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July 22, 2003

Urban oasis

Snaps to the YMCA. Seriously, everyone should just dump whatever overpriced, eucalyptus steam room-touting, own-line-of-beauty-products-hocking gym you belong to, and sign up at your local Y.

First, it's a non-profit organization, so you're not giving your (in the Y's case totally reasonable) membership fee to The Man behind the self-esteem-crushing facist fitness machine. Second, if you live near enough to a city's main branch, they are often every bit as clean, modern, and perks-laden as an upscale gym. In fact, where Girl-E has had to pay $12 a month for a towel service at other gyms, the Central Boston YMCA gives her two piping hot clean towels for free when she checks in at the desk. Third, it is simply the most ethnically diverse workout experience you are likely to have anywhere. Every other gym Girl-E has ever belonged to basically screamed "aren't we just such young, hip, professional white ladies!" This is decidedly not the case with many urban Y's, and being there evokes a strong and undeniably pleasant feeling of "so this is where the real people come to sweat".

Oh, and another thing, they kick your ass there. Girl-E's step aerobics experience last night was nothing short of ballbusting. And everyone there (of all shapes and colors) knew each other, and they all knew when to clap and holler and slap eachother on the bottom (ok, not really, but figuratively). In the pre-class banter, they were all in feverish anticipation of a class called Boot Camp that is starting up next week. And these weren't your typical model-perfect gym-hounds, these were real ladies who just love the pain.

Next month, she may even join the master's swim team there, just to enhance that clubby-cool feeling. She belonged to the YMCA swim team as a kid for 7 years, and it seems about the right time in life to come full circle with these things.

And get that freakin song out of your head.

Posted by The Twins at July 22, 2003 05:13 PM

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