I'm hoping by now most college students have gone back to school. I can't wait for fall weather so the newbies disappear under jeans and baggy sweaters and the regulars migrate outside so the Perry Hall Y is mine, all MINE!! (evil, maniacal laugh). But, alas I must share. I love this Y so much I can't help writing about it, therefore sabotaging my desire to have it all to myself. Sigh....
Truthfully, it's quite a challenge committing to exercise, so I respect every single person that manages to get their butts (and other body parts) in here.
My love affair began 3 years ago shortly after the Y opened. We couldn't afford to join any of the local gyms so I stopped working out and gained a bunch of weight.
When the Perry Hall Y opened up I was the happiest chunky lady alive. Exercise is my therapy and a Y membership is the cheapest therapy out there! Even if everything else is a disaster and out of control, at least I can go to the gym and work out. When I'm unmotivated, I tell myself, "Just go, even if you just stand in the lobby, just go!" Once I'm there I get started (I realize I'd look pretty stupid idly standing there).
Let Me Count the Ways Why I Go...
Upon swiping in you are greeted by a computerized "Greetings My Friend!" So even if you never speak to a single soul, you'll at least have one friend! Seriously, it's a bit like "Cheers" where everyone literally knows your name and you quickly feel a part of a community. The staff and members are super personable and some have become my real life friends.
2. MOM MENTAL HEALTH BREAK
For parents with small children, this place is a haven! I can leave my son in the free child watch and have 1 1/2 hours of peace!! And no need to make an appointment, just drop in. There's always some one fun to play with and all the care givers are so sweet!
3. MINDLESS TV TIME
I'm shallow, I admit it! I like to arrive in time to watch "The View" while I work out on one of the cardio machines. The juicy gossip helps makes the painful time go by. If that's not your cup of tea, there's also The History Channel, CNN, Fox, ESPN, NFL Channel, Disney. Or drape a towel over it!!
4. SQUEAKY CLEAN
It's so clean! I truly believe members feel so at home here, they help clean up the bathroom -- I do! I've yet to have a soggy piece of toilet paper stick to my sneaker. The equipment is dust free and everyone wipes down their machines afterwards. If you don't, watch out you might get tackled by one of the older members!
5. TORTURE CHAMBER, AHEM, I MEAN CLASSES!
Sorry if I scared you... Whether you Spin, Step, Yoga or Zumba they're all good. I'm a Body Pump fanatic. It's a killer work out for butts and legs! First time I took this class I crawled up and down my steps for 2 days (I am scaring you aren't I?)
6. INSTRUCTORS AND TRAINERS
What I love about them is they are down to earth - except for the fact they are totally fit! Anita and Lori are my faves. Anita is extremely personable, motivated and funny. She's made me laugh so hard a few times, I had to stop exercising, lest I have an accident! Lori is a bit more serious, but I love how she gets a huge smile on her face as soon as she starts her challenging Circuit Training class (turns me into a sweaty mess!). Susan is my "no fluff" personal trainer / adopted big sister. I can't tell you how available she is to help you improve your work outs and take the time to discuss family, children and sneakers - I love her!
7. EQUIPMENT & FREE WEIGHTS
It's all good. The cardio equipment and the machines are separated by half-walls which makes the environment more private -- I like that. The machines are linked to the Fitlinxx server that keeps track of your work outs and the Top 30 Men and Women are honored each month. So far, over 3 years, I've lifted over 438 Elephants! Isn't that crazy? The free-weight area is in the back and you have to be over 16 to use it. At a towering 5' 2", I overcame my fear of the big dudes and just go and do my thing. I've observed the adults are quiet and independent while the younger guys hang in packs of 2-4 and gab a lot! Bring headphones....
Some Insider Tips:
1. Monday evenings are super busy - everyone is working off their weekend binge - so avoid if possible.
2. The Y is the least busy from 1pm - 4pm on week days and fairly slow on Sunday evenings
3. Arrive early for the popular classes (Spin, Bodypump) because you'll need to grab a spot and a free entrance ticket.
4. Bring headphones to plug into the cardio machines TVs. There's also close captioning if you need it.
5. Free Wi-Fi!
So, now that you have read this, step away from your computer. This blog post will self destruct in 30 seconds. You are to forget you ever read this and no matter what, do not join my Y.....!
Perry Hall Family Center Y
4375 Ebenezer Road
Perry Hall, MD 21236