This is me rambling about paying to exercise.
I’ve been meaning to join a gym for a while, but money hasn’t allowed. You might be thinking, ‘Hey, Panda! Whatcha doing? You don’t need a gym to exercise!’ And you know what: you’re not wrong. But that’s just not my style.
I have gone through fazes where I run outside 6 days a week. This is ‘free’. Kind of. When I get in ‘running mode’, I like to follow a plan and train for something. I get real into it. What does this require? Well, to avoid doing laundry every second day it requires a lot of workout clothes for the different seasons, as well as other costs.
I now live in Gangnam, Seoul. It’s pretty densely populated, so you have to run very early or late to avoid having to criss-cross through ALL the people. Also, nobody runs here. When I was living in a smaller city in Korea, I could easily escape to the rice patties and not worry about getting looked at like I was a crazy waygook. Also, winter here is cold and the summer is pretty brutal for me. I ran during the summer last year, but it was a love/hate relationship. In the middle of summer, you could be out for a long run, then BOOM! You hear a clap of thunder, and it would just PISS DOWN with rain. Running in the mizzle is fun. Running in the monsoon is not.
Hey, world, hear me complain!
Also, I want to train for something. Anything. I need the motivation of a race or two. Running really isn’t as free as you think it is. (See list entitled ‘All the Cheeky Costs’ below)
Before I received my first paycheck from my new job, I did home workouts occasionally. I had never done this before, and I though I would hate it. I found FitnessBlender on Youtube and also did some of the workouts by Jilian Michaels. They were pretty good, and I’m glad I did them because now I know if I am ever away from my gym and I don’t wanna run, then I have another option.
Working out at home just isn’t ma thang. I get distracted by the things around me, and I just feel like I am so much more focused on something if I am in an environment that is specifically designed for the task at hand. I have always studied in libraries better than I have at home. I get heaps more work done if I am at a café surrounded by other people who are also doing work. I feed of the energy of a place and I feed off it. Just like a parasite. But a good parasite. This is why I like a gym. Plus, I enjoy picking up heavy things only to put them back down again. Girls: You won’t get big, you will get strong and sexy and you will feel awesome.
I looked into Crossfit. I KNEW it was going to be expensive, but I was curious. Geeeez, guys. the price was phenomenal. It was around $170 a month or $560 for 3 months. Also, I would have take the subway to get there. More unnecessary spending.
The strange thing was, I considered it. I considered it for around 2 HOURS.
What’s up with my mind?! I’m quite interested in the psychology of spending. I think that in the past, if I really wanted something, I would have my mind made up on it already, or I would try to convince myself the reasons I should pay for it, and how I could possibly make myself afford it.
I was doing maths in my head to figure out what parts of my nonexistent budget I could cut just so I could do this exercise program that I really wanted to try.
This is a summary of my initial thought process:
My income means that I have the ability to pay the amount of money, but it means I will have to spend less of my money on other things. Spending I could cut includes X, Y, and Z.
Here is what I need my mind to jump to really quickly:
I have a networth of -$50,000. I have less money than that one homeless guy that is begging at Gangnam station. Sure, I have an income, but I have negative money. WHY THE HELL WOULD I PAY FOR AN EXPENSIVE GYM WHEN I COULD NOT?! After I took this mental journey, I wanted to slap myself a little for being so effing stupid.
Gyms in my neighbourhood are pretty expensive compared with what I would pay in the US. I settled on a gym which is a 10 minute walk away. I paid for six months upfront. This cost 260,000 won, which is approx. $243 ($40.50 per month). It was way cheaper to pay upfront, because the gym was charging 100,000 won per month otherwise.
Ways my gym will help me save money:
- I walk there. Paying for the subway just to get to the Crossfit gym would have almost double the price as my entire membership to the gym that I decided to join.
- The gym provides shorts and t-shirts. It’s a thing they do in Korea. It’s pretty handy because you don’t need to do laundry or think about showing off your sweet as workout clothes. Gyms are fashion parades these days, I swear.
- I never used to shower at the gym, but why not save on water?
There are always hidden costs of exercise. No exercise is entirely free. Yes, I will continue to spend my money on some of the things listed below.
All the cheeky costs:
- Electrolyte drinks
- Physio for potential injuries
- Food because bitches be burning calories. (Running long distances can seriously up the food budget.)
- Protein (especially if you’re doing strength training)
- Pre-workout supplements (I have taken these before, and now I always want them)
- Races, tournaments, or competitions
- Equipment and workout clothes
- Time taken away from your side-hustle
I’m not saying what you should and shouldn’t spend your money on. Each to his own. The thing is, all of this junk must be considered in your exercise budget. You also might think you need some of this stuff when you really don’t. Why not look into making homemade electrolyte drinks? Can you buy protein in bulk? Cheap workout clothes on Ebay? Marketing companies are geniuses when it comes to making people thing they ‘need’ some of this stuff. If you want some additional reading, I stumbled upon this article recently. I really enjoy the sentiment.
For me, my health will always be number one. Find something you love but try to do it on the cheap.
How much does your body cost?