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What was once a three-room gym - spacious everywhere, with each machine and bench surrounded by enough room to walk and stretch - has been stuffed into two rooms. The former treadmill area has been bricked off and presumably sold or rented to a new tenant in the strip mall.
I watched over the course of a recent week as the owners or managers - not sure who they were - tried to floor-plan and figure where to fit all the machines.
Their goal appeared to be saving all the equipment if not the comfort. All the machines I use in my workout remain, and for that I am grateful.
But now I can hear the music spill out of other exercisers' earbuds. Smell their sweat. Sometimes feel their breath. When I walk from machine to water fountain, sometimes I bump an elbow or shoulder.
Maybe it will all balance out: If gym membership falls along with discretionary spending, a smaller gym will be big enough.