Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: I cannot and will not refer to the Grad Center gym as the “Bear’s Lair.” I refuse on principle. The principle being that that name is terrible. I have not heard a name that I have hated that much since my parents gave me the middle name Weidman (also potentially spelled Wiedman, I’m not sure).
Since returning from winter break, our lovely Providence streets have been defined by two things: black ice and the blood of its victims. Which brings me to my flog within a flog: people who don’t shovel their sidewalks. It is these individuals who are to blame for our treacherous walks. They didn’t shovel their sidewalks after that first snows weeks ago, the snow proceeded to freeze when the temperature dropped, and poor pedestrians are now confronted with sheets of ice impossible to traverse with the boots of mere man. These people are the worst of the worst. I mean, I know that at home my dad would ask me and my sisters to shovel at least three times before he would just do it himself because THAT is what it means to be a good Samaritan. But I digress.
The point is that, for those who value their lives, the number of recent days fit for running outside has been
nonexistent limited, to say the least. Luckily, alternative exercise opportunity can be found at The Happiest Place on Campus: Grad Center.
Your journey begins with a giant spiral staircase made of concrete. Nothing says welcome like the knowledge that if you lost your footing you would, without a doubt, die. After scaling these infinite stairs you wonder if you even need to workout anymore. Just getting up those had to be like 100 calories, right? But you’ve already risked life and limb to be here. You press on to the interior.
The interior of the Grad Center gym can only be described as gray. I’m not sure that anything in the gym is actually the color gray, but the word does wonders to sum up the overall aesthetic and tone (note to high schoolers: gray is an acceptable tone, use freely on the SATs). The room with the treadmills and ellipitical machines is literally surrounded by a perimeter of metal bars. How cutting edge.
As far as interior decorating goes, giant concrete pillars pepper the room for a sort of post-modern look. It is important to note that just on the other side of the staircase is the weight room with the exact same pillars painted charming shades of yellow and blue. Did the budget run out before all of the pillars could be painted? I personally will put up my thousands of dollars tuition in order to finish the job and paint these pillars literally any color. Is that too much to ask?
But far and away the biggest grievance to be had with the Grad Center gym is the machines. If you have been to the Grad Center gym in the past few months you already know where this is going. And that is straight to the fact that this gym currently has NO working machines. The literal only thing that can make running worse is finally mustering up the energy to journey to the gym only to have to wait 20 minutes crouched in the corner ready to jump at the first available treadmill. That, or finally getting that treadmill only to have five waiting students crouched in the corner watching you run, judging your pace, and silently wishing you would pass out so that they could have your machine.
The only good thing about the lack of working machines is that it becomes blatantly obvious who frequents the gym and who hasn’t been since October. These poor souls will walk past all the awaiting runners, right up to an elliptical that has been out of commission since the fall, and proudly attempt to turn it on. The look of embarrassment on their face when they realize that not only does the machine not work, but that everyone else already knew that, is truly priceless. The only other good thing about the lack of working machines is that it becomes very apparent who is literate and who is not. “OUT OF ORDER” does not mean “Feel free to press all of the buttons at least once because who knows!” I don’t care if you’re an engineer, I don’t think the problem is that no one has tried pressing “START” before, I think it’s the fact that a portion of this treadmill is literally missing.
Speaking of “OUT OF ORDER,” who is the PE Staff? I’m pretty sure the closest thing we have to a physical education class is Mande.
I appreciate that they appreciate my understanding, but I would appreciate it more if they at least pretended like they had any intention of fixing the broken machines.
And speaking of imaginary people, who is this “attendant” that magically has the pins to the universal machine? In fact, what does anything in that sentence mean?
In short, the Grad Center gym is a strange, gray, dysfunctional concrete place. Nevertheless, I’d still rather wait an hour for a single functional treadmill than walk all the way to Nelson.