Confessions of a Reformed Gym-a-phobe

Can I let you in on a little secret? I’ve never been much of a gym person. My boyfriend has tried to drag me along to various gyms over the years, and in that time I have come to the conclusion that gyms are not my favorite places to hang out. I’m more of a yoga, dance-class or swim-in-the-sea sort of person when it comes to doing exercise, not a ‘run on a treadmill’ sort of gal.

Gym machines in Playa del Carmen

I don’t want to feel like I’m exercising when I’m exercising, you know what I mean?

I’ve held on to my opinion that gyms are sterilized, soulless places, and therefore thought it highly unlikely I was ever going to step foot inside one again.

That was until we stayed at the El Taj in Playa del Carmen and were given free passes to The Gym for the entire length of our stay.

But to tell you the truth, even then, I was just being polite when I accompanied my boyfriend to check it out.

“Just come and see what they have on offer,” he suggested to me, “who knows, you might enjoy this one.”

I just about choked on my breakfast at the thought that I would actually enjoy a gym, but decided to go along and prove my point that gyms are boring, lifeless places I have no intention of spending time in, in the hope of silencing him forever.

Upon entering the shiny glass doors of the entrance, I have to say I was quite impressed by the stylish design and pleasant color scheme. To the right of the reception area was a juice bar and cafe, selling delicious looking healthy snacks and smoothies.

“Hmm, maybe there is hope I’ll enjoy it here,” I said to my boyfriend, picturing myself passing the time over a chaya smoothie and a tuna wrap whilst flicking through a glossy magazine.

“That’s for afterwards,” he said, knowing me too well. “Just have a look at the timetable to see if there are any classes you’d like to do.”

I sighed, and took the paper timetable from him begrudgingly, not expecting to find anything I liked.

My eyes widened as I looked over the class schedule packed with options; some pretty unique and interesting ones at that.

the gym playa timetable

“Woah, look how many yoga classes they have!” I said, surprised that a gym would have so many, at different times of the day. Gyms I had visited previously only ever had a few yoga classes at times which didn’t suit me. I like to do yoga in the morning, with a few different time options in case I feel like sleeping in. This gym, however, had numerous classes from 7am to 10am almost every single day, as well as evening classes just in case the mood struck.

Not only that, but along with the usual suspects of Spin, Fat Burner and Step, there were some classes that seemed like they might actually be fun!

“Where is the Aquatone class held?” I asked the fit looking girl behind the counter, looking around for the pool inside the building.

“Oh that is held in the pool at the El Taj hotel,” she informed me matter-of-factly, referring to the beautiful oceanfront Balinese style pool we’d just swum in that morning.

El Taj Pool small

I couldn’t believe my luck that three times per week, a water exercise class was going to be brought to me! I wouldn’t even have to leave the hotel!

It didn’t stop there. Afro-jazz dance classes, Ballet Fit classes and Cuban Salsa would cater to my love of dance, while Yoga and Tai Chi classes on the beach every weekend would allow me to exercise in the great outdoors just as I enjoyed.

A smile crept across my boyfriend’s face as he saw my look of shock and surprise.

“We might make a gym junkie out of you yet!” he teased as he threw me a clean white towel from the orderly pile. We entered the stylish premises lined with flat screens as the state of the art sound system pumped out upbeat tunes.

He headed for the cross trainer as I headed for the yoga studio, which was filled with the aroma of burning incense as the calming sound of yogic chanting emanated from the speakers.

‘Yes,’ I thought to myself as I positioned myself on the mat to begin the class, ‘maybe we will.’

yoga studio in Playa del Carmen

yoga at the beach

Access to The Gym including all of the classes is free for all Condo Hotel guests.

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