Don't feel like you've missed the boat already...couldn't be further from the truth. You are currently near the peak of your body's production of growth hormone and testosterone, both of which greatly amplify whatever level of effort you can put into this.
Keep this in mind as a motivator. Take the most advantage that you can of this window. You've got about 10 years to build a good base with these advantages. Then you gradually need work both harder and smarter to get the same results.
CHIdude makes a great point. The eye candy alone is worth the price of a membership somewhere. It's another motivator for maintaining a routine and goal setting. I used to live in Seattle and then near you. LA Fitness at Mill Creek has some of the most beautiful men I've seen in a gym. If you can swing $30 month, it's only a few minutes away, and one of the best values out there. Not sure about the financial commitment?..LA, and a half dozen others in the area will give you anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for free to try. Try them all, in sequence, and before you've finished up at the last one, you'll be getting phone calls from all the others, sweetening the deal they offered when you first walked in.
Joining a well equipped club like that has other newbie advantages too. They have circuits of machines that safely work every major muscle group. Some people never move on from the circuit and still get great results. A pro will show you how to use them properly as part of free orientation, but they all have ez to read diagrams on them too. Don't let the learning curve delay you. You can jump right into the circuit without a lot of knowledge. Try them all, safely, with super light weights, or no weights, just to get the feel of the movements. It might feel silly at first, but hit them all and you'll be surprised how good a workout that can be when you're just getting started.
Don't be self conscious about the light weights. You will quickly find your favorite machines, build a routine, and start adding weights safely after you get the proper form down. Aside from all the buff dudes, what also gets me motivated is seeing all the newbies too...struggling with a hundred pounds they need to lose...or totally scrawny and weak...or the guy who finally quit smoking after his first heart attack. It's nothing to snicker at, and I've never seen that happen to anyone. I'm impressed by someone having the balls to take charge of is life and his health despite all the objections and obstacles and fear and ignorance. I've seen people make incredible transformations in just a few months. That initial success is very empowering and motivating. Have patience and do it right. NO INJURIES is your mantra right now. It's one of the top reasons people quit..along with the ass kicking you described from your current routine. 6 months from now you'll crave the burn, but it's working against your odds in the beginning.
You can take this as far as you want...all the way to competition if that's your thing. The only thing stopping you, is getting started; and injury if you jump in too gung ho without knowledge and some basic conditioning.