I'll be brief. For four years, I've awaited the new gym. Our old one was a joke —\0xAD a very bad joke. Anyone with a clue would agree with me. However, the new gym is not $10 million or whatever-the-price-it-was better. It is about, I would say, $20 better, or the price of three delicious Chipotle burritos with accompanying Nantucket Nectars. That is correct; I would rather have four delicious Chipotle burritos than the new gym. Here's why:
The illusion of space. Sure, the gym's square footage has increased tremendously. But leave it to the designers of the God-awful floor plan to somehow still manage to create traffic jams and dangerous situations all over the second floor. Clearly they spent the little cognitive power they invested into designing an effective floor plan on the first floor, where the majority of potential donors (rich old people) will be power-walking on some $8,000 treadmill while watching "The View" on one of the many plasma televisions.
The illusion of improvement. My Richmond education has sharpened my observational skills markedly. Remember when people would complain about the lack of benches and other essential pieces of equipment (squat rack, platform, etc.)? Lo and behold, I've observed the new gym has the same number of benches and the same number of squat racks (1). Oh, and the platform that I was promised? It's there, but where are the special bumper plates that are required to use it? Are they too expensive? I say that with as much sarcasm as possible, as a decent set would cost a fraction of one of the many pointless televisions in the gym or pieces of nautilus equipment in the gym.
But honestly, don't even bother buying them (as if you would anyways). Your utterly incompetent ban on chalk makes any serious Olympic lifting nearly impossible and very dangerous. Again, the gym bureaucracy has dropped the ball. Honestly, I expected it.
The question of utility. \0xADExplain to me the logic in this rationale: the higher-ups in the gym bureaucracy sitting around a table one day decide that in their fairly large new facility, an inordinate amount of expensive plasma televisions and utterly useless house furniture will take up valuable space on both levels, not to mention the "pretty" open area that could have been essential space on the second floor. Maybe it's just me, but I would feel like a retard going to the gym and then sitting on a sofa to watch some television. But I suppose that is precisely what the administration is promoting by having such inane fixtures just yards away from the free-weight area. I bet the people that will use these sofas are the same people who get chicken tenders, french fries, pizza and a Diet Coke for dinner.
So yeah, I am disappointed. It was a valiant attempt from the administration hyping it up, but the execution was mushy. I will honestly have no problem spending my money on a competent and serious gym after graduation. It is quite ironic how Tom Roberts claimed that he and others "looked at other state-of-the-art gyms around the country." Plasma televisions and hand scanners do not make a gym. It's not all about money and aesthetics. I would rather lift in my smelly Harrisburg, Pa., YMCA than here any day of the week. The atmosphere is conducive for people who actually take lifting seriously, unlike here.
I just realized I should not be calling the new gym a "gym." In a personal e-mail sent to me last October warning me to stop bringing chalk (haha), the gym was called a "recreational fitness facility." That pathetic label fits the place much better. So have fun with your low intensity yoga classes filled with rich geriatrics that prevents me from doing actual cardio in the multipurpose room. Some people just don't get it. Although many will not share these sentiments, I know a few who do, and honestly, the rest are not of concern.
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