Monday, February 16, 2009

Squat! Press! Frostbite!

As I may or may not have mentioned in my previous one-sided discussions with you, there is in fact a weight room here in Fort Simpson. Norice I said "a" weight room. As in "you better learn to love it cause you ain't got shit else to choose from!"
Actually that's not entirely true. The RCMP detachment has a small weight room. That would be nice...but I dunno, it's either pay thirty some odd dollars a month for the Friendship Centre's weight room, or commit my life to the RCMP. No offense to the RCMP, but I think I'll stick with forking over the money at the moment.

Now before I bitch and whine, let me be clear in that I really enjoy a few aspects of the weight room. For one, it's hardly ever used by anyone, which means it's very rare to have to share the room with anyone else. Then again, I don't usually workout until 9 or 10 at night. I'm trying to keep with my image of being a loner, a rebel, a guy that works out at night! (*thoughtful look off into the distance*)
The other thing I really like is that you access it via a number coded door, which means 24 hour access, 365 days a year.

Now for the bad...
Remember how I mentioned that there's hardly anyone else who uses it? Well I'm not gonna point any fingers but it seems like nooooooobody else puts their shit away there, and every few weeks, something else goes missing. And when (yes I know you're not supposed to start a sentence with AND!) you use a rather limited weight room, when ANYTHING goes missing, it might as well be the worst day of your life. (no exaggeration here...nope none)
Like say the 10lbs plates...there's only TWO of them! TWO! So, when one of them goes missing, such as one did last week...that only leaves ONE! Weights like to work together in pairs! Best buddies! You take away one, you're separating the other from its soul mate! The agony of it all! EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!

The other thing that really irks me is that the number code door tends to freeze solid when it's below -20C, so it pretty much leaves the place wide open for any Tommy Troublemaker to go in with his (or her...we'll call this theoretical female "Tabitha Troublemaker") friends and basically trash the place and leave garbage/beer cans everywhere. And sure as sugar, people do just that. So I often have the pleasure of spending the first 15 minutes of a Sunday workout cleaning up like the weight room was a pub by night.

Can I complain about one more thing? I can? Aww gee, thanks!
Now I have a good idea of why this is why it is, but the weight room is effffffin COLD. It used to have a thermostat that you could adjust at your own will, but some people abused the privilege and left it cranked all the time so that thermostat had to be cut. Now it's just left freezing cold all the time. How cold?

Now that may not seem that frigid, but when you're lifting weights it's generally considered not a good idea to be even a little cold. Pulled muscles, lower heart rate, etc etc...
Plus it's just plain unpleasant to grab the bar and actually be in pain before you've even lifted it due to how cold it is.

But alas, I am destined to remain at this weight room until the GNWT decides that it should be a human right in every community to have a fully functioning, proper weight room. I'm not holding my breath on this one.

Ooh but look in this one last picture:

A speed bag and heavy bag!
I do love that as I walk across the weight room I can throw out a blood-curdling scream and a kick as I please. Of course I've also done so and not realized that someone else had come into the room. Needless to say, there was a lot of stammering and side to side eye shifting. Sometime I just give a nod to them, as if to say "Damn right. You wanna be next? Didn't think so."

You've been warned.


Mongoose said...

You know what, I pretty much don't agree with ANY opinion from ANYONE on ANYTHING, but just for once, I'm gonna do the unexpected and agree with you. There really should be a fully-functional, well-maintained gym in every community in the territory. It's really not that expensive and it's a huge benefit to the... I was gonna say the community, but let's just say, the people in the community who value their health. And you know what, wherever there is an RCMP, it wouldn't hurt if the gym was in the basement of the RCMP (yes, I know, few communities have the luxury of basements like we have here in Hay River), to keep the vandalism down.

Let's you and me each write to Mr. McLeod about it. He'll never know we're acquainted and he'll be like "OMG, two letters from unacquainted people in different communities asking for the same thing! They must be on to something!"

Then when there is a gym in every community, you and I will be interviewed on CBC (ok, CBC North) about how we used blogging to make our community a better place.

(I sound like I'm joking, but I'm not really. Let's do it!)

Alex said...

I pretty much don't agree with ANYONE who agrees with my opinion...but I definitely agree with what you're saying!!

I've always (see: last 6 months) wondered why there isn't some sort of federal or territorial initiative to offer funds for things like weight rooms. Aboriginals' health is a major concern in the territories and nationally (at least that's what the govt says), so you would think it would make sense to have facilities that...*gasp* promote healthy living. Especially in communities like Simpson that are...*gasp* predominantly Aboriginal.

It's sad because I know it's not the fault of the Friendship Centre here in Simpson (in reference to the state of the weight room), because with only 1200 people in Simpson, the membership of the gym isn't exactly going to be sky high. So unless they charge $100/month for membership, the funds they do bring in really only go far enough to pay for the heat and lights. That's where the government could come in.

As for the RCMP bit, I know that would never happen because of security reasons. Back when I lived in Fort McPherson I was able to get in to their weight room if I was being supervised by a member, but then that was quickly shot down once the Sgt ruled it was a security risk having a civilian accessing the secure areas of the detachment.

Maybe I haven't thought my rant through, but I still feel like it's not right.

Does anyone know of any funds that can be accessed for things like this?

Megan said...

Sounds like a MACA thing. It's worth a letter.

Mongoose said...

Well I didn't want to bring the Native thing into it but that did cross my mind. And yes I'm pretty sure it's a MACA thing. When I worked in T- it was MACA that sent funding for things like hockey rinks and any other recreation-themed stuff we needed.

Computer time up. Talk more later.

Mongoose said...

Ok, so, I didn't have time to finish yesterday. The part about the RCMP was mostly tongue-in-cheek. While it would be nice to have the access through a space that's monitored, I think we can still do much better than the system your gym has. Our gym in Hay River uses a bar-code tag that you swipe to unlock the door. This lends itself to all kinds of uses. The door system knows how many people are going in and it's not that hard to equip it to find out how many are going out, too. This means the security cameras, the lights and the heat can all come on when someone swipes in, and when the last person leaves, everything turns itself off again. And seeing as each tag is unique to the bearer, the system knows exactly who's in the room at any time, which combined with the security cameras, means that should any vandalism still take place, tracking down the vandals shouldn't be too difficult.