Big box fitness: Free bananas on Tuesdays
We found ourselves at Walmart this morning, inexplicably at the cash before 9 a.m. waiting patiently behind a woman who seemed like she had bought out the entire store. She had bread and milk, clothes and toys, shoes and candy. It was like we were watching one of those contests in which the prize winner gets to grab as much loot as possible in a fifteen minute period.
Come on, down!
Being at Walmart on a crackling cold Ottawa Sunday morning seems wrong somehow. Everyone else in this pretentious burg is sleeping in or searching out the perfect breakfast of Montreal-style bagels and lox from Kettleman’s.
Or training for a 10K.
We are at Walmart buying Scott flip flops.
We settle on a pair for $4 after Scott tries on the $15 variety. If we’d gone to Sportsmart, the flip flops would have been prettier, but they would have been $45 at least. You can’t beat Walmart for value on something like flip flops; there certainly are advantages to shopping at a big box store.
We head over to our gym, The Athletic Club, which is across the parking lot in a space they call the Trainyards, once a resting place for old locomotives, now a mecca for seekers of the big box bargoon. Our new club is fabuluous, with two salt water pools, 160 classes and an entrance that looks like a hotel, complete with gift shop, fireplace and juice bar.
The parking lot this morning is absolutely packed and getting busier by the minute. From my perch at the second floor picture window where my stationary bike resides, I can see a steady stream of foreign cars and four-by-fours with a sprinkling of mini-vans heading toward me like scene from Wagontrain. Out of these gas guzzling monstrosities, couples pile clutching gaggles of babies and toddlers, all headed for the state-of-the-art daycare, a place you can actually see on close circuit televisions attached to bikes and treadmills.
I find it curious to watch the hordes. Peering around me, I only see about ten people on bikes and ellipticals.
Where the heck do all these people go?
They’re not in the gymnasty.
According to Scott, the occupants of all these cars aren’t in the pool, either. He had his own salty dog experience alone — the pool all to himself.
The answer, of course, is yoga class or stretching class or 20-20-20. These classes are held in mysterious places around the perimeters of the club, places I have yet to tread. While I’ve lost a few inches over the past month of heavy breathing, I am still not yet Lu Lu Lemon worthy.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not ashamed.
I can bench 150 pounds with my legs and pump out a solid one hour, 350 calorie workout on the bike. Not too bad for a girl who just a month ago had a lifetime membership in cellulite of the month club.
After my workout, I head to the women’s change room, and there they all are, clusters of women, all shapes and sizes in various states of undress, body parts bound in Lycra, all jostling for a postage stamp place to place their asses.
It finally clicks. I have taken out a fitness membership in Big Box Fitness, a kind of Walmart for Workouts.
The similarities are astonishing.
There are friendly greeters at the door, able assistants to change the paper towel when needed and an accounting department that is raking in the cash. Like all great big boxers, it is a place you can find everything you need in one handy location – and you can’t beat the price.
Of course, The Athletic Club is a lot classier than Walmart, but it is still a human car wash with a bottle neck in the change room instead of at the cash.
No complaints from this end. The parking lot is full, but I can always get a machine when I need it.
No lineups or waiting required.
Free bananas on Tuesdays.
Gotta love that.