On November 15th, 2013, the Chicagoland area lost one of the oldest and most endearing gyms in the history of this city…Women’s Workout World. For 31 long and prosperous years, this gym has served the fitness and nutritional needs of women while providing them with the support and confidence they need to achieve their goals.
Okay, so I am a little bit biased. You see, W3 has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. Not only did I grow up playing in the nursery while my mom worked out, but I also worked there for two and a half years. For this blog, I wanted to honor the place I called home for so many years of my life…and give it the goodbye that it deserves.
Now, I don’t remember a lot of my childhood besides how awesome and cute I was as a little kid, but I do remember getting so excited when my mom went to workout. This meant that I would go in the nursery and be able to and play with kids my age outside of school. As I got older and outgrew being babysat, I remember being excited to start working out with my mom at this gym. The only bad thing was that even though I was old enough to stop being taken care of, I wasn’t responsible enough to purchase a gym membership. AKA have my mom buy me one.
So in the meantime, I started working out on my own. I began running when I was in the sixth grade and never really stopped; I wasn’t serious about staying healthy and being in shape until high school though. This was when I became the workout queen that I am today. Well, not exactly. You see, I was OBSESSED with working out. And in an unhealthy way. I would run constantly as a junior and senior in high school, doing anywhere from eight to ten miles every day. Not exactly a smart thing to do, especially in cold winter months with snow and ice on the ground. I definitely needed a change of routine and thankfully, Women’s Workout World came into my life when I needed it the most.
Right before my eighteenth birthday, I went to workout with my mom one Sunday morning at W3. On a whim, she told me to go ask at the front desk and see if they were hiring. And GUESS WHAT? They were! I took an application and filled it out, not knowing that I would get a call a few days later asking me to come in and interview. I began working at W3 Hometown in mid March of 2011 as a class instructor and sales associate. I loved every minute of it! I taught tons of classes, got to know the members on a personal level, and had lots of fun each day at work. I know everyone’s first job wasn’t nearly as fun as mine was, which is why I felt so blessed and lucky to be working there! I got paid to workout for a living…I mean come on, how freaking awesome is that??
My favorite thing about working here wasn’t just the classes I taught, or the commission I made, it was the women who worked out there. Even though I was the youngest staff member, I connected a lot with the members. Even though most of them were twice my age. They were the ones who kept my spirits up when sales stopped coming in as often, and they were the ones who made me want to stick around through bad management. I missed every member there when I left this past August to focus more on school and my RA job. They were the reason why I came back to help the gym close out once they decided to shut it down due to the lack of revenue being made at this location.
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and that everyone you meet in life will be important to you in some way, shape, or form. I know that I am a better person today because of Women’s Workout World. I wouldn’t be as positive, empathetic, and as loving as a person without having worked there. W3 gave me confidence, healthy workout habits, and friendships that will last a lifetime. There was something truly special about that place, and I am sad to see it go. But as Robert Frost wrote, “In three words, I can sum up everything I have learned about life: it goes on”. Life is always changing, moving us towards bigger and better things than any we leave behind.