01
Apr
10

The joys & pains of a gym job and April goals

On most days, at most times, I really like my job.  I get to see many of the same faces each day and I have taken a genuine interest in their lives.  I like to discuss our weekend plans, keep up with what’s going on with their family members (the college moms and dads are the best!) and, of course, discuss their progress with health and wellness.  When a regular member comes in in an obvious funk, I want to sympathize with them and lend an ear if they need it.  I love these members and they make my days so much better!  Many of them keep up with certain aspects of my life as well and offer sage wisdom on occasion – especially when it comes to better job opportunities.

Then, there are certain members whose very presence makes my skin crawl or whose personalities drive me completely batty.  Needless to say, tonight brought in one of those members that fall in the former category, which inspired me to create a list of my most-annoying traits in gym members (when I happen to be working).

  • Members who don’t return the “Have a great day!”, “Enjoy your weekend!” etc. that they receive from me upon completion of their workouts, thanks to the earbuds still blasting tunes in their ears.  It leaves me feeling like an idiot.
  •  Members who insist that it was my fault that they missed a payment and were refused entry into the gym.  I’m not your mommy!  Make your damn payments on time – they come at the same time every month.  How hard is it to write it on a calendar or schedule your Blackberry to remind you!  No, I will not call you to remind you a few days before you are due.  If I did that for all members, I would spend my ENTIRE shift on the phone.
  • Members who complain about the hygiene of other members to me, expecting me to take care of the awkwardness that comes along with telling them.  Grow up!  If you have a problem with someone, tell them (unless, of course, it isn’t really a problem and you are just overly sensitive).  I will not be your mediator!
  • Members who insist on telling me when one paper towel holder has run out of towels, even when a full paper towel holder is  feet away and there are multiple automatic blow dryers (this usually happens right in the middle of peak hours).  I will not stop what I am doing to refill paper towels at the expense of customer service.  Use the automatic dryers.  Save the planet.
  • Members who share the same joke with me every time they come through the door.  For example, I always ask members how they’re doing on that particular day.  There are those members who always say something along the lines of “well, I’m here, but I don’t want to be.”  You’re alive and healthy enough to be mobile and active.  Take care of that gift because one day, you may not have it!
  • Members who show up at 30 minutes to closing, fail to heed my announcements – “The club will be closing in 15 minutes.”  They shower at 5 minutes to closing and make me stay 30 minutes past closing.  It’s already late.  Is it really that hard for you to shower at home and show me some consideration?  I do have a husband waiting at home for me and would love to get some sleep!

After many, many years in customer service, I am well-practiced in doing everything with a smile, even when I am being yelled at.  I grit my teeth and move on with my day, but it always helps to vent and laugh a bit in the process.

Vent over.

I am a bit shocked that it is already April 1st.  For some others, that means a celebration of April Fools Day and much prank-pulling.  I’ve done a couple of April Fool’s Day jokes, but I had nothing planned this year.  Many moons ago, when deciding between graduate schools, I chose April 1st to tell Steve (we were in year 4 of dating at the time) that I would be attending GMU in Northern VA.  He was wonderful and accepting, although clearly downtrodden.  When I finally told him, he was pretty upset – more than I thought he would be.  No more “serious” jokes for my hubby.. at least not for a while.

Last year, just 2 months before wedding day, I think my facebook headline read something like “Heidi guesses she may have to let out her wedding dress in the waist just a bit.”   I could not believe how many people actually fell for that one.  Isn’t pregnancy one of the most common April Fool’s jokes?!  This year, no pranks, but I will celebrate the 1st of the month by looking back at last month’s goals and setting some new ones for myself.

1. Eat less fruit – I’m not quite sure how well I succeeded on this front.  On days that I don’t work, I don’t munch quite as much mid-afternoon.  My word evenings still involve at least 2 servings of fruit after 6pm.  My tummy/digestive system still doesn’t agree with me on most days (if you get my drift), so that really leads me to believe that the fruit is not involved.  I just began taking a digestive enzyme supplement by Now.  It’s only been about a week, but I haven’t yet noticed a difference.

2. Change up the Workouts – I have lessened the amount of warm-up cardio and am incorporating more weights with some  circuits.  I have not had my body fat checked to say for certain that it is decreasing while I am increasing muscle (and quite frankly I am not ready to), but my arms have felt much stronger this month, so I have high hopes!

3. Incorporate New Activities – I am so proud to say that I got hubby out of the house and shocked myself this month.  Steve and I took an afternoon off to check out the Virginia Aquarium which we haven’t done since I was in college!  I also found my way back to a park that I haven’t been to since high school and begin an outdoor running regimen.  I have never had much endurance with running, but on my first trip to the park, I knocked out over 2.5 miles without stopping – my longest run ever!  I was so excited and loved being able to celebrate the return of beautiful weather!

So, of course that leaves me with some things to accomplish in April. 

1. Set an appointment for body fat testing – Yes, it scares the poop out of me, but I am eager to see how I am doing on fat loss and increasing muscle mass.

2. Snack before 10, period!  – I am notorious for popping a bag of popcorn and munching on it between 10 and 11, or later on nights that I close the gym.  Yes, I eat it VERY slowly!  Not only do I not need the carbs/calories right before bed, but I also want to make sure that if I do snack late, it includes a bit more protein.  Perhaps it will aid the digestion issues… (On a side note, I am not doing so well on this goal since I am sitting here, at 11:06 pm, eating popcorn.  Fail.)

3. Run a 5k distance outdoors without stopping – I am definitely distance-driven and not time-driven and I want to participate in at least a 5k and 10k this year.  This seems a good starting point and should be aided by the great temperatures!

4. Participate in another new activity with hubby – I don’t ever want to become complacent and I love the feeling when we experience new things together.  It’s like opening another new chapter or checking something else off of the to-do list. 

I love this time of year and the association of spring with “making things new” or “freshening up” and there are many aspects of my life that need refreshing.  Did you have any March goals or make any new goals for April?  I’d love to hear about them!

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7 Responses to “The joys & pains of a gym job and April goals”


  1. 04/02/2010 at 9:46 AM

    Funny how that customer list could be applied to any service oriented job! I could say almost all of that from when I worked in food service. Particularly those who came 5 minutes before closing and stayed forever!! LOL.

    I wonder at times if I should cut down on my fruit. I usually have 3 servings a day, but I love it, and if I am not eating a cookie, I guess it could be worse.

    I had a goal of no store bought protein bars in March and I succeeded! Well, I had a bite of my hubby’s out of habit one night, but I think that is okay.

    I have not set out any April goals yet. I am so lame! It just snuck up on me. You inspired me to think about it and get some concrete ones this weekend.

    • 04/02/2010 at 10:05 AM

      So true! I did a few years of serving and I often wanted to punch some guests!
      I like the “no protein bar” goal and I know Susan has some really great protein bar recipes to help 🙂 Good luck with making your April goals. I can’t wait to read about them!

  2. 04/03/2010 at 8:10 PM

    I think my gym rants would be equally as long. LOL Some of the people working out can be so clueless.

    My goal for April is to drink more water. I suck at that. I’m really trying hard, I just don’t think about it! And my other goal is training for the Reach the Beach 55 mile bike ride on May 15th. My boyfriend is doing the full 100 miles!

  3. 04/04/2010 at 12:24 PM

    oh man. i am not sure i could handle a gym job! loved your goal reflection and new goal setting. setting goals is half the battle!

  4. 04/04/2010 at 5:33 PM

    Now you have me all excited to work in a gym 😛 I actually really enjoy customer service, even putting up with the cranky people! I love your goals, especially the last one. It is SO important to do activities together you both love. My biggest goal is to keep the stress to a minimum this month. I have a million and one things to stress about what with the PT certification, finishing the current job, and moving halfway across the country. Here’s hoping I can keep my cool 😉


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Hi Ya’ll!

Hiya! I'm Heidi, a 28-year-old "retired" student living in Virginia. I am a newlywed and currently on the hunt for a full-time job that will use either my Biology or Secondary Education degree. In the meantime, I work in retail and at an event venue part-time. When I'm not working, I love to kill hours at the gym, scrapbook, and act as a domesticated diva to keep my hubby happy!


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