My gym gives one free "fitness-analysis-training-session" to all of its members. Of course the purpose is to give the gym an opportunity to hard-sell personal training to every one who walks through their doors. I workout 4-6 days a week. I don't need anyone to motivate me to do it because my gym time is my "me" time. It's the time when I can plug myself into my iPod and tune out the world.
Hard to tune out the world when a trainer is hovering over you.
However for the last few months the gym has been really pushing everyone to use their free sessions. Every time I checked in at the front desk something popped up on their computer letting the trainers know that I had yet to take advantage of this fabulous opportunity. Personal trainers started following me around asking when exactly I would be scheduling it. Eventually I realized that there would be no peace until I signed up for my free session.
So I did. I arrived at my appointed time ready for a workout. But of course they don't just let you jump in. First you have to fill out a form (and they wonder why I didn't want to do this). Once I finished my paperwork my assigned trainer read over my answers. Slowly his features twisted themselves into an expression of confusion. "I've never seen answers like these," he said carefully.
"Really?" I asked as I tried to imagine what I could have said that was that out of the ordinary.
"On question 3, where it asks what part of your body you feel needs improvement you said," he paused and held the paper closer as if that would make the answer change, "you said you're happy with the way you are now."
"You've never seen that answer before?"
"No," he replied and then gave me a look that suggested he didn't believe I was serious.
"But I am happy with where I'm at," I insisted. "Obviously we're all interested in improvement in general terms but there really isn't a part of my body that I feel needs to change...although it has been a few days since I've shaved my legs. I guess I could change that."
The trainer continued to stare at me like I was some kind of creature from another planet before shrugging it off and leading me over to their body-composition machine. "For your age group a good body-fat percentage is 24%," he explained. "Excellent is 21%. Let's see where you're at and then set some goals."
Nothing like starting your day off by learning how much fat you have. But then again, I'm fairly confident in this area so I allowed the machine to do its thing. As it turns out my body fat percentage is 22.3%. That's better than I had anticipated and since I have no emotional need to exceed my own expectations in this area I immediately started to think of all the deliciously caloric foods that I might add to my daily intake.
My trainer had other ideas. "Okay," he said, "if you lose about three pounds you'll be at 21% which is excellent. With a little work I can get you there."
Yes really. That's what he said. With a little work (and about $1000) he can help me lose 3lbs.
I realize that it's his job to sell personal training sessions but this whole thing reminded me of one of the few things I really don't like about Los Angeles. There are all these people here who seem to think that, when it comes to physical appearance, nothing short of perfect will do.
And of course if I really wanted to lose 3lbs I wouldn't need a personal trainer to do it. I would just need to cleanse my system for two days with a liquid diet and then boom, I'd have my precious 21%.
But you know what? Perfect is boring! Perfect means that you can't take a walk in the rain because it'll screw up your hair. Perfect means you can't kiss in public because it'll smudge your lipstick. Perfect means you can't eat a red velvet cupcake at your friend's birthday celebration because you might end up being 3lbs over your ideal weight! I like walking in the rain, kissing in public and I friggin' love red velvet cupcakes! Furthermore, if I lose those 3lbs what will I have left to remind me of all those happy nights that I've spent sipping a martini and eating popcorn while watching Project Runway??? I refuse to give any of that up for something as mundane as perfection!
All these thoughts were going through my mind as the trainer handed me some boxing gloves. "We're going to start your workout with a little upper-body and cardiovascular work," he said holding up his hands near his face. "Okay, go ahead!" he said, "Don't worry if you don't know the proper technique, I can help you with that. For now just throw a punch."
I've taken boxing before. My technique is on point. I think on some level I knew that he wanted me to punch his hand.
But instead I punched him in the head.
--Kyra "Fashionista Fatale" Davis