Thursday, July 26, 2007

athletic and fit

I know I don't have the body type of your typical "athletic and fit" person, but I have to admit I'm always a little surprised at the reaction of fitness people to my abilities (although in all cases its not the trainers who are surprised, but the person at the front desk). Recently I experienced this twice (not to mention the guy I wanted to slap when I joined 24 hour fitness last year who kept saying "when you start a fitness routine..." - screw yourself buddy, I work out at least 5 days a week; I ain't just starting nothing).

A couple weeks ago, I decided to go to my first boxing class at this gym that does exclusively boxing. While I'd never done boxing or kickboxing before, my friend who trained with me for much of the half marathon invited me cause she knew the instructor and thought I would really enjoy it. I did love the class; it was hard, and my entire core hurt for two days, but it was completely manageable for me. What I particularly enjoyed was the guy at the front desk though. When I walk in saying I want to do the class, he looks at me and asks, "Well, what's your fitness level? You need to be really in shape for that class." I respond that I work out about five days a week. He still looks sceptical until I mention the fact that I ran the half marathon in April - then he responds with "well, then you should be fine." I love the scepticism.

Last night I went to a different gym on a free five day pass to take a kickboxing class with the same teacher. I'm thinking of joining this other gym cause it offers a bunch of class (kickboxing, dance, spinning, yoga, Pilate's) that are all included in the membership. The only problem is the gym is SUPER expensive, and I don't need to add to my monthly payments right now. The class went great, I learned proper kicking technique, and sweated so much that it got in my eyes, but again I found the front desk person funny. Afterward, I was talking to the membership lady when the class's instructor came up to talk to me about it - congratulating me on jumping right in to that class. The membership lady had just finished describing the classes and mentioned the number system and how the higher numbers were hard and I might not want to jump right in to those. When she heard the instructor's complements, she then said, well, if you can jump right into that class, you can pretty much handle anything we've got.

Just makes me wonder - do fitness people (not trainers - people who work at gyms) expect that the only fit people are the ultra thin muscular kind? Am I judged as fat, lazy, and unfit just because I carry an extra ten pounds around? I also think its funny that actual trainers never seem surprised by my abilities. They don't start me too easy, but push me ahead. They never tell me they don't think I can handle their class, they just smile invitingly and teach me what to do. I hate that the average member of the public sees something different than the truth - I am athletic and fit, even if I don't look like it!

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