That's 17,520 Hours Of Fitness I Missed

So I was informed just the other day that my rate at 24 Hour Fitness was going up. Oddly enough, I had no idea I was a member. Back in the good old "I just got out of college, I have no idea what I'm doing so I'll still just smoke pot and drink every night and that should totally work out" days, I lived with my girlfriend of five years. I waited tables in an all black uniform that rivaled an appletini-serving ninja suit (let me tell you how high my self esteem was!), she was a personal trainer. I smoked pot and drank every night, as this was the logical "if I do this I will surely prevail in life" option, while she watched and wondered where this was going (spoiler alert: not very far). After the classic "things have to change" talk in any relationship that has dragged on defying all odds, the girlfriend convinces me that I should start working out more. By more, I mean ever. And by convinces, I mean threatens with the sneaky "I will break up with you" card, which, let me tell you girls, is a good one.

So seeing as she's a personal trainer, she puts me on the family membership plan at her gym, which is like 25 bucks. Seeing as this wasn't a gigantic financial commitment and being a boy, I just like buying things under the guise that I will use them all the time even though I will, in fact, not, I obliged and we start the fitness quest. It went really well for a bit, the girlfriend believes I'm a changed man, and the relationship rebounds.

At this point, I move to the desert in Nevada to become a gold prospector (yes, I'm serious), she moves to Chicago to pursue medical school (seeing the different life paths yet?), and in an unbelievable turn of events, she theorizes that maybe, JUST maybe, we shouldn't date anymore. At the time, I could not see the reasoning behind this, as we were perfect for each other. Besides the "I wanna live in lala land and drive tonka trucks in the desert, you want to be a real girl and pursue a career" part. So, um, fair point, lovely ex-girlfriend. And touché. Hindsight is 20/20. And hindsight is really good once you leave Narnia and realize that you cannot, in fact, talk to gigantic lions.

But you know what I got out of that? An "until you quit" membership to any 24 Hour Fitness in all the land. If you like working out, this is like finding out you just found the golden ticket in the wonka bar. But seeing as it's hilariously fun to find unbelievable ties of sadness to your ex-girlfriend in breakups and use ridiculous things as a metaphor for change, I decided to quit 24 Fitness. Apparently, the idea was to shed my life of my past, and also shed my life of really great fiscal opportunities. I heart irony.

So years later, here we are. And I just decided the other day that, you know what? It's time to join a gym again. It's that fun time where you go there, pretend that you want to change everything, the sales person presumably knows you'll hit it hard for about two weeks, and then shows you where they sell the chocolate bars are and you ask where the sauna is, because you don't really want to work out and secretly just want to pay for the ability to sit in a really hot room with other naked guys and then grab a not-that-great-for-you chocolate protein bar. Because that makes sense.

The other day though, I stumbled upon something amazing.

As my roommate and I are getting ready to head out to a concert, he begins to roll a joint. And you know what he's rolling it on? What appears to be a letter from 24 Hour Fitness. You know, the gym I quit two years ago. So I open it, and it turns out, they are simply informing their valued customer that due to the economic times, they are going to have to raise my membership fees by seventy seven cents. (Confused Scooby-Doo face.)

It turns out I've been a member at 24 Hour Fitness for about four years total now. Which means that, theoretically, I've also paid about $600 to not know this.

The best part? I'm not even mad. You know why? Because it also turns out I haven't paid the $600 dollars in question and due to some miracle paperwork fail, my membership just kept on cruisin' whilst I haven't paid a dime. I even checked this fact out by using my old membership card (look Mom, I kept a receipt for once kind of!), and it worked. They have a pool that I will try to swim in once or twice before realizing that I just keep pissing off the old guy in the next lane because I always drift over (how is it that I'm still this retarded at swimming at the age of 27?), and they even have yoga classes that I'll presumably never take. You can bet your ass I'll try out cardio-kickboxing once though, just because I can't believe this is a real class.

The more important part of this, though, is that I can now completely project my own anger at not working out enough at 24 Hour Fitness, because they never informed me that I had a make believe membership that I could have been make believe using. In no way should anyone's life problems have to do with themselves. Even better? I learned of my make believe membership because I was preparing drugs for consumption with my friend. So thanks for nothing, 24 Hour Fitness. I could have been SO fit by now, had I known I'd still had this membership the past several years. And hey, thanks, wonderful ex-girlfriend. You apparently gave me the best thing I'll ever receive in a breakup ever times infinity (see? the answer to that is NOT a baby, it's instead a free item you never use!).

So hey, maybe I'll see you at 24 Hour Fitness soon. I'll be the guy hitting the gym hard for a few weeks. After that you can find me at the candy bar stand over by the check-in.

Drew Hoolhorst

I have a black belt in feelings.