why the YMCA sucks ass!”

  1. Luigi Cappel October 2, 2013 at 3:51 am #

    Hang in there, things will get better. As to the YMCA, I hope they use this for their staff training. At least you are making them world famous!

    • javadewd February 25, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

      Even bad publicity is publicity, I guess. Ha ha.

  2. Jai February 28, 2015 at 11:12 pm #

    LOL I absolutely hate working out anyways, but that kind of gym experience won’t help with the encouragement I need to work out. Funny story… I hope you’re able to look back at it some day and LOL.

    • javadewd February 28, 2015 at 11:32 pm #

      It’s a crazy world. Everybody wants to eat right, exercise, and do the things that we need to do to be fit and healthy, but all it takes is one excuse, one bad instance, and then it lets out all of our steam. One of these days I’ll find a rhythm, a groove, a good fit. That’s my hope, anyway. God bless, Jai.

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