Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Survival of the fittest

Happened to finally start working out three months ago though my membership dates back 16.
It took me a year to turn up at the gym after repeated text messages and "what are we to do with your membership" calls.
My trip to the Himalayas (which never happened in the first place and how I regret it) became the impetus. My trip advisor told us it is necessary to buy some gear and break in the shoes. And get fit for all the trekking. First I thought I ll go jogging by the beach early morning. I romanced the idea. Watching the sun rise, fresh air to breathe, waves rolling in and out..... sigh. But then all these rumours of a Tsunami did not help and also with a morning radio show at that point in time, it was impossible. I was already waking up too early and I do not think I would be left in peace to jog by the waves at 4:30 in the morning. Who am I kidding anyway, I live in India. I enrolled my mom at the gym first and decided to start off as well.
If I were asked to give advice, I would probably say, start a good exercise routine. (I promise you, your lifestyle definitely changes for the better once you pump some iron. OK I am not really pumping any but that's old style to say I am working out. And I like that old style thingerie sometimes)
But when you do and if you happen to take up one of the umpteen packages that fitness centers offer these days, you better take it in writing from them about what exactly is.
After a few days and once you are a member it is very easy - and convenient - for them to forget what they promised you in the first place.
Also there is one more thing I do not understand. This came from another friend. She signs up for a 3 month membership and then she falls sick and does not get to go for two months. She goes back to the gym and they tell her sorry, you need to pay up if you have to use the facilities. Otherwise you should have given a letter to "freeze" the membership until you are back. A lot of her hard earned money went down the drain. They for their own advantage would not accept a letter from the hospital or her doc. Of course I agree enough of these certificates are "doctored" but what the hell? In addition to falling sick and all the other things you need to take care of, you need to remember to tell the gym, hey I am sick and I wont be back for a said number of days, please extend my membership.
In our country a lot of people are super charged about starting such places, in this case, a good fitness center or even a salon with well trained staff means you start making money from the word go or so I think, considering the number of people traipsing in and out of such places. But the people who start these businesses almost all of them seem to forget this one and perhaps the most essential thing. Of being a little gracious to the ones who put the bread, butter or maybe I should say fat free margarine, sugar free marmalade on the table for the owner and the employees of an organization. Taking into account fitness centers have people signing in up in numbers usually more than 1. People keep telling you that you need a gym partner. Otherwise you won't really show up at the gym. I turn my nose up at that concept but then one additional person gets pulled into a fitness routine and the gym gets richer. All good.
Coming back, at different points in time I used to wonder why some people argued with the management at such centers and at several other places too but I now think we all need to do that. Perhaps there need not be a hue and cry but we all know that we get embarrassed asking for what we deserve.
But I think its time, high time infact to be assertive consumers and ask more questions, your gut and fears notwithstanding, about the products that we buy, the services we sign up for and everything else. Be plucky. Like someone said, millions saw the apple fall. I am sure they saw loads of other things fall too. But only Newton asked why (the apple fell that is. I do not think I should misquote history). And that made all the difference. The power of one is huge. And I wish you recognize it, revel in it and assert it, hopefully to also answer the call of righteousness and justice.
Signing off, I ll say take fitness seriously. And once you start following a regimen, you become a different person. You look great and you feel great. Your system is good. Your heart starts singing. Try it out. I wanted to tell you after I had been consistent at it. And also there is some such thing as saying too much too early. And I didn't want to blab too soon.
So, if you are thinking of paying up even at a famous or reputed gym, read the fine print, ask a lot of questions and don't help the management forget the perks they offered you. More than anything else, you must remember. Because they ll convince you that have forgotten everything. If you are suffering from STM loss, work out and skip that cup of coffee. Some study somewhere says that is because of coffee, of modern times I guess, that makes us forget things.
Have fun :)

31 comments:

Saravana said...

Good one. I guess, the reason that we skip going to Gym is when we are really tired after work (or after having a bad day at work). However that is mostly psychological, and the body is all fit for the workout. Still, most of us (of course me too..) skip gym when we FEEL we are tired.

Good luck.

Sridhar, USA said...

It looks like the American Marketing Techniques !! are being copied by all these businesses. In USA here, there are very courteous and know how to milk your money with a smiling face.

But how about safety there!! I am doubtful these busineses maintian these machines for your safety. In US, they have to.. otherwise they will be hit by million dolar suites if anyone gets injured due to a faulty equipment.

Anonymous said...

hi chin,

read the blog, anyway i am not sure that i will be turning up to a gym. anyways a more imp qstn to you? my dad was telling that he was not hearing you in aaha fm also. i hope you still do the shows and i really like thae way you host the show. let me know if you have been changed from aaha to some other fm station, so that we will also change the fm station here.

jishu said...

Hai akka,
Excercise can make us not feel extra sized,i think so..but in these days,most of the people are engaged in their routine works which sucks their time fastly,as u said.Ultimately they find it difficult to continue it daily..Eventhough many do their walking or jogging inside their offices from their cabin to their MD or someone..
In these days excercises are taught to the school children, for their sports events only.Today, 6 packs has become a fashion,many approach gym to have some packs in their body..recently i read,without proper guidance and co-operation trying these kind of six packs is harmful for our health.If we think that,we will not be able to cope up with attempting this kinda six packs,its better to remain as a family pack...but excercise should be done by every inividual,as it fastens our blood flow and ultimately clears the path of our blood vessel,if some fat deposits interrupts..and it also helps to improve our muscle tone,makes more efficient heart and lungs,more supple joints and it also essential to prevent obesity which is the major risk factor todddday!
Howsoever these Advices are given by-"Bony jishu".

Venky said...

Chinmayee i should say that this is probably the best post i have read in your blog. Made a good read.

Speaking about gymming i enrolled in a gym with my friend, went only for 2 months. In that two months i missed 2 weeks due to my laziness. 2 weeks due exams practically only one month. I think one can be fit enough if he engages in some sports activities.

SHAN said...

Dear Chin,

Thanks for bloging after long TIME even though the subject i am not familiar with ...

Regards,

SHAN

Maddy said...

I do agree with you the center guys should be little more gracious in your friend's case, however we also need to do our part. Looking form their point of view, how can they confirm this is a geniune case,as you said certificates can be doctored.To have our deserved right, we also need to be bit careful of sending a "freeze"" option,if there is one.Anyways,its my opinion.

All the best to your fitness regime.Wish that rejuvenate your mind and body

Honey Bee said...

Do u really hope to climb Himalayas? At Trichy, there is an Architect, a renowned person by proffession and for his passion to climb. He is Mr. J Ramanan. He goes for trekking on and off. Google him. He would help you out for sure.

sasitharan said...

Nice post!! I too started late but with the help of my boss , im able to do exercise/work out daily.First my boss asked me to keep a short term goal so i decided to ran 10KM race.I practiced almost 2 months regularly at first it was hard waking up at 5,1hr jogging then workouts but now im enjoying it.In one year i have completed two 10Km race,two 8 Km race and completed 24Kms in the Singapore marathon.My aim for this year is to complete 42.2KMs in the Singapore marathon. Guys jogging is the easiest way to keep our body fit.Enjoy jogging ,enjoy life

vijay said...

Travel to my workplace everyday :) You'll need no gym membership :D

Anonymous said...

some persons may like that they should be fit mentally...im in that case..
but i saw in my real life,most of my friends wanted to be fit physically.my friends also commented me,because im so lean..
at that time i will reply to them"am i going to join any terrorism party?.because there only there is a need of physical strength.."(u know a thing,holding an A.K.47 in our hand is not so easy,enormous amouunt of energy is needed)....

but after reading your blogspot only i just realised physical strength is also an importsnt thing for a person....

this is the thing,a blogspot should do...it should change the reader's mind...u did it....

u r rocking chinmayee.......

Bhavya said...

Hi Chinmayi,

Very well brought out.

I concur with your thought on fitness. I though started to see the exercising as a medical practice, but now i realise the happiness of doing it.

But the sad part is that i m not very regular. Some work or other gets priority over fitness regime.

However, hoping to continue with work outs regularly.

Kalpana Harikrishnan said...

My husband is quite regular in going to gym and keeping fit. Being a IT professional he has to compensate the long sitting work hours. Becoming a member and working out on your own generally does not pose serious problems. The work out 'packages' that the fitness centers offer really scares me out. Often the trainers does not have good knowledge and they dont guide their customers well. As u said the thing they are bothered about is only money. I have a lot of friends who paid huge sum and gained nothing. I dont blame all the fitness centers, but most of them which attracts especially the "middle class" and "i want to reduce my weight immediately" kind of people work only for money. Yes, we have to keep a regular fitness regime but at the same time double check the fitness center we approach. Afterall it is a health related issue.

-Kalpana

SK said...

my friend has spent around 30k for the past 3yrs with the gym membership, while he entered only once, to renew the membership!! :P it has become a common house hold story..

Shanthivardhan said...

Chinmayi,

A suggestion. Instead of using 'What the Hell?' another less religious and often humorous, way of referring to Hell is 'What the heck?'

Anonymous said...

Well it does help if one is committed long term and knows what to expect before attempting to dive into an exercise regimen. The first time I joined a gym (long long ago ...so long ago.. in Gemini Parsn complex - not sure if they exist there any longer) they had a sauna bath facility. Turned out that I frequented the gym for the bath rather than the exercise.

Cheers everyone and stay fit.

Vinoth said...

Hey Though this is not the right place to comment one of your song. I cann't stop writing this. I heard one of your song in Poo. "Avaaram Poo". It mesmerized me. what a soul full voice you have in this song. According to me it is one of your best. I can not stop listening to that song again & again. You sound different in this song. Please bring us these kind of melodies more and more in future.

All the best.

B said...

Chinmayi, I live in Colorado and it is very diffcult for you to see anyone obese in this part of the US. People do not goto the gym as the outdoors here are so beautiful. Every weekend, people hike, camp and mountain bike. Looking at your friends, you will start doing all these outdoor activites and start working towards a healthy lifestyle.

Adios,

B

அயனாவரம் கஜாமணி said...

habbaaaaddddeeeeee !. After a silence of sooo many days.. it really feels like ages, since you posted.. We were getting worried about you... Ever since you went off-air on aaha and the blogging also stopped... got really worried, if all was well with you... Looks like you are using the newly available spare time in the mornings to venture different things.. Great going !. Good Luck !.
Have you thought-of / something already cooking up on your new avtar on tele / radio ?. As committed followers, I order you to tell us first before we see you there ;)

Siege Perilous said...

Hey Chin,
if you can spare a day, I suggest you join a trek with chennai trekkers group. That will be the best experience you can have before you go to himalayas :)

I miss you from morning Aha FM :(

we are http://www.chennaitrekkers.org/ :)

arun said...

i met a auto driver ..and was amazed by his physique.when i asked him he told me that he drives for 15 hours a day..and ends up with body pain...most of the auto drivers take alcohol to have a good sleep after a days work.this fellas explanation was awesome ..he told me that he doesn't drink to forget his pain ..rather he goes to gym and the exercise helps him get outta his stress and pain. at least he got away from habits. so i personally feel it is individuals choice.i will never go there because am super slim ;)

jishu said...

hai akka,
Michael Jackson, the sensationally gifted child star who rose to become the "King of Pop" and the biggest celebrity in the world only to fall from his throne in a freakish series of scandals, died Thursday. He was 50. Jackson died at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles
-jishu

Narayanan said...

Chins,

Finally u managed to write one after a long time! And for some addicts (or fans) like me who feel annoyed to check back and forth every time only to find nothing is updated yet! Of course i know u can ask for feeds to be emailed when u update any blog. But call me lazy as i fail to do so... or i have another theory, its looks silly to get feeds for blogs! (hell...devil may care).

Anyways, I wanted to ask you something, how common is a word like "traipsing". I was like, oh my god! does this girl refer dictionaries to find new words just merely to use in blogs as show off! Can't u keep it simple as basic purpose of language is communication! Ofcourse the word is one more added to my kitty. But just wondering what your modus opeandi is incase of vocabulary building. Care to enlighten us?

Coz, as an average / ardent reader of all magazines online, i have never come across the word. May be if u cud suggest the same, people who write GRE or GMATs or Blogs may use your techniques to learn good words. I go one more step ahead in praising ur creativity in using the word "Thingerie", "magarine or marmalade"; u indeed have another profession of becoming a lecturer in English.

Anyways, coming to the topic, you did have a subtle message to readers esp. after those hard hitting topics a few posts before. But i beg to differ on your arguments! If u don't remember to inform ur gym of ur long absence coz of ur STM, u don't deserve one (membership!). Its just a phone call after all!

Secondly, the Newton's analogy looks out of context! In tamil we say, "Mottai thalaikkum muzhangalukkum mudichu podara". Newton asked about the fall of apple to discover some scientific facts. You are asking us to ask questions to exercise our rights! In what way both of these are in context.

And finally, on ur advise on pumping iron, i started in 3 months back, heck a very late starter at 27! Still, I had the passion to turn up their (free at our apt), for 2 months. It's not only that u feel tired, sometimes, u get demotivated when u don't see the results! I know that's instant gratification at its worst. But seriously that is one reason and I wanted to caution u on that! Have perseverance and don't loose interest even if u don't see instant results. It may be loosing some flab or gaining some muscles (as for men incl. me!).

Signing off......Narayanan

Chinmayi Sripada /Chinmayee said...

Narayanan: Reading- thats where I get the words from. And a vocabulary is to use. Not stack away :) And also, knowing some extra words doesn't make anyone a lecturer. That's a gift in itself.
With regard to the gym, Long absence was not because a memory loss, but because of a sickness. The next time you are unwell, it would be interesting to note how many calls you make to tell people you ll be unable to turn up somewhere. Also I beg to differ there on the way you put your point across.
With regard to Newton, my focus is only that he asked and is on the act of questioning. I felt like saying it there and there it is. It makes sense to me and does not look out of context.
Gymming is not equal to instant results. If you thought so then I am sure you would have known by now that you are super wrong my friend. I now see a lot of similarities in people who go to the gym and want to look a million bucks in a month and those who go to learn music and want to be a recording artiste immediately. I cannot understand that. I personally am not into that kinda thinking. After all, you have to put in 12+ years to get a certificate that says you finished school with some marks. Nothing more nothing less. That said, I enjoy my time at the gym and perhaps I can safely say that it will be something I will do for life.

Hariharan said...

Regarding gymming..i have this wonderfull experience of my friend to share and how he discontinued...

He was an over century guy and he enrolled for a 3 months package worth arnd 3k...

the first day he eagerly went with the idea to limit himself to somewhere around quarter century...

it so happened that he was on the treadmill joggin away happily in his half sleep when there was a girl nearby who was also in the tread mill. She used to regulary look and my friend and run. My friend noticed this and it was like everytime this girl looked at him she increased her speed..now my friend whom even being the yokosuna type (hope u remember him from childhood days on tv...) fancied himself to be usain bolt and he also increased his speed...this continued for around half an hour when these two were setting their own 100 meter records....The girl left and my friend was satisfied he had won this mini contest...but he got his medal after returning home..he was not able to move his legs and arms and was confined to his chair for the rest of the day

It was at this moment he decided that he will never again venture into the gym..

Now he is well on his way to hitting a 150 :))))

Anonymous said...

Chinamayi San...

Just Dance ... hav fun :)

Anonymous said...

Chinamayi San...

Just Dance ... hav fun :)

Vasanthan said...

gyms are places that just take and take. they don give you anything. u take back what you put in.

u pay them.
u work YOUR body.
u train YOUR stamina
and U build YOUR muscles

they don't give U peanuts.

so it is only our wrong to think they would reimburse us anything.

பட்டாம்பூச்சி said...

Have been in my To-Do list for a looooong time...
Will plan it atleast now :(

Mathavan said...

It is wrong from your friend's part not to have informed the gym for freezing the account. (No offense)

I have lot of friends just "donating" money to the gym by not going due gym due to various reasons. :)

Anyways, the gym could have been a little considerate on account of your friend's health conditions.

Good post.

AshWin said...

Another major reason people skip the workout practice, is that we expect results too soon..and when it doesnt come... we have a lethargic way of thinking.. and compromise ourselves ..to skip couple of days ....and Diet control is very difficult 4 bachelors !!! :(