Amy Barlow Liberatore… stories of lost years, wild times, mental variety, faith, and lots of jazz

Tag Archives: Fitness

All That Glitters

A friendly, energetic employee
sits me down before my complimentary workout
She’s motivated
to sign me up for $29.99 a month
plus a “one-time $149 contract fee”
plus an annual $5 “enhancement fee”
(I asked. It helps pay for “cleaning and maintenance.”)

Rows of rowing and
shiny – if plastic – elliptical mills whirring
Designed to tighten sculpt lift renew energize
in classes or
in earbudded solitude

We’re sweatin to the Gold-ies
This gym, a starship enterprise
Squeaky clean, pristine
None of the primal potpourri afforded me
by my local community center gym

After pedaling pushing pumping up a sweat
I do due diligence in the changing room
A woman, quietly cleaning the bathroom
She, a little English
I, zero Ukranian
We talk with our hands and eyes

She mops up their leavings
Swiffers their sweat, and most importantly,
is not allowed to take tips
She is paid eight bucks an hour
Always on call, seven days a week

So who’s really sweating
at Gold’s Gym?

© 2016 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, The Tuesday Platform

It’s true. I went to Gold’s Gym with the shameless intention of getting one free workout, because our local community center is closed this week for an intensive cleaning! Madison’s Goodman Center pays their people a living wage, has no fancy frills, and houses a small – but totally adequate – workout room. The Center also has a senior café; an afterschool and summer program; a food pantry; a splash park and playground in summer; and a loyal, friendly staff.

When we visit a hotel or a restaurant, I always talk to the gutbucket staff. Those holding mops and bus trays. I ask about unions, about pay, about how well they are treated. And Lex and I consume services accordingly.

Stay human, folks. Amy