I looked at four gyms: two I can walk to, two require a short drive, then finding a parking space in one of a number of small lots around the facility.
One of the drive-to gyms I eliminated immediately. It’s in the basement of an old building, with no outside light, all the equipment crowded together in one large room. Zero appeal. Nice people at the front desk though.
The other drive-to gym is the most expensive, and likely worth the cost. The place is very upscale, all the equipment new, two pools, lots of classes. If it were walkable, I’d join in a heartbeat. But even on the way there to explore, I felt a sense of reluctance, as in “do I really have to get in the car?” This tells me how much I’ve changed since living in Rochester, where I drove everywhere. Wegman’s, where I grocery shopped, and the World Gym, where I worked out, were no more than a ten minute walk from San Gabriel Drive. But I never thought of walking, even in nice weather. Here in Seattle, walking has become my default. It’s what I expect to do.
Of the two gyms within walking distance, one is by design a bare bones place with brand new equipment — no classes, like spinning or yoga, but ready availability to the machines I use and a visually appealing workout floor. The other has spinning and yoga, plus lots of equipment, but some of it is older by two or three generations. That’s not a fatal flaw, but newer equipment is nicer and works better.
The choice? I’m going with the walk-to gym that has classes I might use, as well as an array of good-enough equipment. Seniors get to belong on a month-to-month basis, which I prefer. In the fall, I might decide to consider the gym with the pools, since I could bring the grandkids there as guests for free swimming during the rainy winter months.
Another piece of my new neighborhood falls into place.