So as I've already mentioned a few times, I've started going to the gym again...and I've been pretty consistent with that. Of course, the YMCA was threatening that with a series of renovations that had entrances moved and for today they were going to be moving the "wellness center" (cardio and weight training), so it was going to be closed for a while. In the mean time they suggested going to their sister branch. We had been going to the central branch for some time and it suited us OK. It was downtown, not the nicest area but not awful either (we did see someone get arrested as we were walking in one time but I guess thats a small price to pay for such cheap membership). Their other branch "greendale", I had never been to. I always just assumed it was a satelite branch or something like that and that it must be smaller so I never investigated. Well yesterday I was forced to and it came as quite a shock. The place was huge and the parking lot was full. We walk in the front door and it is immaculate. Everything was clean and nice, no construction debris and the gym itself was phenomenal. Besides the nice facility though, one thing hits you over the head time and again. The place is almost all caucasian. This is in stark contrast to our previous gym which was the exact opposite where it would not be uncommon to find that I might be the only white guy there. Even the music at greendale was different...we went from 50 cent and Akon to james taylor and bonnie rait. I guess we just never got the memo about where the white folk were supposed to be. These places are all owned by the same group, so why the disparity? If I didn't know better I would think we has been timewarped back to the 1950s, when segregation still rained. Of course, now I have the crisis of conscience that wants to go back to the nice gym in greendale but feels like I would just be extending the problem further. White guilt strikes again as I can not help but feel like a heel for enjoying the amenities that are placed before me. I don't have an option today but next week the guilt will begin. I'm sure I will eventually forget about the central branch, just like the YMCA already has. I will sink back into my realm of racial homogeneity...but I will have a nice gym in exchange.
Posted 5/09/2008 10:51:00 AM