Friday, August 20, 2010

On the gym

I think I mentioned that Bob and I joined the gym about a week before my 50th birthday.  It made sense.  We're both hitting 50.  We want to exercise, but we live in SC where it is at 80 degrees at 7 am for most of the year.  When it's cool enough to walk outside, it's too dark.  It wasn't working for us.  I'd thought about yoga classes, but the gym offers yoga among other classes and costs less.  There is that nasty 2 year financial commitment, but that's just incentive to work out, right?


And anyway, Gold's Gym, which we joined had just hired my daughter-in-law.  That didn't work out, so now I feel free to tell the story of the fitness trainer who I thought was going to help me learn to use the machines.  Silly me.

OK, so I go in and the woman I'm supposed to see isn't there.  It turns out I'm scheduled for Saturday at 9 am not Friday.  OK, that's not going to happen, I say.  So they set me up with a guy for Friday afternoon. 

I'm thinking he's going to weigh me, talk about goals, show me how to use the machines.  No.  We did talk about goals, but I'm not sure he heard me.

D: so what are your goals?

Me:  I want to be healthier.  I'd like to lose weight...

D: how much?

Me:  About 50 lbs.

D:  (Raises eyebrow)

Me:  That puts me in a healthy range and if I lose too much weight I'll be all wrinkly.  Like Nancy Reagan.

D:  OK.  (Writes: "Lose 60 lbs." on my goal sheet.)

Me: (Eye roll.)

D:  (Long and boring spiel about rates for personal trainers who will "Kick my butt" and get me into shape.)

Me:  I don't want anyone to kick my butt.  I'm 50 years old.  I want to use the treadmill and the girly weight machines.  Can you show me how to use those?

D:  (More crap about personal trainers, kicking butts, and rates "you can't beat")

Me:  (Eye roll.)  OK, well let me talk to my husband about this.

D:  Oh (eyebrow raise) did you ask your husband if you should buy those shoes?

Me:  (Double eyebrow raise and expression that everyone who knows me knows means get the hell out of my way but D. thought meant he'd brow beaten me into submission.)  (Like the brow pun?)  No, but my shoes don't come with a two year contract.

Then, just because he'd pissed me off, I explained to him that as an INTP on the Meyers-Briggs scale, I tended to believe people who I liked and because of socialization, I tended to want to make people happy.  And that now that I was 50 I'd finally figured out that I needed to walk away from long-term commitments and talk the decision over with other people who would help me put things in perspective.  His gaze went blank, and when I finished, he said, "Well let's workout then."

He did NOT show me how to use the treadmill or elliptical machine, which are much more complicated than they sound.  He showed me one weight machine, but didn't really help me use it, he just adjusted it.  And he had me do these awful squats and weight things.  Then I left feeling kind of crappy about the whole thing.

In fact, I couldn't get out of bed the next day.  My legs would not move.  By Sunday, I could walk, but almost died during the service (Episcopalian calisthenics.)  Morgan laughed at me every time I moved from sitting to standing to kneeling.  The 90 year old people pushed me forward during communion (not really, they were very patient.) 

Bob went to visit D on Saturday and he missed work on Monday.  Why in the world would D think it's a good thing to work two middle-aged people who admitted they hadn't been in shape since the last century (or their last incarnation, in my case) to the point of near-crippling?  Did he think that would make us want to jump up every morning and get our butts kicked again and again?  Personally, I can think of a lot more interesting ways to inflict pain on myself.

Maybe he wanted us to be so miserable, we don't use the gym again, now that they have our two year financial commitment and they still get the money whether we show up or not.   Probably not, I don't think he thought that much.  I think he believes everyone wants to get their butts kicked by muscle-bound personal-like trainers.  Maybe he's INTP and that's his world.

In any case, we went religiously for a week after we recovered.  Life intervened and we haven't been back for two weeks.  We will start again on Monday.  Me on the treadmill reading my Barnes & Noble Nook and Bob on the elliptical watching FOX news alternated with the Morning Joe.  And if we see D, all of us will pretend we have never been through that embarrassing little S&M episode.  At least I will.  I think D has forgotten us already.  I feel so... cheap.


Martha said...

I avoid personal trainers just because of this reason.
You should ask this loser if his mom still picks out his shoes and clothes!!

Kim said...

I hope you complained to the management. He clearly did not listen to a word you said. I might mention law suit - he could have caused really serious damage. A good PT would teach proper techniques and move at the appropriate pace. Good luck. Don't give up because D is a jerk.