Hi I'm an avid Gym user and have been for about a year. I try to keep a routine of going two to three times a week depending on work, other activities and of course bad cp days!!
I find it fantastic in terms of maintaining my level of fitness and mobility (which before I started to use the gym was really beginning to deteriorate) I also find it helps 'break up' tightness and spasticity. I also find it a brilliant social activity too... I have a few friends that use the same gym, and we go together, I have also got to know some of the staff and other people that go at the times I do, so am quite happy to go on my own.
My experiences of using a gym has been pretty good, I think it's important to 'shop around' to find a gym that suits your needs. There are three in the town nearest to me, two of which I found totally unsuitable as they are upstairs with no lift, and not spaced out very well, making them difficult to navigate safely for a wobbly person!! The one I use recently had a referb, and is really well planned out, although it is on three levels, the stairs are easy to get up and down. Communication is key when first looking at gyms, getting a guided tour by a member of the gym staff is a must! I came up with a exercise plan with my physio before I started even looking at gyms, so when I had my tour I could set out what I want to achieve from using the gym. It also makes the induction easier and less daunting! It's also good to be 'up front' about the help you may need when using the gym, I've found the staff to be very helpful in assisting me when I need it and I've picked up tips on how to get more out of my exercise routine when they've been helping.
I understand it can be daunting going into the gym, especially in the weights/resistance area where all the wanna be body builders hang out, but I good friend pointed out that they are to busy looking in the mirror to notice other people!!!!