The world’s most sophisticated garage gym

One of the first things JF and I noticed when we got to Elmvale was that there was no fitness centre. Not that we’re gym bunnies or anything. We’re more like couch bunnies – the soft and fat kind that die when they get released from captivity – but part of the goal in moving to Simcoe County was to live a healthier lifestyle.

I’ve written about the Elmvale 15: a squishy layer acquired over fall 2013, inconveniently located where I do up my pants. When my Elmvalian colleague told me about Swift Fitness, a gym on a country road frequented by locals, I promptly signed up for Monday interval classes.

When I pulled into the driveway on day one, tugging at my too small Lululemon pants, I did my best to contain my dismay at its location: a garage. An enormous and new garage with shiny windows next to a big beautiful home in the woods – but a car park is a car park. Or so I thought.

After walking in, my opinion shifted instantly. That garage is fancy and full of new equipment: exercise balls, weights, punching bags of all sizes, yoga mats, benches, a water cooler, those scary elastic band things, and tons of other bits and bobs I don’t know how to use. Plus it has a decent sound system and cool rubber floor.

By the time I was huffing through my first set of burpees, I was officially impressed. There are only ever a dozen people in the garage at a time, so there’s nowhere to hide. Instructors tell you when you’re not squatting deep enough, lifting high enough, or punching strong enough. Plus I’m surrounded by neighbours – so I’ve got to exercise with gusto or feel shame every time I shop at Elmvale Foodland.

And this is what I do after class. Sit on the couch and watch Star Trek in my exercise clothes.

And this is what I do after class. Sit on the couch and watch Star Trek in my exercise clothes.

Since starting classes, I haven’t dropped any of the 15. But my pants are starting to fit better and I feel better – which everyone keeps telling me is more important. Plus I have totally opened my mind to the potential of garages.

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