I have been in Portland, Oregon, USA since October for a combination of family and work. Before leaving the UK I decided to do the prudent thing and carry out some research into gyms to ensure that I keep on working out as I do in London in a seamless manner. I asked for some pointers and was sent a link to the gym closest to where I decided to stay called ME Fitness and in late September I received an email from ME Fitness offering me membership at the rate of $99 per month including classes or to pay an enrolment fee of $79 plus $45 for the gym only or $65 for gym and classes. I went to visit the gym when I arrived in Portland. I decided to visit the gym before signing up as it had mixed reviews online. I did find the equipment a bit old and in need of updating. However it seemed spacious and well lit and while there were not rows and rows of showers and dressing cubicles, it was clean and shower gel is provided. Shower gel is a big deal for me to avoid carrying a really heavy bag around all day. Before I could make a decision about joining on the basis they had offered my host forwarded an offer from another gym offering me guest membership so I decided to check that out.
The next gym I tried out is called LA Fitness and it was much further away than ME Fitness. It reminded me of Esporta Islington in London before it got taken over by Virgin because it had a plush luxurious feel. I met with one of the trainers and he was offered me gym membership for about $29 per month with no additional membership fee to pay. I was also allowed to use the gym for one workout which I really enjoyed. LA Fitness provides its members with a small clean white towel if you ask for it and like ME Fitness they also provide shower gel. I was really tempted to sign up straight away as I loved the gym but I was worried about travelling there. I have tried very hard to cycle and walk everywhere in Portland so far but so far my navigational skills have to been up to much. I decided to sleep on it.
While mulling over my options, another offer was emailed to my host who forwarded it to me. This time it was from LA Fitness close to the Lloyds Centre, 1270 NE Weidler Street. Once again I was allowed to work out in the gym. Again some of the cardio equipment was not as up to date as I would like. By that I mean that in both of the gyms I use in London, I can stream music directly from the internet which is very handy when I don;t have my own music on me. Again, I was allowed to try the gym out and in addition I was given a 2 week membership of the gym to try it out and see. The difference from the first LA gym is that this one is arranged in a basement. They had an impressive array of equipment for strength training and the studio looked good. Both LA Fitness gyms had swimming pools and saunas. This time I booked an appointment for a free fitness assessment but on the day the trainer forgot to attend. I was tempted to go off to Barnes & Noble bookshop nearby to have coffee and do some reading but changed my mind and had a work out instead. I decided to not join this particular gym. Not because the trainer did not show up on the last day but because I found it too much of a distance to walk each day even minus shower gel and a towel.
So far I have travelled everywhere by walking, cycling or by bus. I have been eating a different but mainly healthy diet consisting of lots of vegetables. At some point I felt like I had lost weight and this gave me a lot of encouragement. One weighing myself recently I realised that I have actually stayed the same in weight even though my vital signs have improved and my clothes are fitting better.
I will write more about my quest to find the perfect gym for my stay in the next blog.
Until next time it’s