Of Gyms, Running, Cars and Anniversaries
Wow, it’s been SIX YEARS since I launched this blog and I’m still going. If you go check out my archives, you’ll see I used to write 40-60 articles a month, but that was when I was in a job going nowhere and with nothing to do. Also, once we got out of debt, it became tough to figure out what to write about…and it still is! But I’ve still found enough to chat with you about, and I hope to keep going for as long as this blogging thing sticks around! I’m still not bound to just financial articles, although I do get flack sometimes if I write something absolutely nothing to do with money. You know what? Deal with it! It’s my site and I write what I feel like 🙂
But I also want to take this opportunity to update you all on a few topics I’ve brought up recently:
What did we decide about a new gym?
Just a couple weeks ago, we showed up at our gym and found out it was closing. It’s a chain gym, and there are others in the area, but we had to decide whether to try the next closest one (tacks on about 10-20 minutes roundtrip), switch to a gym across the street, drop the gym entirely and use the outdoors, etc. So what did we do?
Well, since we currently spend less combined than one of our memberships would cost at another gym, we haven’t even looked at a new gym. And since it’s summer in DC, I realized I need air-conditioning for my training (see below), so we’re traveling a little bit farther 3x a week to a different gym in our chain. We’ve actually found it to be much cleaner, brighter and better laid out than our old gym, and I think we’ll stick around at this one for a while.
God, I hate/love running!
The “training” I referred to above is training for another marathon. It’s been 6 years since I ran my last, and only, marathon, and I’ve run a few races since then. I’ve been running 3x a week in preparation for this one, and I hope to knock 60-90 minutes off my prior time. I’m feeling excellent through training now that I’m forcing myself to a specific pace, but I still find pacing my toughest challenge if I’m off the treadmill.
So I have a love-hate relationship with running. I hate the beginning, love the end, and battle throughout the actual run to push myself to keep going. I’ve generally been a lazy person throughout my life, but when I have a goal and I commit to it, I feel a sense of duty to complete it. That’s how I’m able to complete a run; I set myself both a realistic goal and a stretch goal. I force myself to meet the realistic goal, and if I think I can make the “stretch goal”, I’ll go for that too. That’s why I have 2 goal times for the marathon. I’d like to finish an hour faster or, as a stretch, 90 minutes faster.
So if you asked in the comments why I run if I hate it, hopefully you understand why now. And thanks to the supporters who already understand from your own experience 🙂
All the haters! More about our car situation
I love cars, but apparently not all my readers appreciate the same cars as I do. Some don’t even understand why someone would want to buy more than a piece of plywood with 4 wheels, an engine and a rudder, much less a European fun-mobil like a MINI Cooper, even with some of its warts. But I found out how many haters there are out there of fun cars when I post that we were close to getting a new car, but opted to shell out for maintenance and repairs to our current car and just keep it.
Here’s the thing you need to know about me and cars. While I’m interested in all cars, I personally like to own cars that others find odd, eccentric or “non-beige”. It’s why we’ve bought 2 MINIs (which are becoming more “normal” here in the DC area, but not outside of large cities) and a Honda Ridgeline truck (in its first model year). I don’t buy just to be weird; I do my research and find out if it’s the right car for me or my wife. In the case of other past cars, like our Acura, Chevy Malibu or Passat, they were all the right car for us at the time, with some caveats…
As for the Acura, I was a kid out of college with a big new income (disregarding my bills) and my Saturn wasn’t good enough. The Acura TL-S was shiny and in its first year on the market. No one else had one, it was 2 steps up in luxury and speed, so I got one. I kept it for almost 100k miles until I decided we needed a truck for our new home (and I was right).
Now, the Passat and Malibu were different stories. We felt my wife’s “old” Pontiac Grand Am was dying and I still had my Acura. We thought we needed a family sedan as we were planning for a family, so we bought the Passat. It turned out to be a gas guzzler and too expensive, so we (stupidly again) traded it in for a cheaper (and I mean CHEAP) Malibu. We lost our shirts, but learned some valuable lessons in the process.
That family never came, and that’s why now my wife has a MINI Cooper and loves it. I have a 4 door truck for all our other travel and my own rare commuting and our situation works great for us. As an aside, the Grand Am (we called it “Greenie”) is still running, even after being owned by a friend’s daughter during college. We sold it for $2k and they sold it for $1k four years later. They’ve had to put a chunk of money into that 14-year old car, including after some minor accidents, but it’s still chugging along.
But I’ll leave you with this question: If you were one of the haters in the comments, tell me what kind of car you have, why you have it, why you’re keeping it, and what you think the BEST car is. Take note of how I asked those questions, especially the last one as no one would respond to that in the comments. If you think my current or past vehicle selections are idiotic or crap, I REALLY want to know why you think the best car is. If you know of one good for everyone, perfect. Or if you would rather focus on either me or your own situations, then do so, but I really want to know! Would it be a van, a truck, a sedan, a wagon, a hatch? And what SPECIFIC MAKE and MODEL?
I challenge you that, and provide your reasons 🙂
And thank you for hanging around for the last 6 years!