Thursday, March 27, 2008

Workout? Eh, more like a jewish workout ...

(That's from Seinfeld. I have no direct knowledge of jewish peoples' reluctance to get athletic or work up a sweat.)

I joined a new gym this month. It was tough leaving my old place. It was very cool. Not a lot of meatheads or trixies. Not many frills, either. Okay, no frills. But it was small and independent and a real neighborhoody place.

Then the evil corporate gym started building DIRECTLY across the street, which I thought was really not right. It took them like 2 freakin' years to finally finish the thing and I strolled in there for a tour, knowing full well I would never pay their exorbitant fees ... just for the sake of clean, modern facilities ... and a greater number and variety of classes ... and a 50-foot climbing wall ... and machines with your own personal screens that you can plug your iPod into. And a pool. TWO pools -- one outdoor. Wow. 

But again, I'm not paying a 100 jillion dollars a month. I casually asked about an "actor's discount," which only one tiny gym I know of offers. And they said yes. Yeah, but 10 or 20% off exorbitant is no deal. What? 50% off? Holy crap!

So yeah, it costs me less to go to my new gym with all those extra amenities. An offer I couldn't refuse. And in terms of destroying home-grown mom-and-pop businesses, at LEAST this isn't a Bally's or some enormous national chain. It's a chain, yes, but still Chicago based, and with only 4 branches. A nice compromise.

Anyway, today, after several weeks of going there and using the weight machines and spin classes, I finally took advantage of said amenities. So after a couple of auditions this morning I headed over. I did a half-hour on upper-body stuff then hit the pool for a few laps, then the hot tub then the steam room. It was awesome. Except for the stinging in the eyes. I need goggles.

So always ask for an "artist's discount." It's well worth it, and who knows? It just may be your ticket to a world of unexpected (and certainly unearned) luxuries.

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