Planet Fitness

So, there I was, a middle-aged man with the flexibility of a lamppost, finally caving to my wife’s relentless nagging to join a gym. Why? Because apparently, my idea of “functional fitness” – you know, leaping over fences like a startled cat and hefting bags of cement like I’m auditioning for “World’s Strongest Grandpa” – wasn’t cutting it anymore. Oh, and let’s not forget the daily Olympic event of getting out of bed without my joints playing a symphony of creaks and groans.

We sign up at Planet Fitness, aka “The Judgment-Free Zone” – which is gym-speak for “We won’t judge you, but the mirror sure will.” The plan? Three, one-hour sessions a week. Piece of cake, right? Wrong.

My wife? She’s like the Energizer Bunny on steroids. She bounces in, points at the clock so we can get a bearing on our start time, and zooms off. Me? I’m left standing there, looking like a confused sloth wondering what to do first and trying to motivate myself not to run out of the gym and spend my time at the adjacent Starbucks.

Susan’s workout routine? Fifteen minutes of actual exercise followed by 45 minutes of a post-workout massage. Mine? An hour of trying not to make eye contact with the hulking behemoths around me, all while attempting to lift weights that my seven-year-old grandson would scoff at.

One fateful morning, I decided to channel my inner Rocky and hit the gym solo. I strutted in there like I owned the place (or at least like I knew where the water fountain was).

After what felt like an eternity of grunting, sweating, and silently praying for the sweet release of death, I dragged my jelly-like limbs toward the exit. Feeling a mix of pride and nausea, I approached the front desk guy, who looked suspiciously chipper for someone surrounded by the stench of desperation and old socks.

“Hey,” I wheezed, trying to sound casual while discreetly wiping a small puddle of sweat off the counter. “Any chance you could tell me how long I’ve been here? I was too busy focusing on building these beautiful muscles to check the time.”

He glanced at the clock. “Sure thing. It’s 8:30 now. What’s your name and what time did you get here?”

“My name is Bob Sommers, and you know,” I said, waving my hand dismissively (and immediately regretting it as my arm muscles screamed in protest), “I checked in around 7:30, maybe earlier. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?” I chuckled, which quickly turned into a cough.

The young man started tapping away at his computer, probably searching for my name in the “Potential Heart Attack Candidates” database. After a moment, his eyebrows shot up. “Ah, here you are. It looks like you started your workout at 8:05. So… 25 minutes ago.”

“Twenty-five minutes?” I repeated, my voice cracking like a teenager asking someone to prom. “But… but it felt like hours!”

The guy, bless his heart, must have sensed my rapidly deflating ego. He leaned in conspiratorially, glancing left and right as if about to share a state secret. “Hold on, Mr. Sommers. Let me double-check. I might have the wrong Bob Sommers.

“He made a show of looking at something off to the side, then straightened up with a grin and said. “Oh my, I’m so sorry! I was way off. According to our security footage, it looks like you broke in through the back door at 5:00 AM this morning, a full hour before we opened. You’ve been working out for three and a half hours! Talk about dedication!”

I stood there, mouth agape, as he announced this to the entire gym. Suddenly, I wasn’t just Bob the Slightly Damp Gym Novice. I was Bob the Gym Ninja, the Dawn Warrior, the Break-and-Enter Bodybuilder!

As I limped out of the gym, basking in my newfound reputation, I couldn’t help but think: who knew getting fit could be so… criminal?

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