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It doesn’t feel like Fitness Incentive. It doesn’t feel like home.

Christine Jelley

I moved to a new place in Bay Shore from Babylon last January. It has a pool and a decent gym with treadmills, elliptical machines, free weights, even a TV. Why have I walked in there twice and haven’t actually worked out?

It doesn’t feel like Fitness Incentive. It doesn’t feel like home.

When I go to FI to Cathy’s Stretch class on Saturday morning, I feel at home. Or Andrea’s class on Thursday afternoon. These are my people. When I walk into the gym, even if it’s been a few weeks, and smell the comforting, clean smell, see the friendly faces at the front desk (Mary, I’m talking about you) I know that that can’t be replaced at another gym or workout space. I want to chat with my friend June on the next treadmill, browse the boutique, grab a cute top, look at the jewelry, pop into the salon and buy some Eminence Bamboo Fluid. Leave with a cup of decaf, one of Cor’s healthy baked treats, with a glisten of sweat and a feeling of belonging.

I’m an introvert — the struggle is real!

I started back at FI when the gym was on Main Street and have been a member since 1995. I spent years in Spin class, even cried quietly on the bike after my Dad died, have completed a Fantastic Four with Eileen and wore a dress two sizes smaller with NO stretch that Christmas. I made my way up to Intermediate Yoga, then back down to Yin. Have braved the weight room and rolled off the foam rollers in Pilates. Staff and other members have helped me when I didn’t know how to use a machine or how to get out of one. I don’t remember what the machine was, but Eileen walked toward me one time, stopped dead, looked at me and said, “What are you trying to do?”

“I’m trying to get out of this machine.”

She got me out.

So what’s my plan? Start going to the gym in my complex; there is no logical reason not to — it’s 100 feet from my front door. I just bought a pair of noise-blocking earphones. I think they will help me be in that space without the comfort of “family” around and dull the awkward feeling of being alone. I’m looking pretty good, but have gotten pretty lazy. These things are not mutually exclusive unless you are naked. If I do the grunt work three times a week at the condo gym and combine it with time at classes at Fitness Incentive where my true heart lives, I will be in good shape, mentally and physically.

Hold me to the plan, staff and members, because it is you who have kept me coming all these years.

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About the Author

christine jelley

Christine Jelley

Christine Jelley is wildly independent but secretly longs for support.

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