Joining a gym has to be one of the most uncomfortable things to do this side of buying a car or going to the dentist. The pricing plans are opaque, the people are usually sleezy, and the after-sales support is almost always non-existent. There are exceptions, I'm sure, but my experiences have been uniformly bad. Anyway, I got the unpleasantness over with today. I needed to join somewhere, as I get off work too early to go running and live too far from a good park. It's hard to run in Houston before 7pm, and I can't stay at work that long when I get there at 6. My choices were Bally's, 24HR Fitness, and the Houston City Club, which is basically located in my building. Bally's and 24hr were the same price and convenience, and so I prefer Bally's because it's slightly less of a meat market. The City Club would have been great except they wanted $75/month (I would have paid it), $100 upfront (for a 3 month membership!?!), and $20/month for a locker. $150 at Bally's or $400 at City Club? Not a hard decision.