Monday, November 3, 2008

Guest Column: VenetianBlond Finds a Gym

For a long time now, I've been wanting to feature guest columnists on SkinnyMommy. After all, I'm not the only one trying to be a parent, lose weight, stay fit, and eat the occasional dessert. The perfect opportunity came when a good friend emailed me about her recent gym-finding saga. Viola, SkinnyMommy's first guest columnist: Please give a warm welcome to VenetianBlond!

Searching for a gym. Oh, joy. Not something I relish doing, but my current one just isn't hacking it. Now that I'm working full-time, the fact that they're not open at all on Sunday, and only 7-3 pm on Saturday (prime soccer game time for resident 6-year-olds) and only until 6 pm M, W, and F--well, it's just not working for me. So, I think, well, I'll get some advice from SkinnyMommy and see where that takes me. And oh, yes, we will name names!

The two gyms nearest my home are a Bally's and an LA Fitness. Bally's is on the same side of the busy street we live near, so potentially bikeable, but the LA Fitness has a pool. Then I find out that SkinnyMommy had a nightmare experience with a long term contract at Bally's. Thanks for the tip!

So I did sign up with LA Fitness. What impressed me:
1) My boy said he wanted to play in the Kids Klub instead of tour with me. I was kind of surprised. Drop in Kids Klub is only $3 so I can work out if K-Ice is not home. My boy totally loved it.
2) The sales tour only lasted 5 minutes. He didn't hijack me for half an hour to make the sale.
3) He correctly assessed my fitness (although I did tell him when we met that I was thinking of changing gyms) that I was in pretty good shape and just wanted to maintain or set some new fitness goals. (If he were to give me the weight loss hard sell I would have sashayed my generous booty on the way out.)
4) The sales guy said that their corporate office is more focused on retention, which if true, is a much better business model than being reliant on new sales.
5) It's all month-to-month. There's the registration fee, which wasn't too bad, and then I paid first and last. That's it. No time limit.
6) Classes are included and I get one free one hour personal training session. After the free one, they're $40 per session, which I think is pretty reasonable. (I'm set to see Nate at 8 on Monday.)

SkinnyMommy has been a real inspiration to not just settle for the status quo. I've been wearing size 8s for a while now, but how nice to be fit enough to run a 5k when someone suggests it, or be ready to play a pickup soccer or softball game without getting injured (okay, guilty).

Thanks, VB, and let us know how it went with Nate! In the meantime, folks can visit her blog to read about her latest pickup games.

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