I joined the New York Sports Club two weeks ago. If you read this then you'd know that. But before I decided to fork over $86 a month to NYSC I went through a phase where I absolutely wanted to join the gym that was right near my office in New Jersey. My reasoning was 1.) it was in the same plaza where I go to Weight Watchers so I can go get weighed in and if I happened to gain weight that week bop right over to the gym and punish myself on the medevil torture device Elliptical and 2.) I was certain I needed a gym that was close to my work because honestly? Once I get home, I'm home.
So I scoped it out, went for an informational session and set up an appointment later in the week to come back and have a free session with a personal trainer.
The Tuesday of my training session rolled around. I dressed in my favorite boot cut black work out pants and Patriots t-shirt. I was pumped! I mosied over to the gym and said hi to the twelve year old working the desk and told her I had an appointment. She had braces and huge eyes like a Kewpie doll.
"Hi Lischa, I'm Jen*," she had one of those speech impediments where she talks like she has excess saliva in her mouth. A "slurpie" I believe you'd call it?
"I'm your trainer! I'm going to be working with you!"
Um...is this like even legal?
"Oh...Ok!" I feigned excitement. What I really wanted to do was just hit the treadmill and hit it hard.
"Let'sch take a tour of the gym."
We ambled down the hallway, all the while Jen was going on and on about the machines. All of which I'd seen before.
"Scho what made you schign up?"
"Well I moved here a few months ago and I needed a gym closer to my work ya know? Things are so busy that I need to just go right from work to the gym or else I'll fall asleep!"
"Oh I hear you!"
"Is this your full time job?"
"Oh no. I'm schtill in high school."
"Scho here isch the locker room and thisch isch where we'll do your firscht evaluation. I'll take all of your measchurmentsch!"
Taking my measurements. Jolly good fun.
Jen started to make idle chatter with me as she shuffled her paper work.
"Have you been to a gym before?"
What exactly was this bitch implying?!
"Have I been to a gym before? What does that mean?"
"I....I mean just some people have never been to a gym. Like I know 40 year old people who have never joined a gym."
"Yes I've been to a gym before. I know what the deal is."
I hopped on the scale. Earlier that day I went to Weight Watchers and they reported me as losing 2 pounds. Four hours later after eating a lunch of Lean Cuisine Sesame Chicken, I had gained back the 2 pounds plus 2 more. Hmmm....I mean I'm no weights and measures professional but that sure doesn't sound right.
"Ok Lischa. Now we're going to take your measchurmentschs."
I stood with my legs hips width apart and my arms out stretched.
She measured my calves first (respectable), then my thighs (thunder) then my hips (child-bearing), arms came next (we all know how I feel about my arms) and finally my chest.
"Ooook Lischa now for your chescht I'm measchuring at 42 inchesch."
"Wow. Forty-two inchesch....I'm like negative 42!" Jen looked down at her own pathetic chest which resembled a surf board.
"Oh there there. I wouldn't be too jealous. Most of it is back fat anyway."
I found myself folding my arms over my chest. This was becoming like an awkward puberty scene in a made for TV movie where one girl develops faster than the other girls and they are all in awe of her huge boobs.
"Ok scho now we're going to take your blood presschure and finisch your free schesschion!"
Back in the front room Jen took out the digital BP machine. As she placed the cuff on my arm I made idle chit chat with her.
"So you live around here?"
"Yesch I live in Edischon."
"What year school are you in?"
"I'm a Schenior."
"Yeah? What do you want to go to school for? Physical therapy?" I figured the girl is a trainer she must want to do something athletic with herself.
"No, I want to go for Journalism?"
I was just about to ask if she wanted to be on TV (I mean the lisp...) when the machine bleeped and my pressure was displayed.
"Uh oh. That'sch a little high. I have to aschk my colleague if you're allowed to work out?"
"Excuse me?" I looked at the number. It was elevated above a normal 120/80 but only by a few points. I wasn't rocking a 160/118.
"I'll be right back."
I figited. I really just wanted to break a sweat tonight ya know?
Jen came back. "I'm schorry Lischa but you can't work out today. You're a liability. If you want to join the gym you have to have your doctor schign this note."
I stood there, mouth agape. I was being told by a senior in high school that I was what? Too unhealthy to work out?!
"I'd like to speak to your manager please."
"There isch no manager on duty. Juscht another trainer."
"So you have no one in charge?"
"Do you have any one on staff who is above the age of 17 who maybe has some medical know-how that I could speak with?"
This was horrifying.I was being told by someone who couldn't even vote that I couldn't work out. I was fuming, probably raising my blood pressure to an actual unhealthy level.
I grabbed my things and left, called everyone I knew and told them about my horrifying experience.
The next morning I joined the NYSC in Hoboken and now I have C-wow as my gym buddy. I can't believe for a schecond that I actually thought to join a gym that turns people away!
Interestingly enough, Ikeep getting email blasts from that place and I emailed them back today telling them to take me off of their list because I would never be returning there.
The manager emailed me back today telling me I was harsh and would I please elaborate on my experience.
I told her that her facility is not a place I care to put any more effort into and to never email me again. I'm sure I made my point.
* * *
*I think her name was Jen but honestly I don't remember.