I think I may just go basic and run up and down the stairs (that’s 7 flights of stairs with 13 steps each so a quick bit of math –> 91 steps) a few times for cardio in the winter. I have kettleballs, a simple dumbbell, Iron Gym Pull Bar (yes, that thing from TV), crunches, pushups and my Wii (for added excitement). I was thinking that the gym might be worthwhile because I could get a trainer at the location to help me focus a bit. Bally’s was already off my list. I’ve never been fond of them and any gym that can’t quote a price to me over the phone is out as is anyone who does hard sells (Bally’s is known for this). It shouldn’t be that hard.
Really, it shouldn’t.
NY Athletic Clubs were also out because they seem to have a similar rep and Lucille Roberts, a women-only’s gym, well, would present a problem now, wouldn’t it? So I thought why not take a look at Planet Fitness? They’ve been advertising a low rate ($20/month, no contract) and had simple gym design. They weren’t for the fitness buff but for the person who needed to get into a shape other than round (the side effect of a geek’s life, even a vegan one). So I sent them out an email to find out what packages they could offer and asked what their position was on transgendered/transsexual individuals. They replied today with a cheerful email about all the things they offered, a listing of two payment options (contract and no contract). And, oh ya. The transgendered thing? They go by the state/federal documents identifier.
Ya. Not for me.
At the least they notified me in advance to avoid embarrassment and I will be writing them a “thanks but no thanks” letter. It’s fine if my passport says that but reality is that I don’t look like that letter. And I can bet that many women won’t want a guy in their change room. It’d be too disruptive and likely to set their “Lunk alarm” off (their “lunk alarm” is something akin to an air raid that goes off when someone drops the weights heavily, intentionally or not). They probably didn’t think of that when they sent me the email.
Society will always have me pegged in the wrong hole until I have all surgeries so that I can fit into the little single box that someone sets out for me, eh? On the top end of the scale, this boils down to money. Or more succinctly, potential loss of money and the cost to create an environment that would be open to all. And by all, “they” mean the cisgendered society at large. Conforming means that things are all the same and often costs are lower as a result. Additionally, there is the potential loss of existing customers when a “we’re-not-quite-sure-but-it-may-be-an…??” comes into a change room, customers may get that “ick!” feeling and will let management know about this, in both loud voice and dollar signs. However, let’s be honest here: the concern isn’t really an FTM in the men’s change room but rather the MTF in the women’s. It is the old idea that a “man” (physical stuff between the legs concept) is some kind of perv who wants to rape.
It makes me wonder if some of the health issues that many trans individuals face pre and post surgery isn’t due to the surgery or hormones but from the lack of access to facilities to do necessary exercises (e.g., I would love to be able to work out at 5am, grunting and sweatin’ to the oldies — which for me is the 70s and 80s). And that second guessing ourselves comes from a lack of body image and chance to adjust that image because of a lack of facilities. Now all of this is supposition on my part given that many trans individuals, particularly here in the US, sink a fortune into the day-to-day needs of legal costs, hormones, doctors and surgeries (never mind the fears that comes with what society has portrayed many as — monsters). And when you do all of that, your living costs will often be kept to a minimum so that means smaller place to rent/buy and less food options (often resulting in cheaper options).
I guess I’ll have to figure out something on my own to work out and improve my overall fitness. Running up and down those stairs should be a good start but it’s a shame that I couldn’t find a place where I could do it without potentially waking up my neighbours and actually get advice when I need it.