I've Gone to the Dark Side and it is Actually Orange

I joined a fitness center. I never thought I would. I have always been anti-fitness centers, since there is a whole giant big world out there to bike and run and play in that doesn't cost any money, and fitness centers often cost a lot of money and they trap you into eternal contracts.

But I joined one. It's called Orange Theory for reasons that are beyond the scope of this blog because you can easily google them. I'm not trying to promote it or anything. Deborah joined a few months ago. Now that she has a sedentary day job, she needs something to keep her honest about working out. Recently they ran some kind of contest there where Deborah could earn points for doing various things, also beyond the scope of this post. One of those things, though, was giving away free passes to people for a complimentary workout at the local Orange Theory fitness gym. Always willing to help out my special lady, I said I'd redeem one of the passes so she could get the points. Part of the deal was I had to listen to their sales spiel. Fine. They weren't pushy at all. In fact, what I liked about Orange Theory is that unlike most fitness centers, there are no long term contracts. You can quit Orange Theory by giving them 30 days notice.

Particularly in the cold winter months, I am not good about getting the recommended 30 minutes five times a week of exercise. Even in the nicer months of the year, I usually exercise socially, biking around at a leisurely pace and stopping to eat food while doing so.

Orange Theory isn't any cheaper than other gyms. In fact, it's a bit more expensive. But unlike other gyms, their workouts are led by a fitness coach who can give you pointers for better exercise. I figure if I go once a week, it will keep me honest, and I will get at least two 30 minute workouts, guaranteed (because I am paying for it). OT workouts last for 60 minutes. Then my own workouts outside when it is nice weather will be supplemental. I got a nice OT gym bag and a towel, along with a heart rate monitor that is linked to their computer system and shows your heart rate and calories on a big screen while you are working out. It's somewhat like going to a spinning class, with lots of interval training, but instead of bikes they use treadmills and rowing machines. There is a bike option in lieu of the treadmill, and I might use it if the running aggravates my left big toe injury too much. I had my first official workout at OT tonight and it kicked my ass and aggravated my toe. But I felt great afterwards.

I struggle with weight loss, and it's a struggle I gradually lose every year, so I am doing this as a way to take my health and wellness seriously, at least in some small measure. One gym workout a week I can handle. The trainers are fun and awesome and it's a fun group. I can't with a straight face tell you I have not sold out to the fitness club hype. I have. But as business models go, OT is very low on the charlatanry scale. I'm sure I will give you periodic updates, so stay tuned.

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