Less booze, more fruit water.

Historically I’ve been pretty good about going to the gym. After work I like to set up camp on the treadmill near the pull-up bars, put “It’s Raining Men” on my shuffle, and enjoy the ab smorgasbord before me. I never thought of myself as someone who needed any amenities—until this winter.

For the past few years I’ve belonged to the $20-a-month gym in my neighborhood. It’s bare-bones but adequate. They don’t offer towels, and I suspect that’s because towels might encourage people to use the showers, and then the showers would have to be cleaned (once I tried the water in one of the showers and nothing happened, so they’re really covering their bases on that front). Still, the gym was cheap and fine. Then everything changed. First they came for the scale. One day it was there, and then it was gone. Then they stopped turning on the giant fan—the only thing that had kept the gym, which is underground, temperate. The bouncy balls all deflated, and one by one the ellipticals busted. The gym had let itself go.

In January, I spent more time updating my Yelp review of the gym than I spent working out. That month various forces came together to turn me into a slovenly wine bag. I couldn’t get it up for my old sticky gym, but I couldn’t go home after work because I had a chatty new roommate who (a) was unemployed/omnipresent, and (b) had an unhealthy love for Kenny Chesney. Instead I got drinks with everybody in my proverbial rolodex. I drank and dined and spent, and it was a while before I took a step back. I felt doughy and I had a constant low-level hangover. I was stressed about maintaining my suddenly opulent lifestyle on my budget. I missed the ab smorgasbord.

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