The Quest for the Perfect DC Gym

I like to start my New Year’s fitness resolutions around the beginning of February so that I can pretend to have been really committed by the time March rolls around. All the people that foolishly started their resolutions on January 1st are typically weeded out by this time, allowing me to feel a sense of unjustified superiority. And in that vein, I recently began my journey of finding the perfect DC gym to join.

Gyms to me are a source of great anxiety. Literally.

I once had a full-fledged panic attack on my college gym’s treadmill and collapsed. As I came to on the suspiciously-prone-to-ringworm-floor, I remember looking up to see about twenty worried faces gawking down on me. The gym’s work-study kid (who probably took a nap during his mandatory Red Cross training) appeared to be on the verge of pissing himself with fear.

Needless to say, I always felt slightly awkward going back to that gym.

Something about a room filled with mirrors, good-looking people, and me on the verge of a sweat-opolypse just doesn’t mix. But at the same time, gyms have also been a part of my life for so long now that I almost look upon them fondly. It’s kind of like how I truly loathe that Selena Gomez musical opus entitled “Love You Like A Love Song,” but still catch myself singing along to it regularly on the radio (especially when it reaches the “beep, beep, beep” part of the chorus—it’s somehow like a sexual school bus, which may just be the best simile I’ve ever written).

But upon researching several metro DC gyms, I realized something very important: DC gyms seem to be like DC cocktails, very expensive and without a whole lot of substance.

So thus began my journey of exploring DC area gyms.

My journey first began with the Adams Morgan Mint, the gym most convenient to my job. (Oh, Mint, you elitist beauty…I truly wanted to make sweet gym love to you.).  Mint offers a spa-like atmosphere to its gym—in part, no doubt, because it IS a spa and gym combined into one building/company. I was simply enchanted by the complimentary cold towels scented with mint, and sparklingly, fresh, minty water. I loved the key-coded lockers that allowed you to leave your bulky lock at home. I appreciated the serene atmosphere—no blaring techno music to add to my gym-induced-anxiety.

I wasn’t however, enchanted by the price. $90 to start and eventually rising to $110 per month, according to some Yelp reviews. As money is not something I have an abundance of (in my head I just let out a nefarious chuckle at that understatement), Mint was just going to have to be the One That Got Away.

My next stop was Washington City Sports Club. With WCSC’s multiple locations across DC and several of my friends’ glowing reviews, I assumed I’d finally found the right gym at the right price. They have a $30 for 30 day trial, and I was all ready to jump onboard the sweaty-time-train. But when I walked into their Chinatown location the old feeling of gym panic started to clutch at me. Blaring music, people running on overgrown hamster wheels…I just couldn’t, you guys. I’m sure for many people WCSC is the perfect gym, but for me it might as well have been the prequel to Saw IV (or III, or II, or whatever—okay, I’ll admit it, I never actually saw those movies).

But I’m happy to report that I finally found the gym of my dreams in DC. The location is great for me, and the spin class magically happens whenever I want it to.

Okay, so it might be a little small.

But for just the price of two months of luxuriousness at Mint I now have my own personal gym. Thanks, Craiglist, for giving us both weirdos and firmer abs all in one place.

- A ‘future star of workout DVDs sold in bargain bins’ Lindsay

About Lindsay Golder

Freelance writer, book-fiend, lover of shamefully bad films regularly featured on TBS or TNT.

One Response to “The Quest for the Perfect DC Gym”

  1. i have a membership to the WSC and i loved it until I moved to a part of DC that wasn’t close to one… now i’m on the search for a new gym
    so much pressure.
    -K

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