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Highlands Garden 24 Hour Fitness vs. the Glenarm Rec

Highlands Garden 24 Hour Fitness vs. the Glenarm Rec -

What’s the Highlands Garden 24 Hour Fitness like? Imagine if everyone at Whole Foods stopped filling their carts with boxed water and started doing handstands.

In Denver Highlands, the most recent of my temporary Denver-area homes, my gym of choice was 24 Hour Fitness. Any hour of the day, the Highlands Garden 24 Hour Fitness huge aerobic area is packed with hair-sprayed Lulu Lemon-wearing 20-50-somethings with really neat ponytails, and the huge weight equipment area is packed with neatly coifed Clark Kent financial analyst types. It’s like if everyone at Whole Foods stopped filling their carts with boxed water and vegan sprouted ancient maize flakes and instead started doing handstands.

Now that I’m living in Five Points — known by some as the River North (RiNo) area or Denver — it takes me 40 minutes by bike to get to that gym, so I’ve been hitting the Glenarm Rec Center just a mile down the road.

It’s not glamorous. They’ve got four bikes, four treadmills, four circa-1982 ellipticals, and a weight room the size of my kitchen. The small size, however, doesn’t pose any major problems since it’s usually just me, three guys who look like they should be called Bubba, and a lavender-haired lady who can never quite figure out the hip extension machine. She told me her name is Nane.

“Your name is ‘Name’?” I asked.

“No, honey, Nane,” she said. “N-a-n-e.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, honey.”

When I showed Nane how to use the hip extension machine, I’m pretty sure I injured my hip. For purposes of disclosure, I almost always injure myself when I attempt to demonstrate how to use gym equipment.

You all right, one of the Bubbas asked me. The Bubbas like to check in. They’re good that way. At the Highlands Garden 24 Hour Fitness, you could have a heart attack and the Whole Foods shoppers around you wouldn’t give you a passing glance.

I miss the variety of machines at 24 Hour Fitness. And the elliptical machines’ ability to move backward as well as forward. And their ability to move forward without screeching as if they’re being assaulted. And the Body Pump classes. But it’s hard to justify an 80-minute roundtrip on a bike.

Rocky’s gym wasn’t fancy, and he was pretty buff, right? Anyway, it’s more of a priority that I see than be seen. And that I get a kickass workout. And to be honest, I prefer Nane and the Bubbas at the Glenarm Rec.

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