Tuesday, January 03, 2012

My Life as a Movie : Dodgeball

Again I have been remiss in my posts. It’s not for lack of things to say… I’m sure there are many who would readily debunk any rumor to that effect. However, two things have been swimming around in my head and I wanted to write about them. One of them will be a separate post. The other is just a series of observations that I want to somehow record.

Whenever I move, one of my first orders of business is to find a gym. I tend to go a lot, especially in the winter, and I do pretty serious evaluations of prospective clubs. I feel I have become something of a connoisseur. (Sidenote: I am thinking of adding this to my resume because it’s a pretty important skill that I think prospective employers would want to know about.) So after relocating to my beloved Old Town and then starting a new job, I was doing a lot of research again. The most surprising result of this research was the extraordinary parallels to the movie Dodgeball that started to appear. The movie became even funnier because the gym stereotypes hyperbolized in it, I found at least in the places I visited, were very real. And I have to think that this is not a unique situation.

Most recently I have visited a place in Old Town that was really the inspiration for this post. If it hadn’t been so uncannily similar to the film’s portrayal of Globo Gym, then I probably wouldn’t be writing right now. This particular gym is about two blocks from where I live and is brand spanking new, remodeled last year. It has all the latest equipment, gorgeous membership managers (both the men and the women are very pretty), super buff personal trainers walking around trying to get you to do a free session with them or take their class, they even have a movie night combined with a spin class on Friday nights (Great date night idea! File under: how to end your relationship). Their facilities are top of the line, gleaming and bright. I am pretty sure that I met White Goodman too. Though he seemed a bit more genuine and was not wearing a unitard, he DID have a handlebar mustache, he DID have highlights in his hair, and he WAS ridiculously jacked. I think my guy’s name was Bolt or something else straight out of American Gladiators. I was escorted around the club on the “VIP” tour, which is the tour they give everyone. And then I was told that I would get all kinds of discounts if I signed up that day. I have to wonder about the people who sign up no questions asked and don’t put up any resistance. Do people actually pay the first-quoted prices sometimes? Also, the fact that companies institute charges like an “enrollment fee” just so they can discount it when you sign up and make you feel good about yourself drives me bonkers.

The people I see frequenting this club are rich housewives, retired military guys, and young professionals. Everything seems so shiny and new. I find myself questioning things I have not questioned before: Are my workout clothes cute enough? (No, they are not.) Are the action figures… I mean, personal trainers watching my every move to make sure I am “maximizing my workouts” or “strengthening my core”? (maybe, I can’t tell… I’ve been reading on the elliptical but there’s always some freakishly tan person in a tech tee prowling). This is intimidating for someone like me for whom exercise is a very individual experience. It took me until this past year to actually enjoy an exercise class. I have found them helpful for getting out of a rut and changing things up. I think that it is probably helpful to be accountable to someone for reaching exercise goals and for actually getting stronger. Left to my own devices I would be happy just rockin’ out on the elliptical or the treadmill all the time. I think it is important to look outside yourself for help and to trust the counsel of others in this case and in others and that is something I am trying to take to heart for 2012. The only problem with doing so at a health club is that it comes at a hefty price.

I am thoroughly impressed with this place and have enjoyed my free ride there. I know it will soon be over but it’s been fun to see how the Globo Gym members of this world live. Now when I watch Dodgeball, I will appreciate it that much more.

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