Thursday, September 17, 2015

gym membership: DEAD

Like a fool, I had paid a whopping W513,000 (nearly $500, US) for a four-month membership to a gym in my building. After completing the transaction, I immediately felt as if I'd done the wrong thing. While September has been a windfall month for me—I've got over $4,200 in the bank here and over $1,000 in my US account—I felt that paying nearly $500 for a damn gym membership was way too steep: while the budget feels looser, it's actually still tight; most of my windfall is already spoken for.

Originally, I had signed up for the gym because of the convenience: the gym is two floors down from where I live, making it easy for me to walk down and then back up to my apartment. But after nearly two weeks of not going to the gym—and having twice gone hiking in the mountains—I concluded that Mother Nature is offering her services for free, and free is a much better price than W513,000. So Mother Nature is free, and now so am I: free to hike and to figure out how to engage in strength training on my own. I've canceled my gym membership. Shot it in the head like an injured whore. Horse. Whatever.

It's good to have the money back in the bank, even if it's not a 100% refund.



Surprises Aplenty said...

So it sounds like you cancelled your membership. I know Seoul -and Gangnam particularly -prices are high but even so, 500,000 won seems high. Maybe the equipment and such are of high quality.

I think, if you still have the membership, you should make yourself go and try it out. The problem with hiking is that it is hard to be consistent with it but a gym -one near work - is always available. If you are hiking or walking 3+ times a week, keep doing that and forget the gym. If you are averaging less than that, go to the gym. At the gym, you will be able to exercise in the rain and vary your exercises to better protect your knees. Heck, at 500,000 won, you might have access to a pool and be able to do some really low impact exercise. I consider myself well-qualified and experienced in aqua-fitness and if you want assistance in that area, let me know.

Anyway, if you still have the membership, I recommend using it.

If not, keep hiking and on bad weather days, consider occasional trips to the Jamshil Olympic swimming pool. I swam there -way back in 2001 - and it was well-cared for and not expensive. Slightly further afield is the Olympic Park pool where I coached a little swimming - again 15 years ago.

Kevin Kim said...

Well, as the blog-post title says, the membership is dead. Gone. Kaput. But the staffer who did the cancel-and-refund (same guy who had helped me register) said I could come back any time and re-sign. I might. But probably not. We'll see.

There is indeed a pool, along with a whole slew of facilities, most of which I'd never even dream of using. So maybe that justifies some of the expense, but a membership costing over W500,000 for four months is still pretty expensive. Bally's in the US costs (or used to cost) around $19 a month.