Club 24 in Hermiston, I'm finally ready to take some action, and I will adhere to your terms.

After four months of not being able to bust a great sweat on my favorite exercise machines at Club 24s around the Tri-Cities, I have finally succumbed to the idea that if I want to get my tried and true quality workout done inside, I'm going to have to wear a mask.

Long before the pandemic, I would see patrons at Club 24 wearing a special looking type of mask, like what a fighter pilot might wear in the cockpit of an aircraft. I'm sure it was some sort of altitude simulation, regardless, I'm confident there was a reason for their funky looking mask and no one ever croaked when I was there.

Two things actually pushed the scales. The first was the scale. COVID-19, I'm blaming you for gaining almost 20 pounds, something's gotta give and the second thing was a feature I came across about a doctor in northern England who ran 22 miles with a mask on, and had a fingertip monitor to register his oxygen levels, to prove wearing a mask while exercising, even vigorously, did not deter the O2 needed to deliver the physical quality of the workout. He recorded that oxygen levels, while masked the whole time during his runs, never fell below 98% of what it would usually be.

The sheer discomfort of heavy breathing compounded by the inherent challenges of a wearing and keeping a mask on for an extended period of time is a real time pain in the wazzu, and would normally be out of the question, but then I remember the times in which we live and I'm like, whatcha gonna do? Gotta mask up for a sweat down.

Getty Images John Pratt

Columbia Basin Club 24 members are welcome in Hermiston, your de-activated card for the Tri-Cities clubs won't work until you get there during normal business hours, M-F 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to square away your card situation. The club can accommodate up to 100 people, no appointment necessary and once your access card is re-instated, you can use the club anytime around the clock.

It's time.