“Hi, I’m here to sign up for a gym membership,” I said to the perky girl at the front desk of the gym Mark already belonged to.
“Great! Let’s just take a seat and answer a few questions, ok? What made you decide that today you wanted to get fit?” she asked.
Normally, I’m a one-word answer kind of girl. But I decided to unleash my heart to Fitness Barbie.
“Um, let’s see. I just got back from the mall and I cannot believe how big my butt has gotten. I mean, seriously? My clothes aren’t fitting right, and I’m just not where I want to be physically. Do you ever get the feeling that your movements resemble more of a ‘rolling’ motion than anything else?”
“Oh, yeah. I know how that is,” said Fitness Barbie. But I wasn’t buying it. “Let’s get you hooked up with a personal trainer, and go through a tour of the gym.”
The trainer was a huge black dude. With braces. I imagined he was what Mr. T looked like in 7th grade. I’m not gonna lie: Dude scared the crap out of me. Scared me so much that I agreed to meet him (against my better judgement) for a free personal training consultation the next day.
“I’ll see you at 1 tomorrow, and come dressed to work out,” said Mr. T.
“Work out? We’re gonna work out? Tomorrow? I thought you’d just weigh me or something.”
I could tell by the look in his eyes that he saw me as a challenge, as a nut he needed to crack.
“Eat breakfast… we’re gonna work.”
What on earth had I done?
We met the next day and we sat down for another interview about my fitness goals and what have you. Mr. T asked about what I wanted to work on, and what I expected from a personal trainer. I wasn’t really sure what I expected from one since all I had wanted was to sign up for a membership. And if you know anything about my dedication to a fitness routine a personal trainer yelling at me was the last thing I wanted.
So I told him as much.
“Um. Well, if I had a personal trainer I would want him to be nice. Very nice. I wouldn’t want him to make fun of me, or make me workout so hard that I threw up. You know, that happened to me once? I went to a senior citizen strength class at the Y and I threw up at the end because they worked me so hard…”
I trailed off because now Mr. T was just staring at me. Nice? Was I describing a puppy or a trainer?
“Um, ok… well, let’s get you warmed up, and then we’ll start the workout…”
I interrupted him, “You were serious? We’re working out today? I thought that was just you trying to be hard or something.”
He ignored me, and put me on a treadmill.
When I finished my cardio he took me down to the corner of the gym to go do ‘circuit training’, a.k.a. the punishment God gives to people who kill puppies.
When I got through with the first round of hell the circuit and realized he was going to make me do it all again I thought I’d cry….
“Sir,” I whispered, “are you going to make me do all that again?”
His big mean personal trainer heart stood no chance against my sad eyes and quivering voice.
“No, not the whole thing,” he said defeatedly, “we’ll do one more exercise and you’ll be done.”
I nodded solemnly, but on the inside I threw a party. This big strong trainer had been broken by little old me. No one was going to make me fit. No. One. I laugh at all that try!
I went home eager to tell Mark about my adventure, when I realized that I hadn’t exactly ‘won’. Because while I had managed to get the trainer to cut my workout short, I ended up spending 2 whole days trying to recover from the literally 15 minute long workout.
I don’t know what exercise caused so much pain, but I applaud him for letting me believe I had gotten away from his clutches… sneaky, Sir, very sneaky.