“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I hate mean people

Today I had plans for a free strength training session at Urban Active.  After my first half marathon in October 2010, I bought a training package from them for 1 year.  Most of that time wound up being while I was pregnant.

Last week, Joey called me from the Trainer Desk there.  He asked why I no longer trained with them.  My answer "I finished the program and can now train on my own."  (I do still train with a trainer, just not through UA.)  He told me that I still had 2 sessions left from my previous package and wanted to know if I could come use one of them to work out with him.

I'm fairly certain this was just a sales ploy.  I figured that I had no sessions left, but  he wanted to get me in so that he could try to sell me more sessions.  I decided to go in anyway.  I figured - why not get a free strength training session out of it?
This was my philosophy, I suppose.  You can change "no one ever" to "Mandy"
He wanted me to go in that week - but I told him I had a half marathon on Saturday, so no.   Then he wanted to do it on Monday.  What part of "I am running 13.1 freaking miles is not computing?"
What everyone should do after a race....at least for one day.
He then asked about Tuesday - and I agreed.  For timing, I told him since I had an infant, it would need to be when the child care thing was open.  Fine. 10am it is.

I got there early, warmed up on the stair climber for 10 minutes (0.5 miles), stretched out, then got on the elliptical because I was still early.  My knees were tender both yesterday and the day before (from the half), so I did not increase the length of time on the stair climber this session.

I went over to the trainer desk and told them who I was.  He wasn't quite ready for me yet, said he wanted to set up some equipment.  Without knowing ANYTHING about my physical capabilities or any potential injuries.
I stopped him to tell him about my knee issues.  Most of you know that I developed patellar tendonitis from over-training in bad conditions a few months ago.  I told him about this injury and that my knees have been a little tender since the half marathon, so we would need to be careful of my knees.  He nodded like he understood, but in hindsight, he probably wasn't even listening.

The first exercise was a full body workout - a step up onto an exercise bench with a shoulder press.  Great for sore knees. (And if you believe that....).  Did this to both sides.  Next exercise, one arm plank with the one arm on the black side of the bosu ball.  While doing that, row in a 10 lb dumbbell with the opposite arm, then turn and press it above your head.  All holding the plank.  This hurt the arches of my feet.  I mentioned that at one point, and he either didn't hear me, or ignored it.  I modified the exercise to be flat footed.  He stopped me and said I was actually making the exercise harder.  I told him that made it easier for me, but whatever.  After this exercise, he stared at me and said "You trained with someone for a year???  Because your core is pretty horrible if you did."
I stared at him at said "I just gave birth 8 months ago, I know my core isn't where it should be yet."  He responded with - Oh I didn't know that, you didn't tell me that.

Um.  Isn't that why you should talk about workout/physical history first?

He started me doing a squat chest press with the chain pulleys.  Afterwards, he was just staring at me.  I now envision it as - he was staring at my fat.
He said: "You ran a half marathon on Saturday?" in a very incredulous voice.  I was very tempted to actually suggest he pull up the online Cap City results, instead I merely said "yes".  He asked me why I run half marathons.  Because I like them, I like having goals, it helps motivate me, etc.

He said it's good to have goals, but....and began "explaining to me" how much pounding there is in running and how much stress and pounding it puts on your body.  He said, "People that are not anywhere near their ideal body weight really shouldn't be running.  That's probably why your knees hurt."  

I was shell-shocked and speechless.  This is not a common occurrence for me.  I think he kept talking about not running while overweight, but I stopped listening.

And then I did what I have previously only ever done because my water broke during the workout....I walked out.  I told him, I'm done with this and walked away.  I'm embarrassed to say that my eyes started leaking as well.

He tried to follow me and started saying "if there is anything I said that offended you,"  but I just told him to back off and that he didn't know anything about me.

Something to keep in mind if I see him again.
I then NEEDED to run.  I loathe treadmills, and had originally planned to give myself one more day off of running post race  Instead, I made a beeline from the treadmills.  Sweat is good tear camouflage.  I got myself together after about a 0.5 miles, but stayed on the treadmill until 2 miles.  Near the end, I realized that I wasn't even wearing my running shoes.  Oops.

On the way out of the gym, I filed a complaint on Joey.  (They have already called me about it).  I admit, on the way home, I called Sarah and cried to her about it.  I kept saying "I shouldn't let this get to me."

But.  I did.  

I get that I am overweight.  I'm working on it every day. I don't like being overweight.  In fact, I'm positive that I am overly sensitive about it and it is a big gaping hole in my otherwise healthy self esteem.  Nonetheless, I can't sit on my butt and not exercise because my body is too fat to work out.  That doesn't seem helpful in the slightest.  My sports doctor and physical therapist didn't even hint that I shouldn't be running at my weight or that my knee issue was in any way weight related.
Take that trainer dude!
This experience also drives home to me, that for some crazy reason, I really, really, really like running.  Whenever someone suggests that I shouldn't run, I lose my mind.  And cry, apparently.

It blows my mind that this is someone the gym hires to motivate people and encourage them in workouts.  Then again, now that I'm tear free, I am motivated to prove myself to myself.  I'm already making mental plans to push harder in my strength training sessions and find ways to add in more core work.   Hmm...maybe he is good at his job?

Thank you for "listening" to me vent!

What would you have done in a situation like this?


  1. Oh man that is BS. I'm glad you walked out and filed a complaint. What an a'hole. I'd like to think I'd have done the same but sometimes I'm so shocked by rude behavior I do nothing.

  2. I agree with Marcia. I bet I would have been too shocked to say a word! That guy is an epic doucheweasel. I'm glad you called, though! And for the record, I think Dr. Bright would have mentioned it if he didn't think you should be running and his credentials are certainly better than Joey's.

    1. I totally agree. ((HUGS)) Mandy!

  3. O.M.G. I don't even know what to say except you did the right thing walking away and lodging a complaint. Jerk!

  4. This made me cry (insert, I am extremely sensitive right now)... Trying to keep it clean and it is almost impossible. I very much dislike Joey right now. He obviously does not know what I know and that is the woman he was training today has more mental strength than anyone I know; has more determination, motivation, kindness and physical strength than most. OK, so I could write a dissertation on why the phrase "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me" is totally inaccurate, but I am still going to say, as Sarah said, look at Joey's credentials and then tell him to eff off...

  5. Mandy, I am so glad you walked out on him and filed a complaint. What an idiot!! I've told you before - I'm so impressed by you and what you've accomplished. Then factor in that you've done it all as a new mom. You ARE superwoman!

  6. What a total jerk! My mouth actually fell open reading this. I hope they were appropriately slavish and apologetic when they called you about your complaint. This is why some people won't set foot in a gym. I think some trainers are there more to show off than to motivate and help others--unfortunately you drew one of those this time. Ugh. I wish I could have at him again on your behalf. Good for you for walking out!!

  7. Wow, I can't believe he had the audacity to do this to you! I cannot believe he even calls himself a trainer. He was too interested in just getting another person to workout. I am glad you said something - often times something like that happens to me and I keep my mouth shut. You are awesome, working hard and doing all the right things. That jerk should NOT get you down. I'm going to go kick his rear!

  8. What an idiot. Why not find out more about you? Like how much weight you have already lost. What your goals are etc. Most places make you fill out a form or something.

    <3 Dad

  9. Mandy - Don't let one fool spoil all the hard work you put into what you have grown to love and have been excelling in. You did right for walking out. And I am glad you knew when to leave once the positivity left the room. You KNEW that what ever he had to serve wasn't on the "Mandy menu of goals and success!"

    In just reading what all he had you do after only a few days after the half marathon lets me know that Urban Active needs to make a huge investment in re-training their staff on how to train people effectively.

    You SHOULD be running! Why? Because you ARE a runner!

    As far as your appearance - You ARE a BEAUTIFUL woman inside and out who has NOTHING to be ashamed of or apologize for.

    Don't you know how many people you motivate each time you run and workout Mandy! I know this upset you today but remember who ever this "Joey" dude is, is not apart of you and have nothing to do with your success. He didn't give you your medals...you EARNED those girlfriend! :0)

    Keep Pushing!!!! Nic Tolliver

  10. Geez, that's awful. I'm sorry you had to deal with him, Mandy. What a dunderhead!

  11. I'm sorry that trainer made you cry! I've heard similar rants before from serious runner friends, but I always assumed they had the sense to not say hateful things in mixed company. Personally, I agree that running while not at your ideal weight IS harder on your joints (because that's a difficult fact to ignore), but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it or that your running is any less valid than that of a skinny person!

  12. I am absolutely appalled!!! Please do not let this jerk's ignorance upset or deter you. I am studying now for my NASM CPT certification and I can name a whole host of things that HE did wrong.

    I am sorry, Mandy!! What an ass!!! I hope your current trainer respects you for what you do and who you are.

  13. I'm so sorry that you went through that!! He should not be working in that profession, he is obviously not a people-person!

    I've had a similar experience to that, but with a professional situation. Basically the person told me that I needed to work on my skills as an interpreter and had used me as a "bad" example without telling me (this happened during a workshop and the individual was Deaf)! Plus, she was comparing me to a CODA (child of a Deaf adult), umm duh I am going to be "worse" than she is! All I could do was walk out and cry.

    I hate people like that!

  14. What a jerk wad! You have been doing fabulous and look great! You did the right thing! I would have been crying too if I were in your shoes! Wow. Just let his words fuel your "I told you so" and kick butt on that mountain!

  15. Are you kidding? How in the world did he think he could get away with talking to you like that? I really hope they take your complaint seriously- he should not be working there. I'm so sorry you had that experience. Good for you for walking out and letting him know you were upset!

  16. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. So glad you took care of yourself and got out of there. And, in case he needs some science on this whole "running is hard on your knees" issue, there are plenty of recent studies that show that, in fact, running with good form is not bad for your knees. Sigh.

  17. Unreal. Unbelievable. Unacceptable. Just flat out freaking wrong, wrong, WRONG! Kudos to you for not taking it, walking out, and standing up for yourself. You are beautiful and you should be so proud of how hard you work to achieve your goals. I am absolutely disgusted that Joey is allowed to interact with the general public....just horrible. I still go back to I think it's just plain awesome that you walked.


Comments pretty much make my day - so thank you for yours!