Mike got me a free 3-day pass to this gym nearby, 220 Fitness. I call Wednesday morning to see if this pass includes classes, or just gym use. This guy Todd answers the phone and is super nice. “What are you interested in?” Umm, I don’t know. Anything, I guess. “When’s the last time you worked out?” Well I run mostly. Sometimes I do yoga. I play field hockey sometimes (once). “How about I set you up with one of our trainers?” Really? That’s free? “Yea, you bet! Did you want to come in today?” Yea, I was thinking of coming in this afternoon. “Do you prefer a girl or a guy.” I don’t care. “OK, I’m gonna set you up with one of our trainers. She’s good. How about 2:00?”
Don’t really know what to expect from this place. I’ve passed it a bunch of times. Looks like a regular gym from the outside. I walk in and a big black guy with a big smile on his face greets me. This is Todd. We shake hands and he introduces me to my trainer for today, Gigi. That’s not really her name but it’s hard to pronounce so it’s what she goes by. She is a skinny thing who is super energetic. Her long hair is down in natural waves and she’s got a bunch of colored string and hemp bracelets going up her wrist. Definitely has that surfer girl vibe. Todd set us up together because I’m an athlete. Turns out Gigi also played a Division I sport in college – soccer at the University of Miami. She even coached a college team for a while after that. She seems excited that I played field hockey. “Oh, right on!” She puts her hand out in a fist and we pound. We’ll do this – and high-five – for a lot of the next hour or so.
Gigi gives me a quick tour of the place. Standard gym equipment, plus a few machines I haven’t seen before. We walk to the back and outside – there’s an area with just a floor mat to do whatever. They hold cross-fit sessions here. Yes, cross-fit! Then there’s these massive tires, a huge rope with one end tied down to a stake in the ground, and a sand pit. Pretty serious. Upstairs is a room for spinning classes, then a big empty room for other classes, and the locker rooms. We take a seat and get to know each other. She wants to know like, everything about me so she can train me the way I want to be trained. It’s cool, but weird because by the end of it I feel like she knows me more than most people. We talk for a really long time. By the end of it I almost forget that I still have to work out.
We get right to it. A quick few laps around the block, and then to the mat outside. Gigi starts me with an exercise that includes slides and squats back and forth. Immediately, I feel my butt starting to spasm. Oh my God, what is my deal? I must really not be in the shape I need to be in. I try to ignore it but struggle with the exercise. We do a bunch of different things – some that I’m familiar with and some that I’m not. The trick is not giving me breaks in between. Yea, it works, I’m dead by the end.
We both walk back to where Todd is sitting in a little sort of office. He asks me how everything was and tells me about the gym itself. I figured it was a chain, like New York Sports Clubs, but it’s not. This is the only one. That’s kind of cool. “Yea, we’re like a Mom and Pop shop.” Then he shows me the package I could get that includes a gym membership and meeting with Gigi twice a week. He shows me the cost. “Would this be something you could do?” No. He laughs. “Well, at least you’re honest.” Yea, well, I really wasn’t planning on buying a membership today. “OK.” Todd then goes on to show me all my options. He’s very persistent. If I were going to do anything it would be the base package. The cheapest one. He goes through it with me. It really is cool. All the classes are included and they have so many classes. And it’s only a 10-minute bike ride from my apartment. But I can’t. And my boyfriend will kill me. “Isn’t he the one who signed you up?” Yes. “Then obviously he already knows you wanted a gym. How about I throw in a massage (that’s included in the more expensive package), and another free session with Gigi. I laugh. Seriously, Todd, I really like it, but I’m living month-to-month. I don’t even have a full-time job right now. I’m not sure if I’m going to have enough money in my bank account for all my bills next month. “OK, this gym is for you, right?” Yes. “So let’s make it work. How about this. You pay for the first month now. I throw in the massage and the free session with Gigi, and I wave the month of October.” I don’t have to pay for October. “Nope. You pay your first fee today, and then you don’t have to make your next payment until the middle of November.” And I should be on my feet by then. “Yup.” OK, you got me. I’ll sign up.