So I joined a gym recently. It's a Gold's Gym, and it's not quite finished, so I got a lifetime membership for next to nothing, since that's exactly what there is of the gym at the moment. Next to nothing involves ten treadmills, five elipticals, and a whole pile of weight machines crammed into an unairconditioned room roughly the size of my open concept livingroom/kitchen.
I joined not because I'm heavy (I am) or because I'm out of shape (I am.) I joined because I won a drawing at my favorite Starbucks, which happens to be in the parking lot of said gym. I thought it was a years' membership, so I showed up to meet with the salesperson. That's when I learned a very important lesson.
Don't give the gym your actual phone number.
I didn't care for W (Names have been virtually deleted to protect me from retibution on the bicep curl machine) the salesperson. He was very high pressure, SUPER high pressure. I had to SIGN UP TODAY or I would RUE MY LIFE. (Okay, he didn't use the word rue. I doubt he would know what it means. Not a bright boy, our W.) I joined, under the promise that I would only be charged $29.99 for the first month and THEN NOTHING ELSE until October. (By then I'm sure I'll have forgotten I joined a gym, which is when they make their money.)
Well, W isn't so good at paper work and instead of $29.99 they charged me $108.99. And let me tell you, getting a refund from a gym is like getting a teen boy out of bed before noon. It can happen, but it isn't going to happen quickly, and you're going to have to do all the work. It took two solid weeks to get back the errant cash they stole in thirty seconds. (Oh, but they were more than happy to offer me more free months instead!)
Then I got to meet with S, the personal trainer. See, my new membership treated me to two free sessions with S, the personal trainer. The first one, I'll admit, I was in a foul mood because, well, I was. But S was calming, friendly, professional, encouraging. So I showed up for the second session, thinking it would be more talking. I think I wore sandles.
Session two was a bit...different. First of all, S was eating a donut and drinking a shake. I wanted to lecture S on the evils of bad food choices, but, well, he's built pretty much like Rob Pattinson without the British accent, so I kept my comments to myself. Even when S belched donut breath all through the session.
We started on the treadmill. 20 mintues on the treadmill at a pace I can only describe as HOLY CRAP THAT'S FAST! I informed S that I was not in training for the Iron man, I just wanted to drop some weight and fit into my fat clothes better. He belched donut crumbs and jacked up the speed.
After gassing me on the treadmill, S moved me to the weight machines. Here I learned that S can count to twelve. I wasn't sure. But count to twelve he did, as I pumped something akin to iron on the new, state of the art ergonomically wonderful weight machines. S asked me what I did. I told him I was an author, and my first book was coming out in April. (4.23-2010.. Dream in Color!) S was impressed and asked me what the book was about.
Now, when answering that question, I generally have a standard answer, "It's a romantic comedy about a woman in her thirties chasing after her dream man, an aging pop star, ala Rick Springfield."
S looked puzzled...."Rick who?"
If I hadn't been on rep #6 I would have let go of the handles.
I explained who Rick springfield was. Boy toy S still looked puzzled as he belched another cloud of donut crumbs. He looked over his shoulder at another fit Peter Pan type and asked him if he knew who Rick Springfield was. Boy toy #2 said no. But the fluffy woman he was torturing in some sort of medievil stretching rack perked up and said, "Oh yeah, I just saw Rick at Potowatami!"
Sensing a soul sister, I started chatting about Rick and his upcoming State Fair appearance and where she could get tickets. Both boy toys looked horrified. "DON'T STOP LIFTING!" S shouted in a blizzed of donut crumbs. "You can talk, but you cannot stop lifting!"
S takes the fun out of everything. So I finished his Marquis de Sade style work out. I then spent the 4th of July weekend unable to straighten my arms without screaming in pain.
But I'm a trouper, sort of, and I went to another workout on my own. Remember when I said the AC in the place isn't operational yet? yeah, imagine the worst stink EVER, now triple it, and that's what a crowded workout room smells like in July when there's no AC.
But work out I did. And when I got home, there was a phone message from the gym, from S, asking me to spend another $300 on more training sessions with him.
Yeah, I have to pay more money to be abused? My mother does all that for free!
Then there was a message on my machine from someone else reminding me about working out over a weekend.
Well, it's summer, which means my kids don't have 8 hours of school to keep them busy and I have to get them places. Workout time is at a minimum at the moment. So I haven't been back in about ten days.
A fact which hasn't gone unnoticed by the gym...who called me again last night.
Seriously, all I wanted to do was join a gym so that I could exercise a little more than I do now. They promise me a pool soon, which I'm jazzed about. But do I need constant phone calls? Do I need to be reminded that I haven't been in? I know I haven't been there...I know exactly where I've been! I don't need a phone call to tell me I haven't been to the gym. My boss is really good at telling me what I've been doing or not doing.
So the gym is stalking me. I'm probably going to have to change my number...or maybe if I send a box of donuts to the trainers, they'll leave me alone.