Some people like the gym, while others don’t. I’ve always been a gym-goer, save for some inexcusable times in my life when I thought I had to forgo it because of being busy. Last year was one of those times – I rarely worked out in Spain, let alone went to the gym. I decided that this time, I wouldn’t let that happen again. A lot of the city’s residents do a social activity outside when they have time. As much as that option sounds fun – to me, working out at the gym is a million times more rewarding. That doesn’t mean I don’t have plans to join sports groups in the area, just that I had an absolute need to find a gym in central Madrid!
Today, I did just that. As much as I wanted to avoid paying up-front, or giving my account number (seriously, Madrid!? That’s just weird), there was no stopping my need to get a good workout in here once and for all. As a lifelong sports lover and player, being athletic has always been something I’ve prided myself on. However, I didn’t really expect to find myself so out of place at the gym on this side of the pond. Here are some thoughts after my first day at my neighbourhood workout spot:
1. Men outnumber women… by a lot.
One thing should be made clear here: I was not the only female at the gym. However, there couldn’t have been more than 10 women in the entire place. There was at least 2 or 3 times more men, although this could possibly be different the next time I visit! I also noticed that the other women at the gym didn’t look like me. This brings me to my next point:
2. Under-25 year old women weren’t to be seen.
At my local gym in Canada, plenty of young 20-somethings or teenage girls visit the gym. Maybe we, as a nation, are less thin than Spanish girls are. Or, maybe we tend to enjoy being more athletic. What ever the reason, most of the other females seemed to be at least a few years older than me.
3. Not a lot of women weight-lift.
I’ll admit that I was expecting this one. Even at the gyms back home, there isn’t a large amount of women in the weight room. However, there are still a fair amount of girls in there, while over here I was definitely a fish out of water. The only other female lifter was naturally very skinny, had breast implants, and seemed as though her main goal was to put on some definition and major muscle! Kudos to her, though our needs are very different.
4. The gyms are much smaller.
This gym was two-storied and had enough of what was needed, but it was extremely small compared to what a Canadian or American would be used to. This could, of course, simply be because it’s a city gym (and Spain as a whole is much smaller), but I’ve seen city gyms in major North American cities that are much bigger than this!
5. The workout music is perfect.
To end this off on a positive note, it was a pleasant surprise to not need my own music to tune out some poor musical choices. At my gym in Canada, hearing a good play-list as delivered by the staff is a rarity. Over here, the choices were all great.
As much as the experience was a different one, it was what I needed in the end. Working out isn’t just a physical thing for me – it clears my head, makes me feel more like myself, and is my best stress reliever. Bueno!