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First the Dentist, and Now the Gym?!

Recently, I grappled with whether or not to go to the dentist due to Covid-19, and now I am faced with a new dilemma – my gym membership.

Yesterday I received an email notifying me that my gym was re-opening with new safety precautions. It listed a number of new rules that will be applied to the gym experience, and one of the rules is I have to wear a mask when I workout. Ok. Let’s get real here. I can barely breath without a mask on when I am running, or doing suicide lines on the basketball court, or jump roping, and now I am supposed to figure out how to not choke on my meager oxygen while wearing a mask, and not suffocate myself to death on a treadmill.

I’ve been a member of my gym for over a decade, and I consider it my second home. It keeps me mentally and physically stable and now I am faced with a decision to do a one time hold on my membership for the next 6 months, or adjust to the new guidelines of the gym. It’s hard to decipher which is worse – working out with a mask, or taking time away from my gym for 6 months and hope that things simmer down. The uncertainty of the future continues to impact my life even with regards to simple things like a gym membership. It actually kept me up last night cause today is the last day to decide if I am going to put a hold on my account cause tomorrow is July 1st.

The problem is there have been so many mixed messages out there with information on how we as a society need to adjust to the Corona virus that I don’t know what to do, or the best decision to make. First we were told to wear a mask, then we were told we don’t need to, then we are told we have to. Which is it?!

Just last week in my neighborhood bars and restaurants opened and were abruptly closed last Friday due to a rise in virus cases, and I don’t see anything in the media or from government officials about the state of gyms. Despite the lack of guidance or transparency in all this, when it comes down to money, I am frustrated that I am asked to pay a regular gym fee to have a subpar gym experience. I appreciate the precautions and should I decide to keep my membership I will respectfully abide by the rules, but it doesn’t change the fact that something as simple as wearing a mask when I workout bothers me. I can run outside. I can figure this out, but it irks me that wether it’s a salon, or a restaurant, or a business, we are still in the dark on what should be enforced and the communication is confusing.

I woke up this morning after a nightmare about deciding to put my membership on hold, and then deciding to keep it, and then not being able to reinstate the membership. It makes me sad that all this is effecting my sleep, and raising my levels of anxiety and although I appreciate the rules to keep members safe, it doesn’t negate the fact that I continue to struggle with how to return to my natural life.

Looking back, I was glad I ended up going to the dentist. I think I am onboard with maintaining my membership, so will just have to have blind faith that things will sort themselves out, and a future of a simple life will somehow prevail.

First the Dentist, and Now the Gym?!

Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough , Undressed, and I'm Not Playing.

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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2020). First the Dentist, and Now the Gym?!. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 1 Jul 2020
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