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April 2017

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journey begins with a step

About two weeks ago, it occurred to me that I ought to emulate my sister and join a fitness club. She's been staying with it, and it's doing great for her. So I checked around.

There's a small city about 25 m north of me, and there were two clubs there, to my surprise. I hate driving up there, however, so I kept putting off talking to them. I decided yesterday that today would be the day, so I looked them up again, and this time I found one in the small town where I grocery shop every week, also about 25 m away, but south, and a much easier drive. This is important, as my driving skills and confidence are waning now that I am driving only about a tenth of the distance I used to drive.

But that wasn't the only good news. The club is run by two women, Jennifer and Chrissy, both of whom have been fat, lost the weight (80 lbs and 100 lbs respectively), and stayed slim and fit. They are incredible young women, not because of their accomplishments, but because of their personalities. I hit it off immediately with them. They are friendly, kind, intelligent, charming, warm, and welcoming. Honestly, as soon as I met them, I wanted to hug them. They also listen well, and their entire business philosophy is to fit the program to the person. When I started this, I was expecting a man who would push a hard sell and then leave me stranded amongst what Jennifer calls "the fashion show", so I was delighted. I went down this morning to get an idea of the place, and I couldn't be more happy with it. It's not big, and it lacks many amenities the bigger places offer (like tanning or a pool), but it has exactly what I needed - a happy, warm, relaxed place. Many of their customers are middle-aged and even elderly, and they are in varying degrees of fitness, but none are "cut" or etc. In fact, among the younger people I saw (ages roughly 35ish), all were at least 20 lbs overweight. (Jennifer says that they do have some hard-core customers, but they mostly come in the evenings.)

I can't tell you how excited I was about finding this place. I felt relaxed and at home as soon as I walked in the door. Jennifer met me at the door with a big smile and hand extended. When I met Chrissy, she gave me a big smile and both hands. While Jennifer and I talked (she does the admin stuff, and Chrissy is the trainer), we were interrupted several times by customers, and it was obvious that Jennifer knows all of them well and that they are as comfortable with her as with a friend. I was high for hours after I left. And yeah, I signed up. You bet.

Now lets see if I can stick with it!


Wow! That's awesome!

I've gained weight lately -- not a lot, but steadily the last few years, so that I'm about 25 pounds over what I'd like to weigh, and definitely 15 over what I was. The thing that's concerning is that it keeps creeping up, slowly, a pound or so at a time ... but still....... So I've been thinking I need to do something to exercise more -- but what?

So I think it's very cool that you've made the jump into joining a club. Having people to go with, to help establish a routine, I think will make a difference.

I can understand the driving difficulty. Traffic makes a real difference, as does the time commute. A half hour there and back is enough trouble, doing that through bad roads or traffic just isn't worth it.

Sometimes the small rundown places are the best. Years ago when we were looking for a dojo for my kid to get some karate lessons, we ended up at a place that had old posters from the 70s and duct tape holding the mats together, but also a slew of trophies and a grand-master who was and still is one of the coolest, most awesome people ever my pleasure to have met. You could tell when you walked in that it was a home, whereas everywhere else we'd been was a business. We've never regretted having made that choice, even though the kid's karate is long behind us, and we are still vaguely in touch with the owner -- because it was that kind of place.
This sounds awesome! I hope it works out well for you. I tend to like the small, personal gyms over the chains. I used to go to one at the hospital where I worked, and it was wonderful. Everyone was friendly, and it was a very home-y, non-threatening atmosphere. Unfortunately, since I no longer work there, I no longer get the (substantial) discount, so it's out of my price range now.