Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Why the Y
Earlier today I plunked down a chunk of money to pay out a year membership to the YMCA for the wife and myself. I've had several ask me why I'm a member of the Y, especially considering I make no effort to conceal that I am an atheist or that I don't particularly like religions in general.
Well, there are several reasons.
First among them is cost. The Y is cheap...considering. In my city there are three YMCAs and they are all stocked with good weights and cardio equipment. They have running tracks and swimming pools. A couple have racquetball/handball courts and they all have basketball courts. You get a lot of gym for your membership. You can find cheaper gyms, but they don't have near the equipment.
It's close to where I live. One of those three Y's in my city is just a few minutes drive. It's hard enough some mornings to motivate yourself to go to the gym without having to face a long commute to get there and back home again.
It feels like a community. This is not a necessarily critical thing...but it is nice to go to a place with all types of people, with all levels of fitness, all trying to get and stay healthy. The ego factor is really low at the Y.
The YMCA has been around a long time. It will probably continue to be around for a long time. I've had experiences with some gyms that would vanish after shelling out bucks for a membership. I've gone to gyms for a workout to see the doors padlocked with a sign saying "closed until further notice" which is code for "sucker!". I've actually gone to a gym only to discover that it was sold to another company and that my prior membership was void....but they would make me a deal on joining again. This is similar to the old bait and switch tactic but it is more commonly known as the bend over and smile sales technique.
The Y is a religious organization though. Specifically, a Christian organization. They do close on Sunday mornings. There is a picture of Jesus in the lobby (not doing squats or anything though that would be awesome). Bibles are scattered among their offered reading materials. Still, they don't really push religion on you. There isn't any giant crucifix hanging over the dumbbell rack. No bottles of holy water offered along with Gatorade in the vending machines. And not once had anybody tried to baptize me in the pool.
So we have an agreement....the Y and I. They keep their religion under control and I curb my tendency for blasphemy.