Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What happened to resourcefulness?

I don’t understand why anyone who goes to a gym and/or fitness club would ever require the services of a personal trainer. Why do you need somebody to show you how to use the machines/equipment then follow you around and say things like, “work hard” and “finish strong” at $30.00 an hour? Isn’t working out kind of self-explanatory? Just look at the little illustrations on the machine then go to work. I understand a novice might need some one-time advice on how to best attack their problem areas. Then occasionally have a few follow-up questions for the gym staff. I get that. But I don’t see the need for someone to be at your side for every single workout, telling you everything from what to do, how many times to do it, and when to get a drink of water. After the 3rd or 4th time I think you’d get the gist of what’s going on.

I know some of you may say, “I need that guy to give me an extra push and make sure my form’s right.” Extra push? Stay motivated by the fact that you’re not paying some "trainer" $30.00 an hour to count out your sets for you. Form? Aren’t there mirrors on every single wall of a gym? Just watch your movements and self-correct for Pete’s sake. And when all else fails, pop in a little Hall & Oates, crank the I-Pod up, and get busy.

Personal trainers? Are you kidding me? Generally speaking, they’re not highly-schooled experts of the human infrastructure. The certification course is like a three-hour class at the local YMCA. A few years back I almost became a personal trainer, because the gym-boss just saw me there a lot, and figured what the heck, he’s at least here enough. It’s a rack, unless you’re a rich housewife who wants a young, buff guy walking around the gym with you. Otherwise, how bout you bank the cash, and just figure out the treadmill by yourself. Let me help you get started. Push the Power-On button and start running.

But it’s not just the concept of personal trainers that makes me so confused. The other night I was watching TV and a CDPHP Insurance commercial came on. Their whole concept was that wellness doesn’t just happen in the gym. OK, I can deal with that. Get physical, by any means. I’m on board with that. Then the commercial started pitching "Guided nature walks,"a Health Coach, and someone to help you shop for nutritious groceries if you signed up with their insurance. First off: what the heck's a health coach? That honestly just sounds like something made up. Do Americans, in the year 2010, really need somebody to tell us how to be healthy? I will make this easy and tell you what to do right now: put down the ice cream, turn off Oprah, and do something, anything, active. There. Done. And by the way, if you’re someone that comes home from work and actually sits on the couch at 4PM to watch Oprah, then I say hire a personal trainer and health coach, and while you’re at it, I got some swampland in Florida I’d like to sell you. I haven’t turned my TV on before 7.30PM in ten years. That's just me. As for someone to help you buy groceries: what in God’s name is wrong with you? See a doctor. Do some research. Figure it out.

I guess my frustration in this regard came to a head today when I was listening to 98.3FM, and these DJ’s John and Jamie were talking about a link on the radio station’s website (or something like that) to help people with one of life’s biggest issues: how to tip a waitress at a restaurant. It’s a directory of some sort on how to leave gratuity in this kind of economy. Do people really need this much direction with such minute things? Who are these wackos?

I feel like nobody ever needs to think anymore and/or be the least bit resourceful. I swear 75% of people couldn’t get from the garage to the main road without a GPS. Aren’t there some things that people just want to work out with their own brain power? There’s no way a person could feel like anything but a complete clown if they actually went to a website to learn how to tip a waitress. Right? And there’s no way a person couldn’t feel like a complete tool if he/she actually hired a health coach, a personal trainer, and somebody to show them how to grocery shop. Come on, you're kidding me.

Is it just the appeal of having one of these people on your payroll? You can't think that looks cool, can you? Helplessness will never be hip. Sorry. Isn't this the country that invented the lightbulb and bacon cheeseburgers? Has it really fallen this far, been dumbed down this much? There’s a certain charm in just working it out for yourself, trust me, try it. And if that’s too much resourcefulness for you to muster, please, please email me about that Florida swampland, because it’s gonna go fast.

Brian Huba

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