14 January 2009

Killing's As Easy As Breathing

About seven months ago, after watching Sylvester Stallone brutally kill Burmese army officials, rescue missionaries, flex his forearms, and wax poetic on the art of killing Burmese army officials, I decided it was time to join a gym. If Sly could look like that at the age of 60, I could remove myself from the computer for a couple of hours a day to do likewise. (This is, of course, with the full knowledge of some of Stallone's extra-legal tricks he uses to maintain that physique). I decided to try a place called Leisure Square. It is the city rec center, basically, but its gym had served me well as a teenager and I thought it would do so again, at least until I proved that I was serious about sticking with it. Besides, the price was only $100 a year, which really couldn't be beat.

I arrived at Leisure Square, money in hand, ready to begin the training. At the front desk, I was promptly informed that the weight room had burned down. Estimates on its return were sketchy. I decided to look elsewhere.

This search led me to a place called Fit Physique. A modern, well equipped gym that promised a no-strings membership for only $30/month. Golden. My only concern was the relative quiet of my new workout domain. In other words, no one was there. Anytime there are more employees than customers, a business isn't likely to succeed in the long run. This maxim was proven by the end of the month when the gym abruptly closed down and I was once again set free to find another house of muscle.

I had two choices: The Jungle Club, with its $80/month membership plan, or World Gym, which offered the same month for only $45. Seeing as how I just wanted a place to lift weights and do some cardio, not a place to take spinning classes, tan, play racquetball, swim, lay around in a sauna, and play cribbage, I decided on World Gym.

My new palace of pump was perfect. Much larger than Fit Physique, the price was still reasonable, and the steady--but not overpowering--influx of members told me that it was likely to stay around for a while. And so it did. It lasted six months to Fit Physique's one. The place had been open and operating successfully for at least fifteen years prior to my signing up, and it had now sold to new owners. I began to wonder if I was a bad luck curse to gyms everywhere. I expect a thank you note from The Jungle Club any day now.

Anyway, rather than close down, World Gym has now become Longevity Max Fitness, which makes it sound like a place where your money may be no good unless it is produced with a shaky hand out of a coin purse. So far, so good, though. Other than a change of signs, nothing much has changed, and I hope it stays that way. The quest to look like Jay Cutler may continue.