As I turned into the parking lot of my gym this afternoon, I looked at the building and without giving it a second thought I said out loud “My home away from home.” Training for triathlon events really requires a gym membership. If anything just for the pool, however treadmills, spin classes, and a weight room are very helpful. When I selected my gym I took into consideration the amenities, cost, and close proximity to work and home. What I did not consider was I would be spending a great deal of time there (I am sitting in the gym cafe eating dinner as I type this) and how I would interact with all of the people. Boy did I luck out.
Of course the staff is very important. Several of the front desk attendants know us so well they will tell me my training partner has already arrived or ask if she is joining me. The life guards have become friends as well as my trainer who does my cardio assessment. It is not uncommon for us to text each other to set up training times. It is important to me that I like the people that work at the gym since I am there so much. Today I swam twice, both this morning and after work – a total of 5,400 meters. But I never thought there would also be a second family of sorts and it all started in the locker room.
Being creatures of habit, my friend and I have gravitated to a specific bay of lockers close to the pool. We even have “our” lockers and are not happy if someone else has taken the lockers before we arrive. There are a total of six of us who regularly use the lockers in this bay and we have become friends. It is also the most eclectic group of ladies – over 30 year range in ages, several different ethnicities, varied backgrounds and professions. It is a large area, so many other women come and go, but this is our core group. We have laughed together, shed tears together, and share our stories in general. Most of us are there every weekday morning and even on at least one weekend morning. I look forward to seeing them and miss someone when she is not there. If it were not for my gym, I most likely would not have met these ladies and we all would never have found a way to be a group of friends. The support and encouragement I get from them is invaluable. And isn’t that what family is all about? It is what makes a house a home.