March 16, 2014

fit to be tied

I have a little story about my gym experience,
or rather,
"How to feel worse walking out of the gym than when you walked into it."

I've been having a rough time.
The last 5 months have been really hard
and I have been feeling physically and emotionally weak.
I decided to join the gym because I needed something new
 and challenging
and positive
 to put my energy into.

I have a goal and I'm committed.

When I went to tour the gym
I brought a friend with me
because I have a really hard time saying no to people.
I totally cave in high pressure situations
 and I needed someone to say
"We'll think about it"
and walk me out the
before I signed on the dotted line.

When I went back to sign the contract and hand over my credit card,
the guy said that I get a free assessment with my membership
and when would I like to meet with the guy?
I was on vacation the next week so I thought
I would come down then and get it out of the way
so I could start my workouts on the Monday.

The day came and I went.
The guy was nice.
He asked me a lot of questions -
what my goals were
what I was looking for?

I had questions.
I answered his questions.
He did my weight and BMI
and told me what I should shoot for.
He took me through a bunch of exercises to test my endurance.

I did ok on some.
Terrible on others.

He put me on a couple machines
that I was unfamiliar with
so I felt a bit foolish.
He pointed out my inadequacies
and by the time we were back in the office, I felt like I knew nothing
(which isn't true. I'm rusty, but I don't know nothing.)

So - would I feel comfortable working with someone?
Well sure.

Next thing I know,
there's some other guy in there
 laying out the costs of working with a trainer
(bait and switch? Yes. I think so.)

I don't dispute the value of a trainer
but it would have quadrupled my monthly gym costs
and considering I hadn't done a single workout yet,
I wasn't ready to shell out more $$.

I told the guy that I would have to talk it over with my husband
(thinking that most couples discuss financial choices before making decisions)
but he responded by saying
that my husband would have to "let" me
or basically approve the cost.

(I went with that.
Fella isn't like that,
but what difference did it make it this guy knew that?)

He understood.

He offered me a once in a lifetime deal of one free session with a trainer
(he didn't say it was once in a lifetime. That's just what I heard.)
I said that I wouldn't sign up for a year of training sessions with someone I hadn't even met.

I had done well up to this point.
I questioned him.
I doubted.
I said no.

But then

He said that we would give me the one free session
but I just had to sign this contract to "hold my spot" with the trainer.
I asked him why I had to sign it if I wasn't committing to signing on with her.

I got a look.
And he was insulted.
He didn't like what I was implying.
Would he do that to me?
He wouldn't do that to me!
He's not that kind of guy!
Come on!

I don't know if I was just tired and / or defeated by that point
but I signed the damned contract.

I went to the locker room
and got changed and left.
I felt terrible.
Really, really terrible
and stupid.
Like I'd been completely duped.

I went to the lobby of the building and called Fella.
Told him what happened.
His question -
"why do you have to sign something that's free?
Did it say it was free on the contract?"


"Go back and get the contract. Now."

So that's what I did.
I went back upstairs and asked for the guy.
He came towards me when he saw me
 and I started shaking my head.

"It's a no-go," I said.
"My husband said I can't sign on with a trainer."
(why not say that? Takes the blame off poor little me.)

"So I'll need that contract back."

He shook his head and I followed him back to his office.
The contract was still laying on his desk
and he pick it up and I held my hand out.

He wouldn't give it to me
but he did tear it up.

Thanks Winston.

I left and felt like such crap.
Honestly, I felt like a total putz.

I told a friend the whole story a couple of days later.
She said -
"Why focus on how stupid you felt that you gave in to his high pressure tactics?
It took more guts to go back and make him tear up the contract."

Um, because that's what I do.....

Why am I sharing this story?
Because it was a daunting, hope-crushing way to start at a new gym
(which is intimidating enough on its own)

I felt like my power had been taken away
and that's a terrible way to feel.

But I rallied.

I realized that I really didn't have 
to interact with anyone at the gym from here on out, 
if I don't want to.
I was on my own.
In a good way.

 I decided to take my power back,
And I was going to stick to my plan.
And so far, I have.

Live and learn.

And try not to beat yourself up too much for being human.

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