Friday, August 20, 2010

YMCA? Why Not?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 6:00 AM

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The days are getting shorter, and the nights might be getting longer, but I'm determined to milk the remaining summer weeks for all they're worth. I've made a hobby of finding novel activities that allow me to beat the summer heat and, whenever possible, avoid crowds. The latter pretty much eliminates floating the Boise River.

Last Sunday, without any expectation, I went to the gym and found a new gem: the Treasure Valley YMCA in downtown Boise. OK, so it's not exactly "new." It's been here for over a century. But here's the secret: on a weekend afternoon in the middle of August, no one is there. Ordinarily, I wouldn't be there either because I'd be tearing through the trails of the Boise foothills on two wheels, working my aerobic engine, fueled by simple carbs. However, I can't get a new bike until I sell my old one on eBay (1299 hits, 83 watchers, 3 bids, and 23 hours to "sold," but who's counting?), so I went to the Y to pedal a few stationary miles and rock out to Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" on my iPod.

For a good part of the year, the downtown YMCA's parking lot is overflowing with bumper-to-bumper spot seekers, the pool is drowned with splashing kids and every packed yoga class ensures intimate knowledge of your mat-mates. But if you need an endorphin fix from hoisting iron bars, if you want to break a sweat with a fan blowing in your face or if you want to run a 10K without touching pavement, now is the time to visit the Y.

On my way out, I asked the friendly front desk staff where they thought all the 50,000 members were. It doesn't really matter, though, now that I know where they aren't.

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