What It’s Like Returning to a St. Cloud Gym After 3 Months Away
As part of Phase III of Governor Walz's plan to reopen Minnesota, area gyms can once again open at 25% capacity.
Rewinding to the second week of March, I had been going to the gym 4-5 times a week and taking a high-intensity interval training style class for nine months. I was lifting heavy things, doing cardio, and honestly feeling the best I have since I was in high school. Then COVID-19 hit and it all came to a screeching halt.
I spent the last half of March and a lot of April sitting on my butt playing Animal Crossing. The weather wasn't nice enough to go outside for walks, and when it comes to home workouts, let's just say my idea involves walking down the stairs to the kitchen where the snacks are.
May was better, with warmer weather and golf courses opening I at least was getting outside more and moving my body, but it just wasn't the same as going to the gym and forcing my body out of its comfort zone.
Gyms in the area opened for business on June 10th and I have never been more hyped to go workout. Of course, there are new rules and regulations put in place but it is so worth it for the health benefits I have been missing.
Here are a few things I noticed at my gym with these new rules:
- Guests encouraged to come dressed for workouts to avoid extra time in the lockerroom
- Common area furniture (lobby tables, chairs, couches) roped off
- Hand sanitizer everywhere
- Some masked employees
- The whole place smelt really fresh and clean
- Cardio machines roped off to allow for social distancing
- New rules regarding moving and rearranging equipment (basically, don't do it)
- More signage encouraging people to clean their machines and equipment when finished. (As an ex-gym janitor I have my own soapbox I can stand on promoting this, but that is for another time)
- Smiling faces and positive attitudes
That last one is my favorite. It seemed like everyone I ran into at the gym had a smile on their face, or in their eyes if they had a mask on. People were just excited to have a piece of pre-corona normalcy back in their lives, myself included.
Here's to hoping my workouts help me feel less winded while I fold laundry. That was a long three months.