After a three and half year relationship, I finally did it. I broke up with 24 Hour Fitness. While I thought that this was going to be a bit of a messy split, it turned out to be one of the cleanest on record.
I signed up for this gym after moving to the Bay Area in 2009 and did so for their variety of classes. I’m not one who enjoys or gets much satisfaction from running or lifting weights and if I was, I could do that for free at home.
Along the way, I discovered the joy of Zumba. I also discovered that a lot of other people enjoy Zumba and that 24 Hour Fitness doesn’t have enough space for the number of enthusiastic booty shakers this workout attracts. They have implemented a ticketing system to regulate how many people can go into their group classrooms so that everyone has enough room to dance. The number of spots available correlates to how big the room is and are on a first come, first served basis. To get a good spot in the room, you can pay a dollar for one of their reserved spots or you can come wait in line for when they hand out tickets, one hour before the class starts.
But wait, dear 24 Hour Fitness, don't I already pay $65 a month? Why should I have to pay another $12 to take your classes or else have to wait in a line to get a ticket to wait in another line? And your parking lots are not adequate enough to accomodate all of your guests--it takes at least 15 minutes of circling like a vulture to find somewhere to park.
But pay, I did.
At least until I had to start going to a new location. Not only was the class schedule completely out of sync with my startup lifestyle (or anyone with a regular job for that matter), but their available classes were minimal, and their reservation policies were even more out of whack than the last place. I couldn't pay for a spot even when I wanted to. The only way for me to attend a Zumba class was to leave work hours earlier than the rest of my team, circle the lot for a place to park, stand in line for approximately 20 minutes to get a ticket, then wait around for an hour until the actual class starts. Who has the time for that?
I sure don't.
So I finally made the decision to bid adieu to 24. And blame it on my years of watching TV and movies, particularly the Friends clip below, but I thought the gym was going to try and get me to stay.
I had played all possible scenarios in my head as to how they'd try to get me to stay and figured out what my every response would be. Alas, none of that was necessary. The guy at the front of my gym simply asked me to sign in, verify my phone number, and then it was over.
I had quit the gym.
I had quit the gym.