My gym membership…it never expires!

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life41 Comments


Welcome to my gym. I share this, because I don't want my fellow art director, Marin, to feel badly that when I work out, I'm facing a corner in my basement. It's not so bad, Marin. 

As part of living my best life dot com, I decided to bring the old walking routine inside when I realized: you never sweat while strolling through Como Park. Never. Now, if you put me on a moving belt that forces me to go at the bone crushing pace of 3.8 miles per hour, well…that's a whole different story.

I get up, every single morning by 6 a.m. (later on weekends), and spend a little time in my gym in the hopes that one day, the cellulite and chub that has overtaken various parts of my body will one day be just a sweet, tender memory.

I've had this treadmill since I was pregnant with Cole. I bought it at Sears for $399 bucks. No bells. No whistles. You turn it on and set a speed, and you go. Just like my Honda Civic. The bottom line: it still works.

What a cozy place to work out, though! I have Kleenex for my ever-running work out nose, and my JBL Sound System, ready to provide my "CH40 Walking Mix" which is really code for "Neil sings to me personally for 40 minutes."

And when I'm finished, I can curl up with a good book (which is always the first thing I think of doing, after sweating profusely for 30 minutes), in one of our two antique chairs that Dan really is planning to one day restore to their former glory, if in fact, there truly was ever a glory phase for either. I'm a bit suspect, truth be told.

I know my basement is never going to win any home design awards. It's not even technically finished. I don't even technically like being down there. But this, my friends, is where I'm hoping to leave a goodly portion of my ass.

Cathy ZielskeMy gym membership…it never expires!

41 Comments on “My gym membership…it never expires!”

  1. #2

    Amen Sista! Seriously, this inspires me to get off my a$$ and work out this morning. I was debating getting up, and walking all of 5 feet over to my apartment complex gym, in the freezing cold this morning. OR staying right where I am, and enjoying several left over chocolate bars from a stash of early halloween candy. Perhaps, I’ll call it even, since I’ve already nibbled on one mini hersheys bar, and one tiny reeses peanut butter cup.

    Ok, I’m off to the gym. Thanks for the nudge Miss Cathy!


  2. #3

    Hey Cathy!! Your gym has mine beat. At least there’s the warm, cozy feel of the panel. I have lovely, cool concrete in mine. Anyway, care to share your playlist?

  3. #4

    Absolutely love the last line. Mine will be left in the corner of my garage where my $500 sears treadmill sits as well. 🙂

  4. #6

    I’ve been walking 3 times a week for the last few weeks and I love it. But, living in Massachusetts, walking outdoors will become impossible in a couple of months when old man winter comes to town and dumps snow everywhere.

    I found this great little walking machine at Brookstone recently. Like your treadmill, it has no bells or whistles. You just get on it and walk for 20 minutes. I think I might buy it so I can continue to workout during the winter.

    And my basement? It looks like Monica’s closet on friends. Packed to the gills with junk. I keep saying to myself “We need to clean this space out” but we just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Someday…someday…

  5. #7
    Susan Schacht

    I swear, you’re blogging my life. Except my insane self decided to “train” (let’s use this term loosely) for a 5K with a friend. We don’t run. Not even when in danger. But today, we ran 60 seconds, walked 90 seconds for 20 whole minutes. We did it. So, long lost twin of mine – go girl! Let’s all have a big GO GIRL! 🙂

  6. #8

    I can totally relate to this post!!! At least you are getting on the machine attempting to get rid of your tushy. Meanwhile I’m just staring at my tushy in the mirror wishing it would disappear! Your post has me at least thinking about getting on the treadmill. That’s a start!

  7. #10

    My treadmill is in the living room. If I had to walk down a flight of stairs to get to it, I’d use it even less often than I do now – and that’s sayin’ something. Your basement is ultra-70’s-retro-chic!

  8. #11

    You are making me wish I hadn’t given away my old treadmill. I had bought mine in 1996/1997 and got rid of it in 2004/2005, still unused. Sad, I know.

    Your post is super funny today. Well, aren’t your posts always funny anyway? I wish I could borrow your writing creativity at least once in my lifetime! 🙂

  9. #13
    Patty Neuss

    I meant to comment on your playlist, here in Seattle we have this wonderful…and I do mean wonderful CD that you can only get at’s called “Live on the Mountain this one happens to be VOL 13…it is a must the song Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol is just short of nirvana..wooo did I mention that it is all live and acoustic versions from the Studio of KMTT here in Seattle…this CD rocks, and I have all thirteen years. Not sure if you can get it anywhere but Starbucks. You have got to listen to these songs…they soooo inspire me!

  10. #14
    Katie Scott

    I think you should turn your treadmill around so you don’t have to walk towards a wall. Plus that way you could talk to someone if they happened to also be up at 6 am.

  11. #15

    Congrats on the continued success with WW and actually moving by walking the treadmill. I am currently on the Core plan with WW and think I will be the most successful with it verses the Flex I tried in the past. Anyway, I have a similar set-up with my treadmill…in the corner of the family room against a wall and facing a wall. I figure one day I may actually walk through the wall!! It works for me as I can focus on the workout and not on tv or anything else…just focused on the pounds being lost! Oh, and I’m impressed that you can walk at 3.8 mph…I would be running at that speed. I must have short legs!

  12. #16

    I’m saving this picture because when I’m ready to remodel and make myself a home gym, I’m copying your beautiful design. It would totally motivate me to get my workout done and get the hell out of dodge;) Thanks for the giggle.

  13. #19
    Gutsy Mom

    I’ve loved the word goodly ever since it made us giggle in high school (we always had to listen to our headmaster say “for ours is a goodly heritage…”). We’d always think “who uses the word ‘goodly?'” Ever since then, we’ve tried to use it, and it always sounds funny. However, I believe “goodly portion of my ass” is going to move to the top of my “Favorite Uses of the Word Goodly” list. WELL DONE!

  14. #20

    wow, your gym is almost as nice as mine
    but I have let my membership lapse
    and cobwebs have taken over my treadmill

  15. #22

    All you need to do is put up a hunky poster of Neil on that wall beside the window. Before you know it, you’ll be running after him and those love handles will melt away.

    Of course, I always want to eat a pint of icecream after my workout. Hey, I deserve it, right??!!

    Keep up the good work and walk those buns off girl!

  16. #23
    Christine Villacarlos

    Thanks for another chuckle, Cathy! Love how you said Neil sings to your personally. Love the last line, too! 🙂

    I’m hoping to set up a mini gym of my own 🙂 thanks for the inspiration

  17. #24

    OK, you’ve inspired me to get up tomorrow at 6:00 AM (as I’ve vowed to do ever since the school schedule began, and I’ve yet to do) and hit my treadmill. I really have no excuse. And for my workout inspiration, I have Tivo’d episodes of Oprah, complete with Dr. Oz.

    BTW, my sisters have both lost tons of weight with WW, one lost 100 lbs. I did a digital layout with them ages ago, have to dig that one up for motivation for them to stay the course…..


  18. #25

    Wow Cathy,
    Your workout room looks like a carbon copy of mine (over in Mpls); better have it checked for radon! Seriously, good for you. It has been my goal forever to get up and run on the treadmill. Unfortunately, that means five am for me. Ugh.

  19. #26
    Kim C

    Cathy, you crack me up. I love reading your blog. You are so real.


    ps Hope you are able to leave your ass in the basement. I just keep lugging my around.

  20. #27

    I feel your pain… staring at a wall while working out just isn’t that much fun. I have often felt that if I put a cookie on a string and dangled it from the ceiling, it might help me speed things up a bit.
    My problem is that to get to the “excersise room” I have to pass by my quilt studio and well, you know… what happens next… me and my fat a$$ take door number one (the quilt room) instead of door number two… keep up the good work, you really do inspire me 🙂

  21. #28

    I think it’s great that you get up so early to get your workout done! Almost everyone hates to exercise but we do it anyway. I’m usually at the gym by 8:45 am, Monday thru Friday, for a workout, visits with friends and coffee afterwards. Sometimes we spend more time “coffee-ing” than working out but it makes us happy. One suggestion though…if you can change the incline on your treadmill to between 6 and 10, it’s just like walking the hills in San Francisco and great for the backside!! Thanks for the laughs Cathy!!

  22. #29
    Jo E

    Cathy your last line on this post is a belter! We don’t have basements in the UK but like you I do have a treadmill. It was bought with good intentions but have spectacularly failed to use for the past 5 years. However, your post today has motivated me to leave my ass somewhere other than on my body too! I turned 40 this week and I swear I can feel the weight suddenly getting smug that its here to stay!!

  23. #30

    You are such a hoot! And to the commenter who suggested you turn your treadmill around, I say this: How can Cathy visualize walking (briskly) toward Neil if she doesn’t have a wall on which to project him? All the stuff in the room would get in the way. Just imagine Neil there in front of you, and up the speed on that treadmill. Go, Cathy, go!

  24. #32

    I keep reading these fitness magazines hoping one day the pounds will go away as I soak up all the knoweldge contained within, but as of yet, nothing. Maybe I should your workout instead? Good luck to you… and me.

  25. #33

    Hey Cathy – don’t mean to hijack your thread, but I didn’t know how else to contact you. Have you heard that the Foo Fighters are going to be the musical guests on the 10/13 episode of Saturday Night Live? And MY favorite rocker, Jon Bon Jovi, will be the host!! A glass of wine, some chocolate, and curled up on the coach, I’ll be in heaven!!

  26. #34

    Who cares if the gym is beautiful? If you are down there everyday then that is what matters— and well I commend you on your commitment. I have a excercise bike in the middle of my bedroom that has a layer of dust on it (no clothes—just dust). So shame on me and congrats to you. And thanks for making me think about where my bottom is and should be.

  27. #35

    loving your workout room. lots of ambience!
    my favorite part of your site is your banners, I love when a new month hits and you have a new one. candy corn!

  28. #38

    I would rather be a couch potato than get on that treadmill and face that wall for 2 minutes, let alone 30!!!??? NO WAY!!

    Turn the thing around, it will seem like you have someplace to walk to! Maybe you could put a tv across the room, get some wireless headphones, watch Neil videos. I dunno, ANYTHING would be better than staring at the wall.
    WHY would you have positioned it that way?? Does it have some special Feng Shui meaning???

  29. #39

    You crack me up! And you inspire me. I’m way too ADHD to deal with indoor workouts–gym memberships and home exercise equipment are totally lost on me. Kudos to you.

  30. #40

    You crack me up! And you inspire me. I’m way too ADHD to deal with indoor workouts–gym memberships and home exercise equipment are totally lost on me. Kudos to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *