Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Oh Pleeze v. 2

Admittedly, there are things that happen everyday that deserve to be punctuated with an “OH PLEEEZE,” but here are just a few from today.

The television division of General Electric has made a decision to recognize Donnie Deutsch as a man for all seasons. He can is political strategist, marketing guru, relationship counselor, body builder extraordinaire, and all around all-American boy… OH PLEEEEZE!

Rick Santorum could be the Republican nominee for President of the United States….

In real life, fitness clubs are for people who look great, want to meet a significant other, and are young, fashionable and in excellent health… OH PLEEEEEZE!

Which brings us to the subject of the blob for today…. Is Planet Fitness an earthy endeavor?

Yes, we watch and enjoy The Biggest Loser. We find it inspirational. Not so much because people lose weight but because people change their lives in order to be happier, or at least more satisfied about who they want to be, in this lifetime. Truth is, almost all the people we root for are eliminated before the final four. Almost. There have been seasons when we were happy with the ending – but that is not what usually happens. You see, we are the kind of people who like when the contestants make decisions based on supporting rather than gaming to eliminate their competition. Of course, that means they stop playing the “game” and just figure out as many ways as possible for everyone to be successful, (which usually means the person we like the least – because they are ruthless and self centered) – will emerge as the biggest loser.

So when we saw that Planet Fitness was one of the show sponsors, we figured that it was absolutely not the place we wanted to be. We were wrong. We had belonged to other clubs in NYC (24 Hour Fitness and Equinox) and they were convenient and had the equipment we liked but they were not without issues. Such as, the people who belong spend a great deal of time posing – in front of mirrors, in front of other members, and while they are working out.

At the Planet Fitness in Newburgh NY, (and I assume most of them), there are signs all over that encourage their clients to --- be who they are, do what they can do, not feel pressured by other people, and to be responsible for cleaning the machines they use. This last item seems trivial, but at Equinox there are people whose job it is to keep the club clean. And they make it a point to make you aware of how much cleaning they do. So, they clean right on top of you without any sense that you might want to be exercising. At 24 Hour Fitness, they don’t clean on top of you, but they don’t have wipes readily available if you should want to clean your own machine. Planet Fitness has wipes available about every five feet. And people actually clean their machines before and after use. There is no one who feels entitled to have others clean for them. The Biggest Loser has inspired people young and old, big and small, groups and individuals, to start to move. They may not use the machines as correctly as they should, but there are lots of people available to give direction. And unlike 24 Hour or Equinox, if you aren’t paying for private training, you can still find someone who can answer questions and show you the right way. These people are real people. The conversations (and yes, people do have conversation) are about ordinary things like – work, play, childbirth, marriage, the stresses of life, the cost of gas, new items at Dunkin Donuts, plans for vacations, and how to be happy. There is no pretention about who they are, and no competition about how they are dressed. There are always enough machines and when one is broken (unlke the aforementioned clubs) it never takes more than a day before they are repaired.

OK, we like Planet Fitness and we love the idea that regardless of socio-economic status, everyone cane be fitter, with a little work and some non judgmental encouragment. What is there to say beyond, it’s OK to be comfortable about wanting to be fit without having to feel like you don’t deserve it. We’re just sayin’… Iris

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