Truth is, I’m probably the only person who walked into the gym this week and quit my membership.

And in lieu of most traditional New Year’s fitness resolutions, I think it was actually a good one for me.  I’ll explain why, in a bit.

But first.  My gym story started about four years ago.  It was January and I decided to do a few highlight features of businesses in our town for my blog.  One day, I ended up at the Fitness Studio.

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I took some pictures and interviewed a sweet woman named Kim.  She owned the studio and I learned quite a bit about her business and even ended up taking a few of her Zumba classes later that month.  I loved them.  Okay, so I was actually quite terrible at Zumba, but I loved the exercise and the sweating and how it made me feel.  Sadly, a bit later, she ended up having to close her business.  But by then, I was hooked.

I found a new gym, just down the road in Speonk.  Word on the street was that Eli Manning sometimes worked out there in the summers.  I was mostly excited about the classes that they offered, and decided that it would be worthwhile to sign up for a membership.  So I did.  And three days later, when I showed up for a class, there was a notice on the door that that gym too had closed.

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So I researched gyms and found the next closest one which happened to be the Powerhouse Gym in Center Moriches.  I walked in and asked the Owner point blank if he was planning on closing anytime soon.  He wasn’t and the gym offered some great class options so I found myself signing up for membership.

I started with Zumba (was still terrible) and very slowly worked my way up to some of the Cross Training classes.  I met Webby, who taught a lot of the afternoon classes.

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And over the course of the next three years, I was all in.  I took two to three classes a week, met a bunch of gym friends and loved every sweaty minute of it.

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In between burpees and crab kick ups, we’d talk about life and our lives outside of the gym.  I remember quite a few conversations with this amazing friend about her hopes and dreams for a future family.  A year or so later, and she has that beautiful family and now I get to see pictures of her sweet baby boy on Instagram and they always make me smile.

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Occasionally I’d diversify my cross training classes with yoga or Spin.  I quickly realized that these women were some of the strongest and most amazing people at my gym and I valued their hard work and the amazing strength and health that they had.

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At times I’d see my gym friends outside of the gym, because many of them are local.  And it made me so happy to be a part of a great gym community that was also a part of my community.

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Oh, and just a quick note about this woman.  She was literally my gym class hero.  The heart and hard work that she brought every single time was awe inspiring.  She’s also a kindergarten teacher and I loved hearing about the amazing work that she did, outside the gym as well.

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The gym was also a great place that I could bring friends to as well.  Quite a few of mine also had memberships and we would sweat and talk and work out and it was always my favorite way to spend time together.

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And overall, I had a pretty solid three year run going at my gym and I could not have been more thankful for those three years.  I learned a lot about myself and about how far I could push myself.  I got relatively strong and was super proud of my burpee and box jump abilities.  I sweat out quite a bit of my stress and anxiety on those gym floors and it was so good for me, physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually (because goodness knows I’d have to pray myself strong through most of those minutes of planks and wall sits).

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And with all that being said, you may be wondering why I’d start out the new year, by walking away from it all?

Well, the truth is, I’m in a different phase of life, I guess.  When our kids’ track practices started coinciding with my favorite afternoon classes, I let them go.  And when the summer was busy, and then the fall and then the winter, it was just harder to make it happen.  I knew that I could go to classes, or take my kids out running or bike riding.  I am proud to say that I’ve stayed active, but realized that I didn’t want to sacrifice that time anymore.

So I quit.  I know in my heart that I will always have a love and need for fitness and actually signed myself up for an online service that I can do (and will do) at home.  I’ll keep bike riding and running with our kids, enjoying this time that they still actually want to spend time with me as opposed to those teen years that are coming quickly where they probably won’t want to as much.

I know that I can walk away and be okay.  And I know that those three years taught me so much and that maybe at some point I’ll go back.  But for now, I just want to say that I’m so thankful for the lessons learned, the great memories and the wonderful friendships made.

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Written by lauraherr8

I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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