Ok, I’m stomping all over one of my own cardinal rules this week. But sometimes circumstances conspire to conspire further against you, and then conspire a little more.
The key is to just… keep… going. Because the shit that can happen to you is inexhaustible, so you have to be, too.
So one of the main rules I harp on in my fun and bitter book Disaster Fitness—and on this blog as well—is the idea that belonging to a gym is a giant waste of time and money. The fitness industry can be a multifarious vampire, as you incur unexpected and always annoying costs whenever you drag all your clothes, shoes, and other shit all the way to a gym instead of setting up a mini gym in your apartment (or house, you lucky Boomer, you). You can even wind up spending three dollars for a goddamn granola bar or bottle of water—or you could spend 45 minutes on the bus starving and dehydrated, take your pick. It’s always smarter to invest in a few key pieces of equipment and then feast on the rich bounty of online workout videos.
Of course, I wrote all this while I lived in a cheap, giant one-bedroom with a living room and dining room in a moderately-to-severely trashy part of Chicago.
Well, that caught up to me fast!
About six months ago, one of my lovely neighbor’s sociology projects, a schizophrenic homeless guy, allegedly raped me (allegedly… cause you never know, sometimes schizophrenic rapists sue for libel!)… one ridiculously long and numbingly painful chain of events later, I’m living in Los Angeles, in an AirBnB, which it is my task to clean, with ten other assholes.
Ten people are packed into a three-bedroom house with a living room the size of one table, so my usual home-gym ideas would break the laws of physics if I tried to implement them here. This, as usual, did not stop me.
Earlier in the spring, it was possible to do yoga and even some cardio on the roof. But this involved a trade-off: the roof offered a lovely view of the mountains, plus a precious hour ALONE (which is worth more than gold when you’re living in what amounts to a severely overcrowded hostel, and sleeping in a hallway). However, this roof is a very slanty roof, which means it takes no skill or effort whatsoever to slide off and break yer neck. (Usually, breaking your neck while working out at least requires that you know how to misuse weight machines, or at least that you use an overly slippery couch for step-ups.)
I persevered, stupidly. However, even I have limits: I love the weather in Los Angeles, but I wasn’t prepared for hot tar burns in early April! It’s starting to get so hot on yonder roof that first the bottoms of my feet get third-degree burns from my yoga mat, and then my laptop overheats and shuts down. Hooray! After weeks of struggle—not to mention the fact that my weights were jettisoned in Chicago, and have not been replaced because where in heck would I put them?—I decided that pissing money away on a gym isn’t QUITE the waste a full body cast or actual death would represent, so I went to LA Fitness and humbly presented my debit card.
So, I guess do as I say but not as I do? Nah. I’m doing what I say: persevering no matter what. Because quality of life is more important than purism. So I’m amending my rule: it’s much easier and more practical to have a home gym than to belong to a gym… unless it’s suddenly LESS practical and harder to have a home gym because some freaky shit happened to you and now you live in a hallway.