Last time I climbed an Adirondack peak it was shameful: all the huffing and puffing and beet red face and soreness. I don't view hiking as a competitive event, and don't usually mind being lapped by other hikers. However, there is a huge difference between being lapped because I'm stopping to smell the flowers and being lapped because I'm hunched over wheezing. And Big Slide was two summers ago. If I go back this summer, I might not even be able to haul my weary shit-ass up the mountain.
I looked online and the YMCA membership fee is higher than I expected; were I to join for an entire year, the $300 reimbursement would not cover it, not by a long shot. I asked a few women at work, and no one has been there before. A bunch of us have agreed to go check it out together. However, I have never in my life belonged to a gym. In fact, the only time I've set foot in one was the semester in college when I took tai chi, which was held in a basement room. So I am not sure excatly what to look for. I know some of my readers are gym-goers. What should I look for? What should scare me away?