Part 3: Should I stay or should I go (back to the gym)?

tow women laughing while working out

Should I stick with at-home workouts or should I go back to the gym? This is a question that I have been contemplating for the past few days. In some places, gyms and training facilities are starting up again, with small class sizes and lots of safety measures in place (screenings, taped out athlete zones, individualised chalk bags, lots of hand sanitiser and more). They are pulling out lots of stops to keep their participants and members safe.



So, with all these safety measures in place, will I go back to the gym right away?

In my heart of hearts, I don’t think so. Part of me really wants to train with my friends again- I love my gym community, but I also work with lots of people who are #HighRiskCOVID, some who urgently need in-person services, and I care more not to increase their exposure risk (and with my asthma, I do have increased risk myself). People matter too much for me to make the risk worth it and I feel anxious about it for my own health and wellbeing. Will I get FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and feel sad? Probably a bit, but what is a little FOMO for a life? I can also still do lots of things from home easily and I can still support my gym from home. For me, as much as I love my gym, it doesn’t feel safe enough yet. 

When it is safe to return, I’m most looking forward to the questions of the day. It’s something that my gym does at the start of each class to intentionally create connection and community – and it is part of why I knew that gym was right for me. Everybody feels like they belong – wherever they’re at fitness-wise. The fist-bumps, hugs, high fives, dances, laughs, couch chats and celebrations are also pretty wonderful – we’re there for each other whatever we walk into the room with that day. The team wants to learn and grow and do what they can to design inclusive spaces for all. There is so much love.

When my friends go back to training away from home (whenever they do), here is what they will be glad to leave behind:


“Training at home involved a lot of indoor training. When I could, I would move some of this training outdoors, but I am definitely looking forward to enjoying more training outdoors.” – AT


“My experience has been highly constructive and positive, there are just a few little things that I miss. It will be nice to not have my sessions be weather dependent; the snow and cold make it challenging to stay warm and loose throughout my workout. I also haven’t had all the equipment available that I normally use, like a squat rack and a platform where I can drop weights and do jerks, so I haven’t been able to do some parts of my training program and had to modify them instead. Finally, lifting outdoors has taken a toll on our equipment that is now breaking, dirty, and rusting.” – SH


“Burpees (is that too much to ask for? )” – YS

Here is what my friends are most looking forward to:


“Being outdoors and enjoying nature.” – AT


“Team sports! I miss my soccer friends. Playing soccer with them can be so empowering and helps you to forget just how much exercise you’re getting.” – MM


“The laughs, the fun, the camaraderie” – YS


I am looking forward to going on hikes with friends again and doing some water sports. As much as I’ve tried to be outdoors during the pandemic, I think spending as much time in nature will be on the top of my list. I would love to do more bike rides and longer trail runs, and if I can bring my friends along while physically distancing, that would be perfect!” – SP 


What are you most looking forward to about training with other people (when that happens for you)?


This is Part 3 in a three-part series. Read the earlier blogs to learn about people’s experiences transitioning to at-home workouts and things that they have found helpful when working out.


Author: Anna Braunizer

Twitter handle: @ABraunizer

Author Bio: Anna’s a community-based occupational therapist in Victoria, BC. Her favourite physical activities are crossfit, biking, rowing, swimming, hiking, ninja practice, kayaking, canoeing, and dancing.


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