The 11 Painful Stages of Signing Up For A Gym Membership

We’ve all had that moment where we get to the top of a flight of stairs and we’re out of breath. You pause, and come to the daunting realization that you are, in fact, out of shape. You decide that this is your year – the year that you’re going to change your life and get into shape and, hey, maybe even run a marathon. You tell everyone you know that you’re going to join the gym. Then, you join it, and remember why you avoided it in the first place.
How I Met Your Mother
How I Met Your Mother

1. You enter the gym and feel immediately self-conscious. You tell the attendant at the desk that you just want to take a look around. That’s it. But naturally she needs to see your ID. And she needs your phone number. And a quick picture for security reasons. And she needs to know the most recent fattening thing that you ate. Oh, and let her just bring over a membership rep really quickly in case you have any questions.

2. The membership rep insists on taking you on a tour. You just wanted to take a quick walk around the space and then leave, but you feel forced to accept this tour offer. The rep shows you all the fancy machines and everyone stares at you. He asks you what you normally like to do when you work out. You don’t remember the last time you exercised. You blurt out something that sounds like “treadmill” and he nods sympathetically.

3. The rep forces you to look at all the intimidating weight-lifting machines. He uses phrases like “cardiorespiratory endurance” and “resting metabolic rate.” You respond with “Yeah. Absolutely. I know what you’re talking about.”

4. This happens…
Membership Rep: We’ve got tons of free fitness classes.
You: That’s awesome.
Membership Rep: Yeah, cycling every morning at 5:45!
You: Lol.

5. The gym tour ends. Thank God, because you were starting to sweat from all that walking around. You are forced into the membership representative’s chamber of shame, otherwise known as his office, where he guilts you into signing up for a membership.

6. You leave the gym and tell yourself that you’re going to go EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. This place will pay for itself. And it’s only $29.99 a month! Oh, and then there’s that $90 initiation fee. Oh, and it’s an additional charge if you want to use the pool and sauna room. Oh and that $29.99 a month is only the introductory rate. It goes up after one month of membership. Oh well. You’ll be #healthy!

7. You show up for your first workout and feel like everyone is judging you the minute you walk in the door. Panic sets in. You don’t know where to go. You don’t know what machine to get on. You can’t remember what you normally do with your hands. Hold them by your sides? Put them on your hips? You get on the first treadmill you see.

8. You’re on the treadmill for three minutes when you decide you hate it. You haven’t even started running yet. But this sucks. You immediately question your decision to join a gym.

9. It’s too late to back out now. You’ll still get charged for the full month even if you end your membership today. You wonder if anyone would notice if you came in, used the hot tub, and then left without actually working out.

10. You try to take advantage of the “complimentary one-on-one session” with a fitness rep. It ends up being the gym’s attempt to terrify you into signing up for a personal trainer by telling you that you’re weak and out of shape.

11. You go home and whine to your friends that you hate the gym and it’s scary. They ask you why you signed up. You reply “I wanna lose three pounds.” You look at them expectantly. When they say nothing in response, you writhe in fury. TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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