Is the Fourth Time a Charm?

Just over two months ago, I promised that the Fourth Time’s a Charm and that I would actually complete the WAC group fitness instructor program this time around.

I’m proud to report that I prepared for, showed up, and stayed awake for seven out of the eight classes.  When I was rear-ended on my way to the third class, I cursed the Pilates gods who seemed to have a vendetta against me. Never mind the $1,000 of damage to my precious 2005 Honda Accord, the bigger tragedy was that I missed class while I waited for the police.

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Fourth Time’s a Charm

As you know, I’m an expert towel folder and locker distributer at the Wisconsin Athletic Club. While these are both highly sought after skills, I think that Professional Fitness Instructor would look a lot sweeter on my LinkedIn profile.

Shortly after I conjured up this idea, a class for Personal Trainers started. Here’s what happened:

  • I signed up.
  • I went to the first class.
  • I didn’t do my assigned homework so I ditched the second class.

Round Two: A class for Yoga Instructors started.

  • I signed up.
  • I missed the first class.
  • I begged the leader to let me attend the second class.
  • I was intimidated by the expertise of the instructor and other participants and did not make it to the third class.

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Part Time “Work”

For the past year and a half, I’ve woken up at 4:35 AM one day a week. On these early mornings, I pull on some black workout pants in the dark and drive to the Wisconsin Athletic Club. As I stand behind the front desk, I say the smiley-est, bright-eyed “good morning” I can muster at 5:58 AM to the first member walking through the automatic doors. While I ask if she has a locker preference, I’m wondering how tired I look, if my name tag is on right-side up and how disheveled my hair is after that sprint across the parking lot.

My responsibilities are simple: fold towels, check in members, hand out locker keys, clean women’s locker room, make coffee. As employees, we are supposed to ask each member “Do you have a locker preference?” and use their name when they check in and check out. I’ve taken my responsibilities pretty seriously. I hate standing around with no towels to fold. I recognized how pleased people were when I actually remembered their name and/or their locker number, so I took this as a challenge of my memory. And with a six day hiatus between shifts, this is no easy task.

Like clockwork, the “regulars” arrive and request their preferred locker. There are people who want the same exact locker every day and those that never care. There are people who are always smiling and those who barely have their eyes opened. There are people who make small talk and the people that are talking on their phones. There are people who are rushing to get through their workout and those who are leisurely looking at the paper or getting coffee.

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