My company has this program that pays 50% of our gym memberships. Sometimes I think it’s the only reason I joined–because I’m cheap and I can’t resist a bargain. Also because my really fit friend at the office goes, and I delusionally thought I too could someday have a waist.
We’re starting to hear a lot about corporate wellness programs, and how employers are realizing that a healthy workforce is a more productive one–not to mention a far less expensive one down the road. Gym allowances also make for good retention tools (fit workers are happy workers). Companies cited by lists like Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For avail workers of walking paths and on-site yoga. Google tosses around exercise balls for workers to sit on during meetings; somehow I don’t see those techies using them for ab curls, but maybe I’m wrong and their 24-hour work days are making them totally buff.
These days I try to hit the gym twice or three times a week, and because I lack self motivation, my preferred mode of exercise is taking classes. I can’t do it alone; I need to be surrounded by other people going through the same idiotic moves.
I like to watch people exercise. My classmates invariably remind me of people at work, and I speed the time by pigeonholing them into office stereotypes. The thing about classes is that they’re populated almost entirely by women, which is a shame, anthropologically speaking–it’s an imperfect sample. But who cares? It’s still fun. Below, my highly scientific categories:
* THE HARD-WORKER. She wears no makeup, no-nonsense gym clothes, and bears a look of fierce determination (is there any other kind? …sorry–I’m such a hack; it’s been a hell of a week). She pounds away on her step, doubles up her weights and winds up the hour dripping with sweat. She’s the one who stays at the office till 2 a.m. to whip the project into shape and fully expects to make it on merit. She’ll be passed over for…
* THE BROWN-NOSER. She sets up the instructor’s mat and equipment before he even arrives. She chitchats with him about his last class (“I seriously had nightmares you weren’t coming today”–REAL QUOTE). She’s the one who sidles up to the boss during the holiday party and who thinks she can charm her way to the top. Her competition is…
* THE SHOW-OFF. She parks her mat at the front of the room right behind the instructor (but off to the side a bit so he won’t obstruct her view of the mirror). She wears tankinis with short shorts and never takes her eyes off her reflection. She kicks the highest, lunges the deepest and always finishes with an extra pushup. She’s the one who dazzles the clients with her confident presentation and her brilliant strategy. If the hard-worker and the brown-noser ever make friends, they’ll plot a way to kill her.