Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sold down the river

So I did it - I signed up for the personal trainer thingy. Unfortunately I am now feeling bad about it because it did NOT go as planned.

Buoyed by all of your comments and encouragement I was planning on waltzing into that gym and saying, "Yes, please!" Unfortunately I forgot that the minute I enter the gym and have to actually talk to a Fitness Person I transform from "Competent and Assertive" into "Mute, Socially Awkward and Totally Unable to Advocate for Myself."

Here is what happened.

  1. After saying I wanted to sign up, and after starting the paperwork I see on the screen (I am not told this, mind you) that there is a $99 processing fee. I start to balk but think: listen, you really want to do this. You can afford that. D$ will be annoyed but you are not D$ and it is okay. I say okay. I let them run my card and sign some stuff. Mr. Personal Trainer who I thought was not sketchy and who at this point I still like goes to print out my agreement.
  2. Upon viewing my agreement I am find out that I just signed up for a year-long agreement. If I want to get out early I will owe 50% of the monthly fees I would have owed. My heart starts to sink, but I am an Mute and Socially Awkward phase and am unable to say, "Wait, you didn't tell me that!" Mr. Personal Trainer is sitting right there and he is so FRIENDLY. I don't want to accuse him of swindling me and I still want to like him because he is going to be the one working with me each month. Right? Right?
  3. No. Again, after signing up to this program that has hidden fees and makes me commit for a year I find out, why NO, Mr. Personal Trainer will NOT be working with me. In fact they are going to assign me someone I have never met before and NO no female trainers are available for the time-frame I want.
  4. The trainer they assign me is named RICARDO. Even as I sit there and feel bad about how I am getting swindled, I wonder if his being named RICARDO means that I am contractually obliged to have an affair with him.
What is weird is that I don't get mad, I don't protest, I just sort of make faces and very passively let it be known that I am not happy. I do tell Mr. Personal Trainer that I feel like I am being sold down the river but I say it sort of jokingly because he IS still being really nice to me, I will be seeing him at the gym all the time and I don't want to feel awkward EVERY time I see him for the rest of my exercise-filled life. Still, I hate how passive and push-over-y I am being.

Clearly some of this is my fault - I should have asked a few more questions before I jumped in. On the other hand, this gym is inhabited by money-grubbing jerks. Right now I am trying not to let my annoyance over the sign-up bullshit color my enthusiasm for starting a new workout regime. I do have three days to cancel if I want (Friday at midnight) but I don't think I will. I really do want someone to help me work out, and maybe it will be good practice to learn to be comfortable in Fitness Land and around Fitness People. The year-long commitment sort of gives me hives - do you have any idea how long that is??! - but I came to a decision this morning. If I hate it or don't need it after six months, guess what: I can still quit. I will be out a chunk of cash but it will be a sunk cost and I will do my best to not feel bad about it.

My first appointment with RICARDO is Friday morning and I plan on going in early to talk to the manager to tell her (read: complain) about my experience AND to make sure that Ricardo is going to do what I want him to do. Mainly: make me a work out program and then change it for me each month as I progress. If that is not the deal then I am going to cancel.

But, who knows? RICARDO could be awesome.


  1. This is where I tell you to demand excellence, but I'm pretty weinerish when it comes to unknown territory. Except I think you are handling it well. Take it to management.

  2. Hmmm. That sucks. And perfectly illustrates my problems with gyms in general to begin with.

    Then again, I guess you won't know how it will work out unless you try...

  3. i would have been the same way - mute and awkward. sorry about that. i'm a sucker for a nice person trying to sell me something. i always believe they have the best intentions.

    RICARDO sounds dreamy. i bet he has wispy curls of thick, dark hair and an olive complexion most people would kill for. i bet he has a great smile, too. and if he has an accent or dimples, double bonus.

    hmmm... i either described mario lopez or antonio danderas. either way, it's a win.

    and i'm not shallow at all. :)

  4. Yeah, I'm with Angie... I see a very dreamy Ricardo.

    So sorry to hear about your experience though. I have had that paralyzing outside of my body I-can't-believe-what's-happening feeling during transactions before. It blows! I hope that the manager does right by you. More than that, I hope that Ricardo is fab despite the hassle!

  5. @Angie and Thebluemuse: now I am totally hoping that Ricardo is really AC Slater!
    @everyone: I go in tomorrow - i'll let you know how it goes.

  6. Gyms make me crazy because of this... is it possibly the gym where you can work out at all hours of the day? The worst!

    Welcome to Portland! I hope Richardo is dreamy.