The Search For A New Gym

For months I have battled a rash that I assumed was due to allergies. Although Coco is hypoallergenic, she rolls in the grass all the time. I thought I was reacting to the pollen and grass she tracked in. The rash first appeared at the end of February and was on the insides of my elbows. It would go away and then come back - each time worse than before. Two weeks ago it came back with a vengeance, spreading across my trunk and up my arms.

I had been treating it with cortisone cream, Neem oil, baby powder, Vitamin E oils, etc. They all provided short, temporary relief but the itching and rash always came back. I was uncomfortable ALL THE TIME.

Last week I had a scheduled visit with Dr Ponce (my functional medicine doctor). She advised me to see a dermatologist but I knew it would take a while to get an appointment with one.

So instead, I saw my primary care physician. She examined me and then asked me a slew of questions like, “Have I traveled anywhere?” I answered “no” to all the questions she asked until she said, “Have you been in any hot tubs lately?”

She explained that what I had "Hot Tub Rash", a common rash that appears when someone sits in a contaminated hot tub.

Well the only hot tub I had been in was the one at the gym. After every swim workout I always sat in the hot tub for 10-15 min before hitting the showers.

You have no idea how grossed out I was by this.

Unfortunately, I had had this Hot Tub rash for so long that it was now an infection. She put me on antibiotics and a ton of antihistamines to clear it up. And she referred me to a dermatologist (who I see next week).

When I got home I read my journal and located the day that the rash first appeared. I correlated that day to my training logs and lo and behold - I swam that very day.

Completely disgusted, I decided that I needed to find a new gym ASAP.

I started researching gyms with pools in my area and narrowed it down to three options.

Option 1: The local community center

It had a huge fitness facility. I had worked out there a few years ago with a friend who was a member. It was huge and had a lot of amenities, but being a community center, it also had A LOT of kids. No go.

Option 2: The local community college

Like the community center, the community college also had a fitness facility that opened to the public. I emailed them and found out that the initiation fee was $245, plus a large monthly fee.

Option 3: Equinox

I had never been to an Equinox gym. I knew it was pricey and wasn’t an option I’d considered before.

I pulled up their web site and read upfront what the fees were - three times what I had been paying. I guess you get what you pay for. I liked the photos that I saw of the facilities and went on a tour the very next day.

I loved everything about it - the cleanliness, quality and variety of equipment, validated parking...

But the one thing that sealed the deal for me was when they told me they were a “low traffic” facility and preferred it that way. The one thing I dread the most about going to the gym is when its crowded so hearing this was music to my ears.

I realized that the monthly fee would be less than what I was paying for my contaminated gym membership and what I budgeted for the yoga studio.

Then I looked at the group exercise schedule and saw that they offered more yoga options than the yoga studio. They even offer hot yoga that's NOT Bikram! Not to mention they also have barre and TRX classes! Everything in ONE location! Of course, I had to sign up for a year’s membership.

So far I’ve taken a Spin class and swam in the rooftop outdoor pool.


The Spin class was the first class (not Spin workout) that I’ve been to this year. Their class schedule is much more conducive to mine. It was great to be led through a workout again, and I have to say, the Schwinn bikes were pretty sweet - and comfy!

The outdoor rooftop pool was CLEAN. And I had a lane to myself the entire time. And I didn’t get nauseous from the chlorine. It’s going to be GREAT to use this summer! The only problem I foresee is….one piece workout swimsuit tan lanes…

For as much time as I spend at the gym, I want to feel comfortable and at home (not to mention safe!). I think I’m gonna love it here!