Always Real

The Health Club

I have a treadmill in my house.  And a recumbent bike.  And a BowFlex.  And free weights. And all kinds of other work out paraphernalia.  You would think that I would be in great shape because I can work out any time I want, right?  It’s all right here in my house.  I can work out at 2am if I feel like it!


That’s what I rationalized said when I purchased each of those things.  But you know what?  I never feel like working out at 2am.  Never.  Not even one time.  You know what I feel like doing at 2am? Sleeping.   And on those rare occasions when I do feel like working out and actually get on the treadmill?  Within five minutes someone needs me to do something, find something or wipe something. And that’s the end of my workout.


With that thought in mind, back in the fall, in November I think, I joined one of those big national health clubs.  I rationalized said that if I went there to walk on the treadmill that probably no one would make me stop to wipe their bottom or find their keys.


Then there was Thanksgiving.  And then Christmas.  And then I felt cruddy most of January and February. No treading happened here, there nor anywhere.


And now it’s March!


And I’m actually going to the health club!  Well going may be a bit of an over statement.  How many times do you have to actually go somewhere before you can legally say going?  Let’s just say that I’ve been inside the health club a few times during the month of March.  So then, using my calculator – so far — it’s only costing me $157 per workout!  That’s the kind of stewardship that makes Dave Ramsey’s tummy turn.


I’ve learned a lot about working out since I’ve been “going” to the club.  I’ve learned that you can watch any music video on MTV while listening to the B-52’s sing Love Shack on your iPod and it works.  Music videos do not make sense to me, so why not just watch them all to Love Shack? Come to think of it, Love Shack doesn’t make any sense to me either, but it’s got a beat you can tread to.  Love Shack works with Regis and Kelly, Rachel Ray pouring E-V-Oh-Oh, Television’ Telemundo game shows and a local TV anchor doing the hand jive with Barney – you know, big purple Barney?  On an unrelated side note, when you are a television news journalist and you are hand jiving with Barney at 9am, your career has gotten seriously off track.


The other thing I’ve learned is that the possibilities of looking ridiculous at a health club are unlimited, even if you are not hand jiving with a dinosaur.  Add questionable clothing choices, an iPod and shoe laces to the equation and you’ve upped your odds exponentially of making a fool of yourself.


Of course I could also do that in the privacy of my own home for free at 2am.


If you make a fool of yourself and no sees you, are you still a fool?  Philosophically speaking, of course.

28 thoughts on “The Health Club

  1. My wife begged me for years for us to join a gym. She went 3 times and know I go 5 times a week because I hated wasting the money.

    Now I’m ripped like Jean-Claude. No, not really.

  2. Okay, just burn me now because I am thoroughly jealous of your gym membership! A few years ago, I joined the Y, lost almost 100 lbs (the Y, and WW, are Very Good Things), and then…then, I got pregnant. And gained it all back.

    And then we moved to a teeny tiny town, with no health club (well, there is ONE, but it’s so small it doesn’t count, and there’s no childcare, and did I mention that I have three young children?), and…and I really, really miss the Y.

    The closest one to me is an hour away. I guess I’m going to buy an elliptical, but we also moved to a smallish house, so real estate for such things is already at a premium. But I have to exercise; I feel like I’m dying inside this body.

    So, go enjoy your workout. And burn a few for me, please would ya? 🙂

  3. Oh, this is hilarious!

    And my hidden talent is that I can make a fool out of myself at any time of the day.

    Perhaps not so hidden as I would like to believe.

  4. Last winter I was spinning 3-4 times a week. They closed (do to a new fancy pants new club). I bought one of the bikes and it’s sitting in the basement. When fancy pants club offered a special and I found out the director is the old spinning lady, I joined. Guess what….I go 3-4 times a week.

    There is something to be said for joint suffering.

    About your philosophical question….the chicken came first.

  5. Yes, I am still a fool. I don’t need to pay big bucks to a health club. I can do be a fool in the privacy of my own home — at 2am if I feel like it.

  6. You owe me $4.11, and I need you to do some wiping here on my computer screen. Since that’s now where my Caramel Macchiato is. I swear I don’t know why I bother visiting Starbucks when I know…KNOW that I’m going to read your blog.

  7. Now I am singing, “Love Shack PAUSE Love Shack!!” Does it have actual words or is it like Louie, Louie where the lyrics are nonsensical?

    I have to go to the gym. When I am home the looming laundry piles, and other piles O’ stuff prevent me from ever getting on a treadmill. Before ours retired to Goodwill, it made a great clothes hanger and general catch all.

  8. A few years ago, I learned a great truth about myself: I will not workout unless it’s fun. Fun is my primary motivator. And treadmills in my own house? Not so fun. But dancing to “Love Shack” with a bunch of other crazy people? Very fun and great exercise.

  9. I’m with Kelly. I can’t just walk on a treadmill, I die of boredom. I have to rollerblade or walk outside or ride a real bike or something. Of course, I’m also – still fat.

    The two MIGHT be related, I’m not sure.

  10. I bought the elliptical machine because it was cheaper than paying for a year’s gym membership, and like you, I could exercise at 2am! Or just in my underwear! Or sing Love Shack OUT LOUD while elliptical-ing!

    Except that when you only have one machine it gets really boring after a while, doing the same thing OVER and OVER and OVER…even while singing LOVE SHACK in your underwear.

  11. I go to the gym… five mornings a week at 6 am. I go because I am accountable. See, I have this friend that meets me there. If I don’t go and she does, then I have to explain what kind of a slacker I am. So we both go. And two times a week, when we swim, we get to sit in the hot tub at the end. Really, that makes it all worth it.

  12. The only way I’m managing to keep our gym membership is by reminding my husband that our health insurance pays for a chunk of it. But truthfully, I’m lucky if I go once/week. But I’m aiming for twice/week this week! I already have one visit in. I was so fit before I had a family! Maybe someday I will have more time for fitness again. Sigh.

  13. Yep, Love Shack can pretty much take care of anything. I’m all for anything that involves the B-52s! You just can’t be sad or lazy or depressed while listening to them.

    We used to turn the volume down on the TV and turn up the stereo, then laugh our heads off at newcasters seeming to sing a Bob Dylan or Jethro Tull song (the music my mom played when I was growing up).

  14. TIIIIIIIN ROOF… Rusted!

    That’s a song from my time, AM. I feel like watching Lost Boys and playing Donkey Kong now.

    And I’d love to say no to the last question, but in my case? Probably.

    Mr. Right tried to talk us into one of those memberships, but I’m really glad I held firm. It’s the only thing firm around here, but hey! At least I get to be this way for free and sans guilt!

  15. Is there a kids’ club at the gym? I used to go just so that somebody else could be watching my kid for an hour…

    ….until he got “kicked out” for climbing all over the place.

  16. I have a treadmill, stepper, a Nordic Trak, and a full set of “The Firm.” I don’t use them either. Fortunately, I have a lifetime membership at a local club, which doesn’t require annual update fees (they were pretty silly when I signed up a long time ago). So, I can NOT go there any time I want to.

  17. I miss the gym terribly! Paying that monthly membership really kept me motivated. Back in October of ’05, I woke up one morning and felt like I’d pulled something in my back. I took a few days to let it heal itself. By the end of the week, I realized I was pregnant. Then I had Wog. Haven’t darkened the doors since. Fortunately, I just paid by the month!

  18. LOVE SHACK! Love it! I’d work out to continous love shack, no problemo.
    We had to can our gym membership a few months ago, but if they played love shack continuously, I bet I would have kept it. 🙂

  19. I’ll never “do” the treadmill without a smile any longer…I’ll remember how funny you made it seem. thanks for the laugh. And note to self: A treadmill would become a gatherer at my house…I keep mine at the gym! And I have an exercise partner that keeps me going. Now THAT”S a good thing!

  20. This is NOT encouraging to me, because not only do we have all of the specialized workout equipment mentioned in your post, we are also building a special ROOM for said equipment. And for SOME odd reason, it’s taking us a sweet 4EVR to finish it. Maybe because when it’s finished, we’ll actually have to use it?! Anyway, I told my husband he’s not pounding one nail in the home theater room (that’s next on his list) until the exercise room is complete. Yeah, I’m sure he’s going to listen to me on that one….

  21. Your health club story sounds a lot like mine. I’m getting back into the routine, but I wish I hadn’t skipped those 3 months and gained that 8 pounds! Keep after it. 🙂

  22. Uh oh, by the end of that I think that you’re hinting at another “Trying to Walk with an IPod” incident. Please tell us that it didn’t happen again! And if it did, please tell us that too!

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