Contrary to the expectations of the majority populace… and mainly myself… I did make it to the gym. As readers will recall, I had my momentary maniacal fit resulting in a gym membership and went so far as to purchase suitable attire and footwear. So far, so good. I half expected my determination to completely fail at that point. Good intentions count, right?
WRONG! My friend. I shall stand upon the gospel of good health and tell you that intention is only part of the formula! Can I get an ‘amen’? I tell you, my brother and sister couch tubers, we must also walk, run, and lift our less than firm physiques from the comfort of our chosen seating and move. Ye-eahsss!
So, against all my natural indolent tendencies, I did in fact go to the gym. I felt about as natural and graceful as a frog trying to dance Swan Lake. Thankfully, I had the moral support of a good friend who was able to show me the delicate technological procedures involved with using an elliptical machine. I am grateful for his patience as I stared at him like a monkey doing a math problem and nearly amputated an extremity as coordination was completely absent from my skillset that day (or any day really). I managed to get through 10 minutes of elliptical at the blistering pace of 4 miles per hour, all the while feeling not only the burn but pretty much like someone had lit my lower extremity completely on fire. However, as I said, I managed to complete the full 10 minutes (we won’t discuss the 3 minute cool down). Achievement unlocked! On to the circuit training.
For those unfamiliar with the lingo of the Dungeon of Torture, circuit training is a collection of weight machines and cardiovascular stations interspersed together and programmed to give you some resistance training for building muscle but also keeping the heart rate in the “target zone” to continue burning calories. Believe it or not (and I will assume you are believing as I am breathing and still in control of my physical movements enough to be able to type this), I finished this 30 minute ordeal as well. After a 5 minute cool down on a treadmill, during which I kept imagining myself tripping and being shot out towards the back wall, I made it home to collapse on the couch.
And like a complete moron, I went back the next day to do it all again. Yes, I did. That was five weeks ago. I decided it was time to unlock my next achievement. I scheduled an appointment with the personal fitness trainer. I am lucky enough to have a reasonable amount of intellect, and I recognize and read and research, but I still felt that consulting the expert would be the best way for me to gain the results I was hoping to achieve. She flattered me by saying that I was doing exactly what I should and only needed a few additions and tweaks to address my desired goals… And she assisted me in designing my own tailor-made system of torture designed to reverse time and gravity and turn my decrepit body into a temple worthy of worship… Ok, even I cannot keep a straight face for this, but hopefully, if I am very good and attend to my designed regimen, I will at least not have to purchase a whole new wardrobe to avoid indecent exposure charges.
At this same time, I had noticed a very large, brightly-colored poster plastered conspicuously in the gym that said that if I was a member of a certain health insurance that they would pay me to work out. Wait! What? I am a member of that health insurance. I actually work for the health insurance company as well. So, I can get money for this, too? I decided to check on this, though I suspected that my plan would not qualify based on the requirements indicated on the poster. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. So I called the toll-free number provided.
According to “Crystal *squeek*” who is the very perky representative of my insurance company’s Healthy Incentives Program, our employer is not eligible for that reward, but “We do have an impressive list of gym discounts to offer, can I walk you through our website?!?” (I swear I could see pigtails and pom-poms.)
Um… no, Crystal. so, what you are saying is that I work for the company and have our insurance coverage myself but am not eligible for a reward for trying to be healthier and a better example to our members?
“Um *squeek* ACME Insurance, Inc. [pseudonym, obviously] is, like, a really BIG company with lots of workers, and, like, ACME is only offering that for small companies.”
So, um Crystal? It was Crystal, right? [as opposed to Buffy, Muffy, or Elle] Does my gym have a discount on the list you mentioned earlier?
“Um… like, NO. Because your gym has such…low…rates… they really don’t have discounts.”
So, what I’m hearing is that I could get a discount from one of the expensive gyms, but the discount (if I’m reading you correctly) would still have my membership at a much higher rate than my current member ship of $10 per month… AND I would have to put up with douchebag muscleheads and spandex nazis?
“Um…wha…?” *cricket noise*
Nevermind, sweetie. You’ve been very helpful. Toddle off now and have a wonderful afternoon.
While this interchange might read to most as a frustrating display of unfair practice and a terribly rendered Valley Girl performance and evidence that the universe works against any financial breaks for the hard-working gal, I actually was just highly amused. Crystal really could not see why I didn’t want to take advantage of the gym discounts they offer. Apparently math was not her best subject. Rewards of a monetary nature might be nice, but ultimately were not the rewards I was expecting when I had my fit of madness and decided to become a denizen of the workout world.
As to those rewards, I am sad to report that I did not transform overnight into a supermodel. However, I can say that I am noticing other things, like the fact I can run a mile and a half without dying. (Always helpful in the event of zombie apocalypse and killer bird/bee/nature situations.) I still occasionally (as I integrate my individually designed plan into my workout each day) feel as if someone has substituted concrete into what was previously sinew, muscle, and bone, but overall, I’m feeling pretty good about this new thing. I have actually started having withdrawal if I have to change my routine and workout on different days than my usual schedule, and I actually found myself anxious and desperate to get to the gym on Monday after work as I was stopped by staff for a quick question. Hmmmm… something very odd here. I actually want to go to the gym. I suppose stranger things have happened, but I’m positive there are a few snowflakes in hell, now.