No one can say I am too lazy to join a health club. I just don’t often walk back in the door after joining. My list of health clubs I have joined is long and varied.
So why not talk about my work out history. Well we could avoid it but… oh well.
The Squat Thrust:
My first experience at working out, hard, was when I was probably 9 or 10. My brother and a friend informed the younger kids in the neighborhood that they were putting together a football team and a friend of theirs who lived around the block was putting together one on his street. We were going to play each other in a week, so it would be a long, hard grueling week of working out to get ready. We were all ready. All 4 or 5 of us. I don’t remember much about it, as it was mostly a haze of pain and sweat, but I do remember the Squat Thrust. Who the hell invented that, and why after being told to do it, didn’t we just quit and walk away? We were no quitters! I am not sure how many days it took us to start questioning why we never practiced football plays. I mean we only had a week. Finally, we figured it out. There was no real football team. There was no planned football game. It was just an example of the evilness of an older brother! As god is my witness, I’ll never do a squat thrust again!
In high school we could chose a new focus for PE every 6 weeks. One of the best to take, for girls: Weight lifting. The teacher who taught it was the ex-football coach who didn’t think girls could do anything. So he sent all the girls over to the gymnastics weight room, while he stayed over in the wrestling side with the boys. Maybe once, towards the end of the class period we would hear him coming up the steps, so then we would actually start lifting some weights, but mostly we sat around and talked. That’s my kind of weight lifting!
Curves and 7 Flags:
I started out in 2004 joining Curves. I needed to get back into shape and was so far out it wasn’t funny. Curves was a nice intro into starting over. After about 3 months, though, it was time for a bigger challenge and really the monthly fee to Curves was almost the same as to a large fitness center. This was really when I started to feel a change. I joined a women’s group called 20/20 (lose 20lbs in 20 weeks). I didn’t lose the 20 but once I combined it with Weight Watchers, the weight did start to come off. I was a member of 7 Flags for two years before I quit. The last 6 months some major changes in my life had taken place and I was getting pretty depressed. Coming home, eating a frozen pizza and not moving off the couch seems the best way to handle it all.
Floating from Health Club to Health Club:
After leaving 7 Flags, I joined the Y. It was a bit less expensive, and I had some family members that went there. It didn’t take me long to grow discontented though. I wasn’t going and I needed to make budget cuts. So The Y was gone.
Next a joined a small branch of one of the bigger places in town. It was a bit cheaper than the main place, and it was small almost store front. And each piece of cardio had it’s own TV. Great. For the week I went. After a month I canceled. I was so embarrassed by it, that I made up a medical reason to tell them, even though they didn’t ask.. I just offered it up.
Six months later I joined another store front place that advertized as the least expensive place in town. And it was. $20.oo a month. I joined on my 46th birthday. And then didn’t walk back into the place for another month. Maybe 2. No TV on each piece of cardio. That was really a reason to quit! So after having a membership there for about 3 months, I quit. Any excuse I could find to use is a good excuse.
Fitness World West:
Last winter a friend of mine was going to Curves and I knew that I desperately needed to do something. I had the money and was going to go to the Curves across the street from work and join. Except they only had a recording on their phone. I left a message and it took a day for them to call me back and to be honest, the woman who called didn’t seem to want me to join – no wonder they went out of business months later.
So I started calling health clubs and first called one of the older ones in town but had never been to before. I ended up going there. Fitness World West. It looked much larger from the outside than it does on the inside, yet it is a full service health club. I joined. I went once or twice. Of course I had signed a 1 year contract so I couldn’t just cancel after a month or so. So every now and then I forced myself to go, but I was lucky if it was every other week. I needed motivation. One day a sales person called me and wanted me to set up a meeting about personal training. I couldn’t afford it but went anyway. It was the best move I made. I needed someone to hold me accountable and even though I couldn’t afford to meet weekly, I did finally end up meeting with Amanda 2 times a month for a half hour each. So that was the big step.
However, it is also just the facility and the diversity of membership. Member of all ages and sizes. It’s not a place made up of skinny blonds and oddly muscular guys making plans for Saturday night. I’ve been to other clubs where after you join the sales person who signed you acts like they have never seen you before, but at FWW the guy who signed me up often walks over to me and asks how I am doing. The girl at the counter called me by name twice this week when I was leaving. It’s all those small things that count towards making a person comfortable and that helps get you back in the door the next time.
And the other important key:
A work out buddy. Whether is it someone you just work with or one of your closest friends. Maybe you only work out together once or twice a week, it still makes a big difference. I am lucky that my workout buddy is one of my closest friends. She was probably there for at least one of those “fake football” practices. She was the person I sat and gossiped with during high school weight lifting class. I know I will see her a couple times a week at the fitness center, and I know she will scowl at me a little if I admit to not getting there enough times that week!
Everything is in place.
So it seems like this time, everything is in place. I am at the right club. I have the right evil trainer. I have right friend to keep me honest. It seems like the stars are all aligned for success. Every thing seems to be in the right place. This time I shall do it.
Just don’t ask me what I ate for dinner last night!