Ever since I was in middle school, I have been going to gyms. My friends Jamie, Molly and I used to be the cool 7th graders that went to the health club after school and watched all the cute high-schoolers play basketball. Swooning over sweaty teenagers and reading People magazine were our primary motivations for hitting the gym but the focused soon shifted to actual physical fitness. Whether it was prepping for volleyball tryouts or getting pool-ready for the desert summers, I always felt a sense of comfort strolling around the gym.
At Boston College, I frequented what was fondly known as the Plex. BC didn’t have a newly renovated state-of-the-art gym like many of our fellow universities. Instead it was a constant battle for a treadmill (and good luck getting on an elliptical). Trips to the Plex often reminded me of a middle school dance. Girls dominated the cardio area while the weight room was brimming with testosterone. Often times you could feel the sexual tension from regretful weekends past and awkward confrontations at Mary Ann’s, but that was part of the appeal.
I’m certainly not ashamed to admit that getting to survey the male-dominated weight room from the stairmaster above was a great way to end a day of class. Rugby and lacrosse team workouts always seemed to be an especially popular time for the female coeds to get in their Plex time (myself included).
When I moved to DC, I opted to not join a gym and instead focused on specialized studios. As great as this was, I found myself missing the gym environment. I longed for the ability to choose between a treadmill, elliptical, stairmaster, erg, weights or any combination thereof. After evaluating the local gyms in my neighborhood, I settled on Vida.
I am obsessed. The gym is huge. There is an entire floor devoted to cardio and another solely for weight. Plus a beautiful yoga studio, great spin room, pilates reformers, personal training spaces and an amazing locker room fully equipped with a steam room, sauna, showers and a life-altering lemongrass sugar body scrub.
They blend outstanding smoothies, the staff is phenomenal and trainers are top notch (which merits another soon-to-be-posted blog) and it just makes me happy. Bottom line – I am a gym rat at heart. I love the energy of a community dedicated to being healthy and working hard. Whether you are 17 and gossiping with your girlfriends on an elliptical, 20 and scoping out the boys rugby team or 24 and submitting yourself to TRX torture with your personal trainer, there is an underlying energy associated with the environment. Gyms are great, and being able to spend an hour or four with fitness geeks like yourself is a nice feeling.
The future of the Plex – for all my fellow Boston College grads