There seemed to be a few indisputable facts facing me this summer:
1) Texas summers are hot. The temps broke 100 degrees last Saturday, although with relatively low humidity it was tolerable. I asked a friend at church if this would be similar to what July and August felt like, and I got laughed at. Laughed at. The general consensus is that you just don’t leave your house in August. If you do, you leave your air-conditioned house to get into your air-conditioned car to go to another air-conditioned place. If you DO venture outside, it must be in a pool.
2) I have two sons who will destroy the house and themselves if forced to stay in our house for several days in a row. For the past three weeks I’ve succeeded at getting them out of the house every day by taking an early afternoon walk (usually to one of the four playgrounds nearby or to feed the ducks). As we walked in the 100 degree heat the other day, I noticed both boys acting lethargic (despite the ample water I had given them) and looking beet red (despite the sunscreen I’d slathered). I realized that I needed to find a way to get them out of the house that didn’t involve extended time outside.
3) At some point, I would have to either stop running outside or wake up at the crack of dawn to run. Although, I was told by a fellow runner that even the crack of dawn in August was in the high 80s. I determined to power through the summer and just get myself used to running in the heat. I set out for my long run last weekend of 8 miles, but despite being well hydrated, rested, and fed (and sipping on Gatorade as I ran), I had to stop at 3 miles. The temps were in the high 90s, and no amount of the mental gymnastics I was doing could keep my feet moving. For the third week in a row, I had to cut my long run short because of the heat.
So I caved. Preacher Man and I got a summer membership to the local fancy schmancy gym. The city where our church is located has the 6th highest per capita income in the United States. The city just north of that has the 1st highest per capita income of the United States. This gym is where all those people go to work out.
I make my own laundry detergent, cloth diaper, and un-plug appliances to save money. And now this gym is where I go to work out.
I actually looked at other gyms, but decided on this particular one solely because it has an indoor and an outdoor pool (complete with water slides and a zero-entry area where I can play with the boys when I’m by myself). We had considered memberships to a local water park, and my logic is that this gym membership combines my need to exercise and the boys’ need to get out of the house and into air conditioning and/or a pool.
Our membership will be from June through September, at which point I’m looking forward to running outside and taking afternoon walks again. Sure, those things don’t include a eucalyptus steam room or an in-house salon. However, this fairly average woman much prefers the feeling of pavement beneath my feet and sight of of my neighbors when I’m running, and loves to listen to my boys chatting away and point out shapes, letters, numbers, and colors as we walk through the neighborhood. But if you don’t think I’ll be taking advantage of that steam room or salon, well…that would just seem a waste of my monthly membership. And being the frugal woman that I am, that just would not do.