Letting it go

My gym is in a revolt. If you’ve never seen 60 to 80-year-old ladies really angry you would be in for sight. Eyes blaring, shoulders strutting, fingers wagging. Opinions everywhere but no direct combat….yet (but they are suiting up).

I’ve blogged about it before. The gym has erratic hours. You don’t know until you get there if it’s open or locked. There may be a message on their phone but it’s not always timely. One message says “We are either closed or with a customer.” What does that mean?

Sometimes the message is from last week. It’s Russian roulette. Take a chance and drive over or bag the idea and head to the coffee shop.

(I know. Tough decisions for the retired crowd!)

For me daily exercise is important. I’m working hard to keep wrinkly thighs at bay. (Perhaps less wrinkly is a better term.) I am a tenacious bitch. I want to exercise in the morning and get it over with.

This is not working.

Pleas to use email or text notifications have gone on deaf hears. Oh, the excuses! “It’s the age of the group.” They don’t have email addresses (wrong!). They don’t have smart phones (wrong!). You need both for senior dating sites. Lots of widows there.

These ladies are not the senior citizens of a generation ago. For one thing those ladies baked (yeah I loved them!). Today’s senior ladies have things to do. There are book clubs, day trips, and volunteer work. Most are sick of cooking. The reason doesn’t matter. They don’t cook like old-time grandmas.

Last year I was insanely annoyed. I made the beloved husband crazy with my rantings. It was an explosion of anger. Then I got it.

You know that saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff?” This was small stuff. I’m not happy about the way the business is run but I have no control. I have options but the healthiest one is to let it go. (Breathe in slowly, then breathe out – ok, now go to Starbucks and find happy Kate)

There is a rumbling going on very similar to the French just before they stormed the Bastille. My hope is that no one gets hurt and my Starbucks blood isn’t spilled.

I missed several days this week but tomorrow I will go in and talk to the owner. Perhaps I am the one who could make a difference.

Then again, I may end up at the guillotine. Wish me luck.

Would you dare to tell someone how to run their business if they are hurting it?

cat exercise-treadmill

This is from a Shoebox card (Hallmark).

 

 

63 thoughts on “Letting it go

    • This keeps unfolding as the days pass since I wrote the post. People are starting to leave. I think you are right. Now you can sign up if you want a text when she closes. That’s fine but we are really looking for a gym that’s open during normal operating hours.

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  1. Usually I stay silent when a business needs help. Then when I cannot stand it anymore I say something, usually not in a calm manner. This means the business will usually fold within a few weeks! I have uncanny magical powers. Really. This has happened time and time again. 🙂 Here’s hoping your gym will keep going…….

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  2. “You need both for senior dating sites. Lots of widows there.” Now that’s a great phrase.
    So the owner is going to retire – lack of interest or ability to continue if there are health issues with the owner. Probably will not improve no matter what you do…..really sad as you said the group has been nice and the circuit equipment system worked well. Gyms are really vague and frequently change around here. If your gym attendance is paid by your healthcare plan, there’s the real possibility that the owner is charging the insurance company although not providing services being billed for. No excuse for not notifying people or posting when it will be open.
    With luck some young owner will see potential of providing older people (quite a market actually, right?) workout areas and routines and buy the location.
    Hope something works out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You hit the nail on the head. That’s what we are all hoping for. A new buyer. She had an offer about 2 or 3 years ago but her price was outrageous (said by a CPA, not me). She wasn’t ready then. I keep hoping to eek it out until that happens but we’ll see. Since there is no contract I am free to leave any time. If she waits to long there won’t be anything to sell.

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    • Thanks! I will do that when they open (closed again today). There has been a business decline but I don’t think the owner cares or tracks it back to her management (you know economic decline and all that). She’s humping out until her retirement.

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        • About 60% are Silver Sneakers clients which means she only gets paid when someone attends so not open, no money. However, the rest pay $35 a month. I would never pay that. It serves me well for free but if I’m paying I want something that’s taken care of with newer equipment and is more reliable.

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  3. I’d say something, if only to find out if the owner has any long-term plans (maybe selling?). I can’t imagine that she doesn’t know that the erratic hours are hurting her business. Not texting or emailing because some people may not have smartphones or computers is just dumb. Maybe you could just ask for a spare key so you can let yourself in if the door is locked 🙂

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    • You made me laugh. I asked for a key a year ago. She is retiring next year and has health issues. With both of those going she lost her interest in the business a while back. She closed again today so I will try Monday. I am resolved to look for alternatives.

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  4. It sounds like you’re in a tough situation if your health insurance pays for this membership– that’s a really nice benefit to have. So I can appreciate your really wanting them to get their act together. Recently my wife visited an all-female gym here because of the classes they offer (we go to Planet Fitness, which is very nice but offers nothing fancy like classes). She was was completely turned off by the hard-sell done by the staff there. Although the facility was nice, they were pressuring harder than a time share presentation. She’s now grateful for our more simple gym. I do hope you can make some progress when you approach this person tomorrow. At the very least, an update to the daily phone message would be helpful.

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    • Planet Fitness is an alternative for a gym that I’d have to pay for but the cost is reasonable. The one we have locally is about 20 minutes away (and not near a Starbucks!) which is twice my current commute. You know how exercising works. If it’s not convenient and moderately fun you (or maybe it’s just me) don’t do it regularly. The closest gym that is on my insurer’s list is a “body-builder” type of gym. I have been resisting but I may go to look. If they are a part of the senior Silver Sneakers program they must have programs that don’t involve lifting sky scrapers.

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  5. I would try saying something but it just might be time to mourn the relationship and move on. If you’re on Medicare and have a Medicare supplement, there may be fitness benefits like Silver Sneakers and Silver & Fit, or other programs that are provided either free of charge or for a nominal fee. You might try to see what’s available in your area. I go to those classes three times a week and I love it. It’s a combination of stretching, aerobics, balance and weights, but no machines. A really good workout! Plus, it’s very social. Oh ~ love the cat treadmill too!

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    • This is a Silver Sneakers place which is why I’ve stuck by it so long. It’s the most convenient and has the type of circuit work I like to do. There are two other choices but for various reasons they are not the best fit for me. However, at the end of the day, I will probably need to at least try them.

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      • Maybe a call to Silver Sneakers to voice your concerns is warranted. I doubt they would be happy with the situation. So frustrating!

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        • I’d endorse Carol’s suggestion: move up the food chain with your complaints. That gym needs Silver Sneakers funding, I presume. They are treating their customers with blatant contempt. But what a wince-making expression of the frustration you feel. I couldn’t bear it. Good luck!

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          • Actually Silver Sneakers doesn’t work that way. They give an approved gym on their list a fee when I attend so if it’s not open they don’t get the money. Most gyms are franchises so they won’t remove the entire franchise from their approved list because of the actions of one. Their response would be to go elsewhere (which is the correct answer). I am actively looking at alternatives. Thanks for your empathy though. Moving on from something you have enjoyed is not easy.

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  6. To me it sounds like this business might not be too serious about staying in business. I’d just cancel my membership and go elsewhere. If the management cares about you, they’ll ask why, then you can tell them. But if they don’t think there’s a problem, they won’t ask you– and you’ll know that they would ignore your advice even if you offered it.

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  7. The only gym I’ve ever been to was at school. However, when I wanted to get fit and lose weight, I joined an aerobics class. I loved it, all ages, all sizes, al idfferent levels of fitness, and we were never made to feel ‘different’ to anyone else, being gently encouraged to push ourselves just that little bit more. Are there any similar classes not gym related near you?

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    • As far as I know all of those classes are at gyms (so you need a membership) and they are once a week. I go 5 times a week. There are Zumba classes at fire halls and such. I have done one or two but I’m not a fan of Zumba. It’s more injury prone. Yoga and Pilates are expensive here. In the end I will have to find another solution.

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      • The class I attended was by word of mouth and there was no membership fee as such, just a weekly charge of about £3. The lady running it hired a hall once a week and did a diet/food awareness class beforehand, and then her aerobics. She was amazing, her classes fun, and it was a brilliant atmosphere. The village hall next door to us in Lincolnshire started an aerboics class, and I looked in once. I couldn’t warm to the instructor, and at £6 for 45 minutes, Hubby and I decided to walk the dog for an extra half an hour a day.

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        • There is a walking group at our local indoor mall and that may be a good alternative. It’s free and people come and go so there’s no “starting” time. It’s not ideal as you don’t exercise all aspects of your body but it will do. I exercise for my bones and walking will accomplish that. Some of my “gym” friends already do that.

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          • Do you have any water aerobics classes near by? I was told that walking or swimming were the best forms of exercise for me. However, when I swim, I tend to hold my head up which puts a strain on my neck which in turn leads to headaches and pains in my shoulders. Walking is good for both of us (and Maggie of course) though Hubby is sometimes limited, but we walk every day, whatever the weather, so it helps. I wish you luck.

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  8. It is too bad your gym has so many issues. It is rare that someone is so dedicated to staying healthy and fit. I hope it is resolved in a positive way….or perhaps a new place is in order.

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  9. I think you need a new rehab. Ours is open all weekdays except Tues and Fri after 1:00. Our cost is $15/month for seniors. That suits us perfectly. The group is nice, but your activities are your own; no aerobic classes, only exercise machines.

    Good luck with your group.

    Tom

    ________________________________

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  10. Are there other gyms? Or are the other gyms hardcore with body builders dripping “glistening” from their bulging muscles all over the equipment? Anyway, remember your options. Don’t burn bridges if you don’t have choices. But definitely plead your case!

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  11. I always feel like I have an obligation to tell someone if there is a problem with their service/ product before I start complaining. Because if they don’t know there’s a problem (or a crap employee), how can the owner fix it?

    But it sounds like the gym owners already had plenty of complaints and are aware of the situation. They just aren’t motivated to rectify the situation. So…maybe it’s time to quit the gym and/ or send letters of demand via certified mail outlining the problem and demanding your fees back. I guess it depends on how much time you want to spend on the issue. But it would be funny to gather a Bastille/ gym storming army and go in together. 🙂

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    • Nothing like a group of older women in raggedy sweats to terrorize a strip mall! I left my old PC physician because of his rude office staff and I always thought I should have told him. It wouldn’t have been easy though. I would have had to make an appointment because any letter would have been intercepted. In the end I didn’t think it was worth the effort. Now I see that he left the practice too.

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  12. I would have a hard time NOT having some sort of dialogue with the owner, especially considering that you’ve been a long-time customer, and especially considering that their erratic and unpredictable availability is surely impacting their business. Just from the bits you’ve shared with us, it sounds to me like the owner has one foot out the door anyway, and mostly just wants it all to go away. If they keep managing it this way, it will. Not only will the business go away, but so will all their customers. Bummer about such chaotic business practices, especially given that you are actually trying to do something healthy and responsible. Yep, I would talk to them.

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  13. I have not only told a business owner he was failing (a vendor I used to work with on IT outsourcing); I and two other of his clients got together and took him out to dinner to tell him what and even how to fix the problem. He did nothing, didn’t respond. We all ended up signing contracts with a more responsive vendor, after giving him a chance. He’s out of business now…but we tried!

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    • You are a good person. I had to tell a benefits vendor why we went with someone else and he complained that I had not talked to him before. I had but he didn’t hear what I was saying assuming I would never leave him. I am hoping this “intervention” works. I have tried before with ideas of how to notify people of closings but it hasn’t worked. However, her health is getting much, much worse and the real answer is to hire backup staff but she won’t do that. She is retiring next year so it will most likely close then. I doubt if there will be enough business left to sell.

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  14. Yes, I would say something! Like you said, if they’re hurting their business, then they should know. Of course there’s always a friendly way to go about it. Which my husband is much better at than me. But it’s the thought that counts. You’re trying to help them out! And those cat treadmills look like quite a good workout!

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