Monday, March 15, 2004

Your Money or Your Life

My arms are killing me.

Tanya and I went to Bally Total Fitness on Saturday and I still haven’t recovered. For those of you who don’t know, we joined a gym recently. And for those of you unfamiliar with Bally policy, whenever you sign up with one of their “pay-out-your-rear-for-three-years” plan you get a session with a personal trainer, “for free.” The design of this policy is to get you to pay for two months of personal training sessions. They figure that once you get the personal touch (figuratively of course) you’ll be hooked, and then you will pay for those as well as your gym membership.

Having a personal trainer would be great; the only problem is that two months costs about $13,000,000. (The nice thing about this price is that it makes the gym membership itself seem really cheap.)

So we went to the gym and met with our respective “trainers” and off we went. This is where I made my first and fatal mistake.

I hate going to these “membership perks” things, I know that they’re just going to try and sell me more crap. So I tried to be up-front with Esed. (abbreviated to protect his identity). I told him about three times at the beginning of the session that I was unemployed, hoping that he would get the picture and realize that I wasn’t interested in spending $13,000,000.

I think he got the picture.

These trainers don’t like wasting their time with people who aren’t going to buy their services. I realized that before I went in and yet I still opened my big fat mouth. He decides to start me off with some stretching (after asking me if I had any health problems that might cause me to drop dead as soon as I pick up a dumbbell). Simple enough. No real pain there.

But then, he decided to get me working on my shoulders.

I was in pretty good shape about seven months ago, but I haven’t been to the gym for a while. And the shoulder muscles just aren’t something that you work every day. I don’t know about you but I don’t spend a lot of time lifting things over my head over and over again. So, he makes me do 75 reps. on one machine, 60 on another, and then about 40 on another. All working my shoulder muscles. We did some curls too and some squats (just so my legs wouldn’t be let out the next morning).

At one point in the workout he said to me ”Hey man, don’t be embarrassed that you’re not lifting very much weight…”

Thanks Esed. You ass. I wasn’t embarrassed until you said something and I noticed that the whole gym was staring at me!

Two days later and I still can’t lift my arms over my head. I can’t straighten them either. I have to walk around looking like I’m doing the “I’m YOKED!” pose all day. Now I’m embarrassed.

I really don’t think that I’m yoked.

At the end of the session, after he stretched out my legs and after I almost fell down the steps, he didn’t even bother to try and pitch me the training sessions. But I’m sure that he smirked all the way to his stupid car.

I did go and sit in on Tanya’s pitch, after I overheard her trainer say to my trainer that she thought Tanya was going to buy.

Anyway, as I suspected, Tanya says “no” to the deal and this girl gets a little snippy:

“I teach kickboxing…”

“If money’s an issue, I have special authorization to only charge you [$10,000,000] if that would be easier...”

“It’s time to think about your health, you’re still young…well, you’re still
relatively young…”

“I know it seems like a lot of money, but it’s better to spend it now than in an ICU…”

Did she just threaten our lives with that last one?

Did we just almost get mugged this weekend at Bally Total Fitness?

You bet your life we did and if it weren’t for a well placed kick and my new-found “yokedness” we would have never escaped with our credit.

Screw you Bally! There are no winners here. You don’t have our money and I now have the arms of a T-Rex and need Tanya’s help to put on my jacket. Jerks.

Fun Fact: Pillsbury's new Ready to bake Big Delux Classics Peanut Butter Cup cookies are very tasty. But just because you go to the gym doesn't mean that you can eat half the package at once! (sorry, that's more for me than you)

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