Today I joined the gym. A gym for me is like that short haircut that I promise to keep up and style everyday, but ultimately end up resenting. I am not at an age where skipping the gym is necessarily funny business...but this is my blog so here was my experience with joining the gym...
First of all, I want to go into the gym, have someone point out equipment and hand me a price sheet. That is all. You don't have to show me 3D images of a clogged artery. If I step foot in the gym...I'm most likely going to join. I don't need Timothy the ex Kia dealer and Kara the scary trainer woman with an accent of some kind to get me into a closed office, lower their voices and start off their pitch by telling me how scary the fitness assessment is going to be and that it will be really eye opening once I see for myself that I need to workout. Apparently, they thought I was in denial...and that I don't have a scale and a mirror at home. Also, they did not drag me out of an all-you-can-eat buffet with a chicken wing in my mouth and into a gym against my will. I walked into the gym to join. I get it. I need to workout.
Before I even got a tour or pricing, Kara tried to set up my assessment for the next day with Timothy speaking in soft soothing tones about someone he knew slipping into a coma and dying of diabetes. It was all very confusing...I felt like I'd been slipped a fitness Roofie. Finally I got my senses together and interrupted their two person one act intended to confuse by practically shouting,"WAIT." They both looked at me.
"I don't want a fitness assessment. I haven't even joined yet. I just want a tour and a price sheet. Let me join before you caliper my fat. " That is, after all, personal and something I only allow someone I'm paying $60/month to do to me.
Clearly I had ruined their flow.
Timothy told me that I was worrying too much about equipment and money. They were worrying about me as a whole. Yes, Timothy I'm sure you were more worried about me than my membership dollars or your quota. I could feel that as you were trying to sign me up for free personal training sessions and name a sandwich after me in the cafe before I signed anything or handed over my check card. I could feel your concern as you were trying to terrify a membership out of me by throwing out phrases like cardiovascular disease and death by obesity.
"Look," I explained. I just want to see the machines, the childcare and I NEED TO KNOW THE COST!
To which Timothy responded, "You can afford it."
I almost walked out. I just wanted to pay 'not an arm and a leg' and use a treadmill in peace a few times a week while my son was tucked away somewhere playing. I didn't care that Kara had trained some higher up at Monster.com.
I should mention that the opening monologue that Kara shared with me about her history as a trainer was about a client she had trained one day who refused to have his picture taken in a 'before' shot because he said he was being hunted by the people he confiscated hundreds of pounds of cocaine from (not making this up, people). When I asked her if she thought he was just kidding to get out of the photo, she replied in total seriousness that he told her all about Splenda and what was in it and what it did to your body and she added that people just don't know that kind of stuff. I did not further question the plausibility of this story from someone who was so worried about a "hit" that he refused inter-gym pictures but was fine with openly sharing his status with his trainer. Why would I? The man knew everything there is to know about Splenda. That's drug bust expert confidential info. Everyone knows that...or doesn't as the case may be.
Also, do I want to join a gym where there might be a shoot out? I'm thinking that I don't.
After I refused to schedule my assessment on the spot, Kara left the room and Timothy looked completely annoyed and bored with me. He walked me around the gym, looked at me every now and then and asked, "What else do you want to see?" I had driven off the lot with his sales pitch and he wanted me to sign up and go.
And sign up, I did. Why? It had a great facility and the price was right. I think I will have to low crawl past Timothy and Kara from now on, but it is a sacrifice I think I can make.
*Names were changed!