Monday, September 17, 2007

The Positively Negative Experience at Curves

I went to Curves this morning to work out. My friend loves working out, and we try to do it together, so she met me there and we began our routine.

For those of you not familiar with Curves, it's a club for women only, where we can get a 30-minute workout. There are 15 stations positioned in a circle: There are 8 workout machines and 7 platforms. You spend a minute at each station as you work your way around, either working out on the machines or doing whatever keeps you moving when you're on the platforms. The idea is to never stop moving, and do it vigorously, for 30 minutes. There is vibrant get-up-and-go music blaring loudly, and every minute, a woman's voice smoothly says "change stations."

But today something had changed.

At first we worked through the first two sets, not realizing that we hadn't heard "change stations" yet. Then we heard a new woman's voice chirp cheerily "Be positive!"

"What's going on here?" we asked the attendants. We were told that they were trying out a new style, where instead of hearing "change stations", we were to be spoon-fed bromides to help motivate us.

Oh puhleeze!

We protested loudly, not because we are negative people (as one of the attendants implied). If we were truly negative, neither of us would be the success that we've become. But we are both so very repulsed by this newest "quick fix" idea.

Although (obviously) most people have average IQs, are they really so gullible as to be easily influenced through not-so-subtle exortations? And must we all be put through a mindless series of messages, droning on repeatedly?

"Be beautiful!" "Be Dynamic!" "Be Happy!" was all we heard every minute during our tiresome 30-minute workout. The only way this new program will help as a weight loss is through the nausea that it induces. It also disrupts the concentration and is an irritant to the mind.

What was Curves thinking? Obviously someone in their marketing department has just bought into one of those newest, recycled management fads (as I wrote about here). Too bad the American consumer has grown resistant and resentful of such fads, overall.

I often quote my grandmother, who was the repository for pithy sayings. Here's yet another one that applies: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


The Lazy Iguana said...

Step 1 - get an I-Pod
Step 2 - Record yourself saying "change stations" every minute in MP3 format
Step 3 - put the MP3 file on your I-Pod
Step 4 - wear the I-Pod to the workout place.

Problem solved. Here is another solution.

1. get your own music loaded on the I-Pod
2. Change stations every time you see people changing stations.

Again - problem solved.

Men have to think up all the solutions to the world's problems :)

The sailing school is going to cost me just under 5 Franklins for the first class. To pass, I have to be able to dock the 20 footer under sail power, and leave the dock / marina under sail power. No engines are on the learner boats. I watched someone do it and I think I know how it is done. Come in under sail, and just before you ram the docks drop the sails - then coast in.

OJ is going away for 4 - 30 years. Lets just hope it is closer to 30 than 4.

Kathleen said...


I am sick of the "latest and greatest." Usually it is some politically correct trend and full of crap! Years ago I worked for a social service NP as VP of Development. The VP of Finance and I were the only senior staff that did not come up through the ranks of social work. One day the President of the organization came to a senior staff meeting and said we should no longer use violent words. Somewhat new to the organization, I began to laugh thinking it was a joke. It was not. I then asked for an example ... she replied, "like ... I'll take a stab at that." Shocked, I muttered something like ... "gee, can you imagine how great literature would become mush if we removed all violent words and violence." She quickly snapped, "give me an example." I responded (not to wisely) off the top of my head with "beating a dead horse." Silence fell. I survived. Some months later, a new fad emerged and we moved on to that one. The cycle is endless and unfortunately most of these fads are poorly conceived and mundanely predictable. I like Lazy's I Pod solution.

Lazy, my father was a master sailor and would NEVER come into dock under motor. A REAL SAILOR SAILS INTO DOCK! Good luck.

R2K said...

Please join me for a caption contest:

Send in your edited cartoon and-or vote on the work of others.


M@t said...

You look so hot I could lick your entire body.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Kathleen - some docks are really tight and some marinas are very crowded. So there are some places even the best sailor would have to use the engine for. There is simply not any room to do anything else.

But the sailing school is not in such a marina. I think I could get one of their 20 footers out of the docks under sail. I could probably dock under sail too, but I may come in a bit rough the first few times. It does not look hard, and the boats are not that big.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, An excellent solution! We may end up doing the Ipod thing! Then my friend can have her classical music and I can have my techno... BUT, we won't be able to talk, either.

Mat, there's nothing like a well drawn toon, huh?

R2K, will do, Alex!

Kathleen, so VERY true. I have to believe that some of these people that jump onto the politically correct bandwagon do so because they're merely followers and haven't thought the whole thing through. Sometimes when they're challenged (as you did) it solves the problem. But if you're dealing with a real egomaniac (as I once did) they see the challenge as a threat to their self-identity and worthiness. That's when it's tougher - do you put up & shut up or leave the situation altogether?

Incidentally, your two quotes somehow reminded me of a very coarse and trashy boss I once had. To whatever question you might pose her, she would ask "Does a bear shit in the woods?!" I always assumed that meant yes, but not being familiar with a bear's toileting habits, I couldn't swear I was correct. For all I know, they have their own little bear outhouses and use toilet paper (like the Charmin ad).

Kathleen said...

Saur, in a "kinder and gentler" world ... bears absolutely use outhouses and Charmin. It's true. Look it up.;-)

The Lazy Iguana said...

Zoo bears do not shit in the woods. Neither do polar bears.

So no, all bears do not shit in the woods. Only some bears shit in the woods. The rest drop a duce in the zoo or on a sheet of ice.

I hope that clears this up once and for all.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy Iguana, thank you for these salient points. :D

Kathleen, I would like to think that bears used Charmin. I always loved fairy tales... at least the ones that weren't too darkly horrific like the one about the little girl that danced too much so she got some enchanted shoes that wouldn't come off her feet, so someone finally had to chop her feet off. That one left me with nightmares for a week when I was a kid. That was one of the UNedited Grim's tales.

M@ said...

We were told that they were trying out a new style, where instead of hearing "change stations", we were to be spoon-fed bromides to help motivate us.

Gay. Totally gay.

M@ said...

Marketing people have to justify their existence, Sauer. So true.

Saur♥Kraut said...

M@ ;o)