Posted On August 14, 2014 By In Advice For Women, Girlzone, Lifestyle

Canceling My Gym Membership: A Life Lesson


If you’re like me, then you put on some serious “el-bees” between the months of November and January, respectively.

The champagne was flowing, the sugar cookies were freshly sprinkled, every possible retelling of A Christmas Carol was playing around the clock, and then all of a sudden you realize that you’re looking a bit like a bowl full of jelly yourself.

Hey, it happens, man. ‘Tis the season.

If you’re also like me (once you came down from your sugar high), you realized that enough was enough and it was time to hit the gym!

Like dating, I was pretty selective when it came to choosing the gym I was going to get all kinds of trim and fit with.
So I went with the one that was the cheapest, closest to my house, and was the easiest to part ways with at a moment’s notice.

On my first day of my new gym life, I was pumped. I was wearing my LuluLemon Wunder Unders and I felt WUNDERFUL.

Then I actually walked into the gym and I knew I had made a terrible mistake.
First of all, every treadmill was taken by old people in jeans.
And when I say old, I mean geriatric old.
And when I say jeans, I mean the ones you buy in bulk from Costco.

Okay, no big, maybe I’ll just hit the weights first.
Except for I didn’t know really HOW to hit the weights and even so, when I looked over there, I realized every machine (or whatever they’re called) was taken by those guys with the HUGE holes in their tanks tops.
You know how they cut them super low on the sides so you can still see their nips and side abs and stuff?

I didn’t know what to do, so I just went and sat on a stationary bike and stayed there until it was time to leave.
And that’s what I did from that day forward EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Finally, I just stopped going to the gym altogether.
Because I realized I hated it.
I hated powdery drinks and those weird pseudo-tank tops and seeing everyone’s sweat on everything.

Plus, I had a real bike.
A kick-ass Huffy.
And it moves.
And doesn’t condescendingly tell me how many calories I could be burning if I rode straight uphill for 12 hours.

Basically, I realized the gym wasn’t for me.
And that’s okay!
It’s not for everyone.
There are plenty of ways to get trim and fit (without being in a room full of people taking pictures of themselves, but I digress).

Here’s the thing, if there’s anything I hate more than pooping in public restrooms, it’s having to give people bad news or conflict of any kind really.
I knew by attempting to cancel my gym membership, the guy behind the counter was going to give me a hard time and try to swindle me into staying.
And I would fall for it because I’m weak.

So I avoided doing it.
All summer.

Finally, I put on my big girl pants and realized that it was silly for me to be paying for a place I was actively avoiding and I HAD to muscle up and tell them that I wanted out.

The day I decided to cancel my gym membership, I wore normal clothes, because I didn’t want them to think there was any way in H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS that I would be pretending to work out there anymore.

I stood behind the counter while a guy with a dangly tank top and foam roller standing only about six feet away from me just stared.
I wasn’t sure if this was some kind of test, but I figured two can play at that game.
So I stared right back at him.
And we just stood there…staring at each other.
I will not blink first, I thought.

Finally, he spoke.
“Are you…looking for someone?”
And then I spoke.
“Do you…work here?”
“No, I just come here a lot.”
And then he walked away without saying a single word, presumably to go cut some more of his shirts which solidified my desire to cut ties.

Finally, a person that really did work there came to help me. I told him I wanted to cancel.

I had seen that one episode of Friends and knew that he was going to make this as difficult as possible for me, so I worked on a lie ahead of time.

I was going to say I was moving and where I was going there were no gyms or phones or even credit cards, so we couldn’t see each other anymore.

But then I got scared.

So when he did ask me why I wanted to leave, I simply said, “Well I don’t even come here anymore. And…I’m just too fit now. So…yeah, I think I’m good.”

He actually was really nice about it and made it very easy and stress-free for me to cancel my membership and said I was always welcome back.

The thing is, health and fitness are very important, but do it how you feel comfortable. If that means a gym, that’s great. Or maybe that means playing tennis at the park with your friends or swimming laps or simply riding your bike around your neighborhood with your mom.

There are plenty of ways to stay healthy and get all kinds of trim and fit, so find the one that works best for you.

When I was getting ready to leave, he handed me the little piece of paper that was my proof of cancellation and where it said “Reason for Leaving,” he wrote, “Too fit.”

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Kelli Johnson is an aspiring writer and the current (self-proclaimed) most kickass substitute teacher of all time. Her obsessions include coffeehouse chatter, Radiohead on rainy days (aka Rainiohead), and coming up with alternative tag lines for the Real Housewives. When she's not molding young minds or crying over her student loans, she can be found watching Golden Girls reruns or frolicking with her sweet tortoise named Spartacus.