Why I ditched SPAC and headed off-campus

    EAC not only offers tranquility, but also has a fancy lobby. Photo by John Meguerian / North by Northwestern.

    Production by Kristin Ellertson / North by Northwestern.

    SPAC makes me self-conscious. There are too many people I know or met randomly at parties, so much so that going to SPAC is like stepping into a world where Northwestern’s awkwardness is magnified by workout clothes and sweat. This presents me with a problem, because I love the gym; it’s the place where I de-stress and don’t have to think about anything. But after running into people I didn’t know very well while drenched and red in the face, I don’t feel very Zen anymore.

    So I joined the Evanston Athletic Club and fell in love on day one. A welcome departure from the show-offs at SPAC and the even bigger show-offs at Patten, EAC gave me a friendlier working space free of the unpleasantries I had encountered in SPAC. For instance, if I opted to take a kickboxing or spinning class, at EAC I had a closed room in which to work my heart out, instead of a space where everyone on the basketball courts and running along the track can stare at me. Kicking around is simply more comfortable and more fun without having to worry about who can see what you’re doing. Luckily, EAC give me all the closed private space I need for those high intensity workout classes.

    It also offers a space that’s less limited than Patten, not to mention more aesthetically pleasing. There are TVs on each cardio machine, plus two weight rooms, plus six big mats for floor exercises. And when it comes to yoga and pilates, EAC’s intimate space provides a much better environment than the drudgery of Patten. Brick and wood is much more conducive to reaching Zen than Patten’s gray warehouse-like walls.

    Regardless of all these great perks, the decision to move to an off-campus gym may be difficult. Finance, proximity and convenience are all very important factors. You really have to think about whether or not the monthly payments are worth it and if EAC is close enough to warrant the need for this change. But if you do decide to make the switch over to an off-campus facility, carefully consider the options.

    The YMCA is far from campus, more expensive and caters more to families, so steer clear. LA Fitness is a viable option but EAC has a much more intimate and nurturing feel to it. LA Fitness is kind of like SPAC on crack and they really push their personal training on members according to Weinberg sophomore Veronica Mendez. It’s a really nice space and it’s huge, but you can’t beat the intimacy of EAC.

    If you’re tired of the grungy awkwardness of SPAC, Patten and Blomquist (and you have the budget for it), try EAC. It’s adored by all who dwell there and is a favorite among Northwestern’s fitness-conscious women. Because wouldn’t you rather say hello to a few of your girlfriends than everyone who works out at NU while you’re getting your sweat on? My guess is you do, so think outside the Northwestern bubble and pick somewhere you can love to work out.


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