My gym has reopened, and with the Silver Sneakers program, I can return to exercising for free. Douglas went to visit the gym, on my insistence, and found that the owner had made changes that should keep people safe in these days, even as we live in one of the states with coronavirus rates that haven’t quite plateaued and where data has been manipulated by the governor to appear better than the situation might truly be.
So many of the people who go to this gym are older people because most Medicare programs include free gym membership an the owner loves working with older people to restore them to healthy eating and exercise habits. The treadmills that I loved have been moved to a separate room, away from the weight machines that the younger members use most often. Also, now it is required that people clean the machines before and after use, which is certainly something important to do.
Indeed, I worried about how the machines would be cleaned, because so many people in the gym don’t clean the machines after use. It is as though they think of cleaning as beneath them. Before, even though I knew the laziness of some gym goers, I would get on the treadmill or the other strength machines without wiping it down until I was through on it. That could be dangerous today.
Also, the owner told Douglas that the lightest hours of the day when it is safe for over-65 members are between noon and three. The fewer people there at those times should mean that we won’t encounter a lot of adrenaline-filled screaming from weightlifters or their sweat being thrown around. But, she also doesn’t require people to wear masks and she didn’t have on one the day Douglas visited. She would love for us to return.
I want to return to the treadmills that actually have cushioning. I have one in the basement that I use, but it was one of the cheaper ones by Nordic Track. I can spend only about 100 minutes on it at about 2.6 to 2.7 miles per hour before my knees and feet start to hurt, and I have to need to miss a day or so between if I want to walk upright by the weekend. I have the Pinto of treadmills, and the gym has the Mercedes or Lamborghini of treadmills. I can go as high as 3.5 miles for a couple of hours with no pain on the “good” ones.
But, the owner’s reluctance to wear a mask and to require them for the exercising where a mask wouldn’t hinder progress is scary to me, particularly as I have a defibrillator for my heart and only half of my left lung. I want to escape the isolation and see the people who we used to exercise with daily.
So, I am struggling to decide if I am allowing my fears of contracting the virus to control my actions, or do I have a good reason to be afraid? It doesn’t seem to be a conundrum for other people. I see on Facebook people posting pictures on airplanes, with their face shields or masks on, and seemingly feeling courageous enough to travel to Las Vegas or other places.
Am I being a scaredy cat, as we use to say, or being reasonable in deciding that I want to wait until there is a containment of this virus in Georgia or a vaccine that works? I asked Douglas if he wants to go back, and he said a definitive NO. So, I am going to follow his lead, but I would love to hear your views.