Unfit for fitness


Well, they’ve finally done it – closed the Mesa LA Fitness club. After all the years of holding our collective breath, hoping against hope that “Corporate,” as I’ve always been told, would see fit to leave our little club open since there are so many of us who were loyal to it and wanted it to remain our club. But no, the inhuman entity, “Corporate,” has not. The club closed last night.

“Corporate,” mindless, faceless, unreachable. Go to their website (lafitness.com) and see that there is no way to reach “Corporate” via e-mail. You have to call and talk to some snotty, empty-headed Barbie-like girl (I can visualize her) who knows nothing and doesn’t care what you, the member, think. “Corporate” thinks that no one else but them can think. I was even told that “Corporate” controls the lights, the temperature, and the music in the clubs. Wow. What is this, “1984”? (I don’t mean the year.)

Wednesday was the last night I worked out at “our” club. Lots of people were saying good-bye, and asking where others were going. As usual, Nick’s boxing class was full with all those faithful people who I know have come to that class for years. I wonder where they will go, if Nick will even teach it somewhere else. It was sad.

I put the blame at least partially on the “aerobics coordinator,” who didn’t bother to find regular instructors for classes that she didn’t personally like, and made up stupid rules like “instructors have to have more than one class,” so it was hard to fill some of the time slots with reliable instructors. Even I gave up on my favorite Saturday morning cycling class after about the third or fourth time I showed up only to find no instructor – again. It’s not very fun to sit in the middle of an empty room working out to the songs on my iPod. This person who was supposedly in charge of the instructors wouldn’t even bother to return my calls. That shows you right there how important it was (not) for her to help the members.

I drove by the now-closed club this morning, hoping to peer inside one last time. I found black plastic covering the windows, as if they (“Corporate”) know what they’re doing isn’t right. I also found a representative from LA Fitness outside the front door under one of those E-Z Up tents, for what purpose I really don’t know. I do know he was extremely rude. He asked me, with a sneer, if I was looking for something when I tried to look in the windows. “Yeah,” I said, “the past 10 years of working out here.” He turned away to speak to a person who had just driven up in a truck. Apparently that person was more interesting than I was, maybe it was someone from whom he could try to get some money by signing them up. I felt like saying, “thanks for being an asshole,” but I didn’t feel like putting the negative energy into it.

Yes, I went to one of the new clubs this morning to work out. I didn’t have much choice, and I kind of like the one I went to. But it’s farther away, and the people running it are more plastic, and I know they won’t put the effort into getting to know us, the members who use the gym. These self-proclaimed fitness companies are all about making money only, they don’t care about what their members think (as I’ve seen over the years), and they hate people like me who pay up front and actually use their gyms daily.

The whole experience today made me think again about how sick I am of morons who are mean and small-minded controlling too many aspects of my life. They even have to be in this, something that is supposed to be used for fun at the end of a long work day, a relief from stress instead of something that creates more. “Corporate” is lucky that they have instructors (through no effort from “Corporate”)  who are good at what they do and care about the members, even though those instructors are paid poorly and treated worse. Those good instructors are the reason many of us bother with buying or renewing memberships.

We can only hope that “Corporate,” unfeeling and uncaring that it is, will change what passes for its “Corporate” mind and re-open our old club in the future. Maybe they are just going to remodel it. But I’m certainly not counting on it.

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2 thoughts on “Unfit for fitness

  1. Back in the 80s, we used to go to a local 24-Hr Fitness and really liked the employees there, but they closed the facility we used. We later joined an independent gym just one mile from the house, but it did not make it. As you said, this was a place where the people got to know us and helped us be more effective in our exercise activities. We considered L.A.Fitness, but, as you note, it felt impersonal and “plastic.” Now, we have found another independent gym that we are considering, maybe after Fall Break.

    • I have also had some kind of gym membership since the 1980s. I consider it essential to my mental health! 🙂 I also experienced the “closing” syndrome. It seemed that every time I joined a gym, it would close. LA Fitness seems pretty stable, and it’s reasonable for me. That’s why I continue to go there. Plus, now I know enough people there so working out is fun. After 10 years of going there, you would think they would value my opinion. NOT!

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