Why I Gave Up My Gym Membership

Not enjoying it anymore

Twenty years ago at the age of 39, I decided to give up my gym membership. I had officially been a “gym rat” for 15 years at that point, and I had slowly become disenchanted with the whole gym scene. Sadly, the drawbacks to working out at the gym were starting to override the benefits for me.

One day I sat down to make a list of what I actually liked/disliked about going to the gym, and this is what I came up with:



– a huge variety of exercise equipment (an assortment of dumbbells, many cardio machines, various types of weight machines)

– many fitness classes to choose from throughout the day, every day


–¬†time and effort¬†spent driving to/from the gym for every workout, searching for a parking space (and usually ending up having to park down the street)?

– packing/unpacking my gym bag with shoes, toiletries, and a change of clothes

– waiting for equipment I wanted to use for my workout, then feeling rushed because I knew others were waiting for me

– other people’s sweat left on equipment (yuck!)

 – unwanted attention from men

– continuous loud music that was not my preference 

– the atmosphere had become a “meat market”, rather than a place to meet others who shared my passion for fitness

person holding white ceramci be happy painted mug
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

A hard decision

Seeing the list I had written down, it became obvious to me that I wasn’t getting much out of going to the gym anymore.

It was a difficult decision to make, because for so many years the gym had been a place I loved going to. It had been my “happy place”. But I had come to the point when I realized that I couldn’t continue going to the gym out of a sense of nostalgia, for what it had been for me. The painful truth was that I no longer enjoyed going there, and it was time for a change. 

person holding black rotary telephone

Taking action

I remember that day when I called to cancel my gym membership. Of course, they tried to talk me out of it, and I’ll admit that I almost gave in! There was a voice in the back of my mind, reminding me of all the good years I’d had there. What was I doing, giving all of that up? But I knew it was the voice of that part of me that longs for familiarity and comfort. That part that wants to hold on to the old, even if it no longer serves me. But I chose to listen to the other part of me, the one who knows when it’s time to move on, the one who wants to grow and change.

I’m glad I listened to that wiser part of myself! It led me to search for new ways to stay fit, and in the process, I found a new sense of freedom.

In another post, I’ll talk about where that search led me, and how my workouts have changed and evolved over the past 20 years. It’s been an interesting and satisfying journey!

Please feel free to leave your thoughts/questions in the comment section below.

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