April 28, 2009

Misadventures of the Life of a Military Wife ... Finding the Gym

Well we are finally here at our new assignment in Georgia. Boy, has the past two weeks been a rollercoasters. There are so many stories I want to share it will take a while to get them all organized and will be out of order, but today I want to post about the gym. That's right ... the gym (this is for you, Army Blogger Wife).

Last week George and I both had been battling a respitory infection. Yes, on top of all the moving drama and activies, we were battling couchs, fevers and general icky-ness. So we made a decision that this week we would get back in the gym and start working out ... twice a day until he had to start his new school.

So yesterday, we got up early, ate breakfast, unpacked some boxes, then got ready to work out. We live about 7 minutes off post, which is enjoyable for us, but more on that later.

So we head to the gym. After searching through the post mp we found the closest one to the entrance from where we live. About 2 or 3 miles from the gate. It was small and not what we were used to from Fort Polk, which was a training center and had a large central gym with smaller unit facilities.

When we arrived we were turned away because you have to bring your own towel. Unlike Fort Polk who provides towels, these are Soldier run facilities and I'm guessing now that they don't offer any aerobic or other specialty classes.

So we headed home and decided to return in the afternoon. We soon learned that they do vehicle inspections and when they pulled us aside George told them we had a unloaded weapon in the Tahoe. We'd thought about going to check out the range. We were turned away and told that you have to call and get permission ahead of time from the Provost Marshall to bring weapons on post. So to break it down, you have to go on post to the Provost Marshall (Police Station) get written permission, return home get your weapon and then return to the range ... EVERY TIME. We also learned the range is open only two days a week (versus the five at Fort Polk.) So we returned home and gave up for the day.

We returned this morning where we learned the hard way that they close each gym for 2 hours during the day for cleaning. However, they all close at different times and they cannot tell you about the hours of another gym. The gym we went to was closed so we had to drive around looking for another gym.

At this point I was frustrated and told George "I just want to run on a freaking treadmill!" At which point he laughs and said he never thought he'd hear those words come out of my mouth.

We finally got into another gym where we learned we wern't in the system yet and had to be registered. No problem, but they told me that I had to log in each time under George's SS number. Not hard, but then there is a head count but no way to identify how many Soldiers versus Family members are using which facilities, whch in my mind would be a great way to determine class times and such ... but then again they don't offer that kind of stuff.

So we drop our bags off in the lockers and set out to find the cardio area. We found it small, cramped, and VERY hot. It was litterally a 10-foot wide corridor with a row of treadmills and a row of ellipticals. You could barely walk between them and they were facing a wall of mirrors.

Now maybe it's just me, but there is nothing motivating about staring at yourself while you work out, except maybe if you are a weight lifter monitoring your technique. On top of it, they had two TVs on the BACK wall. So you had to watch TV through the mirrors, which of course had not volume and there was no way to read the captioning. Obviously, it was not designed by anyone of the TLC or HGTV decorators!

We braved all of this and got on the treadmills where we started running while staring at ourselves. I had just gotten into a rhythm, passing the point of pain and discomfort from not working out for a few weeks, when there was a power surge and the treadmills and all other equipment shut down. I can attest that if you are not expecting a sudden stop when running at near-full speed very it will result in a painful jolt. I nearly fell off the treadmill!

Disgruntled and irritated we started our run over and then just left, hoping that when we go back this evening it will be better.

I soon discovered the lockerroom was the coolest place in the facility. I hurriedly slipped into a bathroom stall to change and discovered yet another design flaw. The door of the stall barely cleared the toilet, so you were forced to squeeze between the toilet and wall to open or close the door {sigh}. That also gives you an idea of how much room there was to change. I guess I'd better get used to the idea of changing in front of poepl again, but that brings back the horrors of middle and high school gym class ... I don't know which is the less of two evils!

On a funny note, as I was brushing my hair and fixing my makeup I noticed a sign on the mirror that read, "No dyeing hair in bathroom sinks ..." All I could think was, "Is that really a problem here? Is this lockerroon the hub of the salon elite on this post!?!" The things you learn ...

We returned again this afternoon, about 4 p.m. (EST) and found it full of clearly overweight Soldiers. We each grabbed a stationary bike and spent about 20 minutes on them before heading off to to the commissary to get groceries. George said that he thought that the reason it was so hot was because it helped those who aren't meeting the height/weight standard "sweat it out." Also the fans we being pointed directly on individuals instead of pointing into a circulating pattern.

Tomorrow is another day, hopefully it will be better.

Until our next visit ...

7 Tea Party Guest:

ancient one said...

I guess you will get used to the new gym... and new base.... your story started out with a lot of bad things... that just means that it will end good...(bad start=good ending)

Looking forward to your next post...

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

LOL, well at least it wasn't boring. Hope things get better soon.

Vee said...

Talk about red tape!

Spanish Princess said...

George and I are testing the rules because they said you have to have a 20x40 inch towel. Who needs a towel that big??? We both have hand towel-sized ones for the gym. Mine is bright pink!

flowergardengirl said...

I'm glad I did that once and lived to tell about it. We are the old people you hate to see in the commissary now. I try to remember that when we shop. I try to be a good retired person.

We appreciate you and your husband. Thank you.

Keep on cause that retirement check makes a very good house payment ;)

Elissa said...

Hang in there sweetie! I am proud of yall, you keep giving it another shot! Today will be better :-)

The Undomestic Army Wife said...

Welcome to Georgia! My husband is stationed in GA too!