Monday, November 19, 2007


In an effort to combine all of my various interests into one easy payment, I went to the gym at the Greene today to check it out. On their little survey of things you'd like to accomplish with your gym membership, I noted that they did not include "health reasons." They did, of course, include, "weight loss" and "weight gain." I suppose "health reasons" should have been covered by "cardiovascular fitness."


When I sat down with my poor little just-out-of-college gym monkey sales guy who showed me around, he checked over my reasons for coming in and did a double-take. I watched him do it, skipping over "weight loss" and coming back to it, stuttering, going back to "building strength" and "cardiovascular fitness" which I had checked, talking about those, and then warily coming back to fat loss.

"Are you interested in reducing your fat percentage or losing weight?" he asked, tentatively.

"Not really," I said. "If I lose weight while increasing my fitness level, great, but if I don't, it's really no big deal."

"Oh," he said. Long pause. I realized he had no script for that, particularly when talking to a female client. How often does a woman come into a gym and say she *doesn't* want to lose weight?

And it was like: Honey, I lost way too much of my life to that dull pursuit. I learned the thin=fit=good lie first hand, when I lost weight and everyone thought I was somehow spiritually good and greater, when in fact, I was dying. I got to eat like a normal person for the first time in my life, eat and not worry a moment about my weight, and you know what? I could only do that cause I was dying.

Not interested in that anymore. It's lost a lot of its luster.

I want to be strong.

"Oh, OK," he said, and moved on. But did, in fact, bring it up again some time later as we were walking around touring the pool and the squash courts.

"We do have personal trainers. I know you say you aren't interested in losing weight, but if you're interested in a nutrition plan or anything like that, our personal trainers can really help with weight loss."

"Great, thanks for telling me," I said. I'm polite when I need to be. He seemed terribly nervous about the whole thing, though, so I projected strength and competence, and talked about Chicago, South Africa, the rec center in Alaska.

What I'm looking for is someplace to go when I'm bored and it's cold and dark outside. Our house is pretty small, and with two jerks, two dawgs, and the Boyfriend coming around all the time, well, it gets crowded in here. I've been extra bitchy toward my roommates and the Boyfriend, and I have a feeling it has a lot to do with the fact that now that it's cold and dark, and I don't get outside enough, I don't ride my bike around as much, and just generally... yeah. I need some room to kick around.

I was actually pretty happy with the look of the gym. It reminded me a lot of the rec center at U of Alaska, where I pretty much lived for much of my dorm life. Alaska's pretty damn boring unless you're willing to get outside, and when it's fucking cold, you don't want to go outside. The problem I've discovered with my kickboxing gym is that it's not on a bus line and I'm paying a lot for classes without a lot of variety. I need someplace I can live all winter.

This place has a pool, tons of equipment, an indoor track, spinning classes, kickboxing classes, strength training classes, and much more. It might be the best place for me to spend the winter.

I need to run out some of this excess energy, and I want to feel strong again. It's time.

5 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Travis said...

So when do I get to come join in the exercise fun and get my ass kicked?

Oh.. and I wish I was there to see that guy's face when you started throwing the curve balls... hehehehe


Jackie M. said...

Poor guy. (And by "poor guy," I mean: "what Travis said.")

Bad Decision Maker said...

I love the incredulous reaction people have when trying to communicate (and often failing because it's so outside their realm of possibility) that yes, I am a woman, and I'm not trying to lose weight, just trying to get strong...

Good job for trying. Go kick some ass at the gym!

I tagged you in a meme...

Amylia said...

wow. eye opening.

kick ass, my love. kick ass. and don't lose a damn pound.

i love you.

Kameron Hurley said...

It's just very funny how we only have one "fitness" script, particularly for women, and in particular if you walk in and don't look like you're already a fitness competitor.

There's a very specific product that gets sold to women like me, and it's a product (weight loss), that I don't see a whole lot of value in.

What I see value in is awesome sexy muscles and a strong body that can *do* things and using less insulin and having fewer leg cramps cause I'm even more active. Non-activity, since being diagnosed, is sort of not an issue for me.