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Suzi Foltz: Unfit for fitness?

“So, you wanna hear something funny?”

“Sure Suzi, why not.”

“I’m going to a gym tonight…”

This little exchange with a friend of mine in class pretty much sums up my attempts at fitness. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not morbidly obese or incapable of movement; I’m just…well, not very coordinated.

I’ve attended pretty much every sporting event our school has to offer; football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball. I’ve even been to some of the lesser attended sports like cross country, indoor track, and wrestling (I have yet to attend a tennis match, but the year is not over and it will probably happen), so I can say that to an extent I understand sports. I understand the competitiveness, the camaraderie, the attempts at bettering yourself, and possibly working to achieve the upgrade to college level sports.

With all this said, I have never played a high school sport, been on a team, or possessed a gym membership. I have however, endangered others with my attempts in gym class, damaged gym equipment because of misuse, and been told that I look stupid when I run… If you’re picturing a teenage girl with arms flailing and heavy breathing, then you’re close.

People have told me that you do not necessarily have to be an athlete to exercise, and with this statement I agree. I do enjoy hiking, skiing, swimming, walking my dog, and other outdoor activities. I feel like I’m safer as long as there isn’t a specific guideline for what you have to do and preferably if not many other people are around. I was quite content with my solo attempts at fitness, until the invasion of the Powerhouse Gym employees.

I know that last statement sounds like low budget indie film, but it’s actually what happened while I was at working my regular shift at Zeus Digital Theaters. I had been taking tickets when a group of young women in workout clothes came in.

“Hi! We’re from Powerhouse!”

“Oh…that’s great…?”

“We’re here to set up for the exercise demonstration.”

“Ohhhh, ok. I hadn’t heard of this, let me get my manager…”

-Enter Sheldon, my manager-

“Hello, what can I help you with?”

“Hi! We’re from Powerhouse!”

“Uhm…ok? What can I do for you?”

“We talked to Brett about doing a demonstration in the lobby to promote our fitness classes?”

And thus my day changed from watching the customers at the counter and listening to movie soundtrack music play through the speakers, to watching overly energetic girls dance around the lobby to what my guess was a mix of African tribal chants, Bollywood music, and Rhianna.

At one point, they offered for the employees to join in. I instantly refused, knowing my lack of coordination would probably disrupt the furniture or a small movie-goer. My coworkers were a little more tempted to join, but even they refused because we were on the clock.

After a couple hours the people from “Powerhouse!” packed up to leave and handed out passes for three free days at the gym for all of the Zeus employees. Somehow, in the week that followed my friend and coworker, Megan, convinced me to try a Zumba class with her.

Visualize a gym, any gym. I’ve had this habit in the past of always picturing super buff people lifting weights that I can only move with my car, or people who can run distances that again, I could only accomplish in my car. It’s a strange mindset to have, but in my head it’s like you have to be physically fit to a certain degree to be accepted at a fitness center, which kind of defeats the purpose of a gym…

I will, however, fight through this and use my three-day pass. I will do whatever Mrs. “Hi I’m from Powerhouse!” tells me to do. I will ignore Mr. I-Can-Lift-Refrigerators and Miss I-Ran-Here-From-Tennessee. And I will attempt to enjoy fitness.

Column by Suzi Foltz. Suzi is an intern and a senior at Wilson Memorial High School.