My $49 per year gym membership was worthless after the gym closed down overnight without warning

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I used to think that my $49 per year gym membership was a great deal. I mean, it was cheaper than all the other gyms in the area, and it had all the amenities that I needed. Plus, it was close to my house, so I didn't have to waste time driving there. However, all of that changed when the gym closed down overnight without warning.

At just $49 per year, the new gym in town was a real deal. I signed up for an annual gym membership and vowed to get my money's worth in the first month of use.

I visited the gym a couple of times per week, including Sunday mornings, when it was quiet. The gym had all the equipment you'd expect from a boutique gym but at a bargain basement price. Sure, they didn't have a steam room or a sauna, but they had Nautilus equipment, free weights, cardio machines, and a charming glass-walled aerobics room.

It was everything I needed and nothing I didn't. Plus, at that price, how could I resist.

One Sunday morning, I showed up at the gym, and it was gone. The building was still there, but the doors were locked. Several other early morning gym-goers were milling around the sidewalk. They looked as confused as I felt.

I cupped my hands and pressed them against the window, cutting the glare of the early morning sun to look inside the locked gym. It was empty. The carpet was ripped up where machines had been removed, and oh, they had ever been removed. The place was empty inside save for scattered bits of garbage and the aforementioned torn carpet.

The gym had disappeared overnight without a trace.

The disappearance made the news. Multiple locations of the same gym had closed their doors between closing time one night and opening hours the following day. They left customers grumbling about the loss of their gym and losing their forty-nine bucks.

I never really got my money's worth out of that gym membership. I used it a lot in the beginning, but after a few months, my visits became more sporadic. Work and family obligations take precedence over working out sometimes, but even if I had been going to the gym religiously, three or four times per week, I still would have only racked up about $4 worth of visits. That's not even enough to buy a cup of coffee these days.

In the end, my $49 per year gym membership was worthless. The gym closed down without warning, leaving me and other customers out in the cold.

We weren't out of a life-changing amount of money, but it still stung because a company that knew it was in financial trouble had taken advantage of us and simply closed its doors with no warning.

Have you ever had a similar experience? Let me know in the comments below.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

Massachusetts State

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