Monday, September 28, 2009

1st Day at the Gym... Still Living the Life of a Fat Girl

Well today was rather successful over all I have to tell you. However, I was blatantly reminded that I'm still a fat girl...

I dutifully printed my one free week pass to the health club/gym that I dread and arrived at the location around 11am. I walked in and was pleased that the space appeared to be remodeled since my last visit... which means no real visual cues of my past bad visits. Good start! I showed my printed pass to the gal behind the desk and she promptly brought out a guy who's sole job it seems is to sign up new members.

This guy.. let me tell you... appearance alone isn't what you'd expect as an employee of a gym. I'm all for equal opportunity employment... but this guy was short, old, had some kind of skin condition on his hands, and was SEVERELY overweight. I don't know, but if I owned my own gym, sure I'd employ him.... but not as the person my new customers would meet. I wouldn't even hire myself as that person. Anyway... I was a bit wary of his appearance before he opened his mouth, but then he pulled me into one of the offices and I was immediately put on guard. Anytime any of these types of organizations pull you into an office... be it a gym, or a dance studio... be ready to talk dollars and cents.

This guy started with trying to pull out his book of programs... I stopped him before he even had the book from one side of the desk to the other...

"Ok, before you go any further... let me tell you why I'm here, we can shorten up this conversation ok?" He stops, sets his little book of plans down... clearly he doesn't deal with people like me very often. :-)

"Great..." I say, seeing his response "....I'm here because I'm unemployed and I need to get out of my house, my father has been a member here since the doors opened, and I want to do the month to month membership, no strings attached because I don't know where my next job is going to take me."

He's a little surprised... "Ok.. so you want to do this plan..." and he pulls out the sheet with the month to month prices on it. " you want to do personal training?"

"Nope, just the membership."

This is where I almost lost my mind.. this guy.. this out of shape, homely, skin rash having guy gives me the once over... LOOKS ME OVER HEAD TO TOE... and says "No training...really?"

"No training... I've already managed to drop more than 100 pounds with ballroom dancing... I'm here because I can't afford dance right now and I don't want any weight to come back... I don't need a personal trainer...." I say with venom in every syllable. I can NOT believe that he just did that!!!

"Oh! well ok then... lets get you signed up." He tries to give me a high five, and I don't respond... the lines have been drawn.

I then realize that the ceiling above the office is open to all the other offices... because I hear someone cough back a chuckle from one of the other offices. Good...I'm glad someone heard me!

I then find out that not only do I have to still put up with this guy for a few more minutes...but I have to actually join and pay my money today, instead of waiting until the end of my free week. Once again... I'm irritated...

"Why does the month to month deal end today? It's not the end of the month..or even a Saturday... do you have this documented somewhere? I'm losing out on a free week if I sign up today."

Sure enough he shows me documentation that says the deal increases by $10 after today, so my head scrambles to figure out if I have the money to pay today. Turns out... I did.

My mood had clearly not improved, as I wrote my check for the first AND last month (also listed in the documentation) and I mumble something about still losing my free week. Then this guy says he'll give me a free personal training session.

"I'll take a free personal session sure..." I say as he's out the door to find the Training manager.

Moments later I'm met by the car salesman of personal training... oh boy... I've been through this before too... guard still up.. I shake his hand. This guy at least looks the part... he's good looking, really fit, and has that fake tan that would make any body builder (or ballroom dancer for that matter) proud.

"So what are your goals?" He asks me.

"To get out of my apartment and continue to lose weight while I can't dance." I reply

So we discuss real quick how much I have left to lose, and how I lost my weight so far. This guy is ready to take me out to the machines right now.. but I didn't want to do this today.

"Have you ever worked with a personal trainer before?" Typical question.. I get it...

"Nope, that's part of what my ballroom instructors do for me." I reply.

Basically I'm telling him without saying the words... I don't need your services...end of story.

I left the office with my free training session scheduled for 10am tomorrow morning... this guy is telling me "Well, Ballroom doesn't involve a lot of resistance that's probably where we're going to start you."

I wanted to tell him that Ballroom is FULL of resistance, leverage, and muscle control... but let him think what he wants....I'll tell the trainer I work with tomorrow that I know what I want to get out of this session... and I'll get it too.

After I left the office I went to the locker room, stashed my stuff and proceeded to pound out 50 minutes on the elliptical trainer, not NEARLY as intense as even 30 minutes of Ballroom dancing...but it got the job done. I then stretched, went home and rested, walked mom's dogs and returned to the gym to get another 35 minutes pounded out. My knees ache a bit... but I really needed all that. My goal is to be in that gym a minimum of once a day if not twice on most days, for the duration of my unemployment. No excuses.

Just goes to show you though... doesn't matter where I go.. I'm still reminded every now and again by the odd stranger that I'm still a fat girl... only they don't know who they're messing with. ;-)

I do however need to point out... that while there are a few similarities between the gym and a dance studio... I have NEVER been made to feel awkward or fat or out of place at a dance studio...not even when I was carrying an extra 100lbs, and THAT speaks volumes about dance studios and the honest professionals I know.

1 comment:

Agent66 said...

Kat - Gym life is tough, but it's better than no activity. I actually started there first to build up strength before I started dancing and it helped. I do have a good trainer though and look forward to the sessions which makes a big difference - doesn't sound like those folks at your gym know how to treat you very nice, but just stick with your cardio workouts and you'll do fine and don't have to deal with them. Of course I know you'd rather be dancing every day (me too), but GOOD for you to be doing something....keep it up. Agent66