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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.