Know When to Walk Away

Sing it with me:

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
know when to fold ’em,
know when to walk away,
and know when to run.

I’ve spent the better part of the last six months trying to make a frustrating situation better, but nothing’s worked. So I’m taking Kenny’s advice (or, rather, that gambler he met on the train bound for nowhere) and walking away.

This guy knows what I'm talking about.
This guy knows what I’m talking about.

No, not from Big Fit Deal! (I know I’ve been pretty quiet of late, but for good reason: I’ve been working on my first collection of short fiction, which is now available in print and electronic versions – with an audio book coming soon! While things are slow over here on the blog, you can always follow BFD on Facebook for more frequent conversations.)

I’m walking away from my gym. If you’ve been keeping track at home, I joined LA Fitness in August of 2013, when I was hoping to do some cross-training that wouldn’t affect my injured leg/foot. In October of that year, I severely sprained my ankle, and the pool at LAF became my favorite place to work out. I started swimming laps three times a week, and loved taking aqua fit classes three times a week. The instructors (especially Keshia!) were great, and I made fantastic friends. The classes were tough, and I was making consistent gains in my endurance and strength. Wonderful!

Us, basically.
Us, basically.

In April, Keshia left for greener pastures, and a new instructor took over her Monday and Wednesday night classes. To make a long (and super frustrating) story short: class became boring, unchallenging, and repetitive. My classmates and I tried to work with the instructor to get the classes back on track, but that went nowhere. I spoke to the club manager, his manager, corporate people, and anyone who would listen. I wrote emails and posted on social media. Meanwhile, class attendance dwindled. Some people quit the gym altogether. Eventually, the class filled up with new people who were not interested in a high-level, challenging water workout.

Pretty much.
Pretty much.

For a long time, I was stubborn about it. I wanted to emerge victorious – to either outlast the instructor, or prevail in having her trained in a way that made the class challenging and satisfying for those of us at the advanced level. But I’m done. The time has come to walk away. The local branch and the corporate headquarters are standing firmly behind this instructor. I admit defeat.


As I walk away from this experience, I consider: What am I walking to? I want to keep swimming, that’s for sure. It’s great for my heart and lungs, and I love being in the water. But I’m ready for new fitness adventures, too. My leg and foot continue to vex me, so I do have some limitations, but I’ve started to walk short distances a few days a week, so that’s encouraging (although, as the Starks know, winter is coming).

Cue the music!
Cue the music!

What do you do for fitness? Where do you work out? What gets your blood pumping? Inspire me with your comments and suggestions, friends. And tell me: Have you had to walk away?