So, I've never actually seen the movie "Lost in Translation," but I figured it was a good title for this blogpost. You can decide for yourself.
After we moved out of the hotel , I lost access to the gym and knew that I would need to join one here. Mike joined a Crossfit gym but there was no way I was going to be even putting my big toe in that gym. No thanks. So, we set out looking for just your basic gym pour moi. In the United States, I just used the little fitness center at the bottom of my apartment building which served me just fine. They had your basic weights, some treadmills and a few elliptical. It was all I needed and saved me from paying for a gym membership. When we moved here, I knew that the liklihood of finding an apartment building with a gym in it was slim to none, so I'd have to join a gym.
Fast forward to last week and the hunt began. After a little bit of research (aka googling Turkish gym and various other similar combinations), I stumbled upon what looked like a great gym with more than what I needed. Plus, it was block away from my apartment! Perfect!
So, after a week of walking by, looking in, but not daring to attempt to interact with anyone, I finally mustered up the courage to go ask about joining. When I got there, I was greeted by a woman in business attire who explains the monthly costs and asks if I would like to join. I agree and she has me follow her to a table where she has me fill out a bunch of paperwork. After signing my name at the bottom of four or five Turkish paragraphs (what did they say, you ask? You should probably ask her because I have no idea), she leads me downstairs to the locker rooms. She shows me how to open the lockers and starts to leave. As she is leaving, she says "Once you are done, you meet with personal trainer."
I just want to do my run (okay...run/walk....mainly walk) and get out of there.
Oh no. That was not what was going to happen. I end up meeting with multiple trainers over the course of an hour where they strap me into things, have me perform all sorts of tests, and write down all sorts of notes about me. All the while, I'm just standing there, not sure where to even begin asking what was going on.
Trainer 1: Weighs me and takes my height. He has me put my hands on these handle bars that measures stuff inside my body. After about 30 seconds on that thing, I sit down and he looks at his computer. He starts talking and goes "your heart looks good and you...how do I say this (points to kidney and liver) are healthy but you are a little fat." WELL THANKS. I mean, I know the #hoganfarewelltour added a little fluffiness to my muffin top, but don't you think this is why I'm joining the gym? I'll just chalk it up to being lost in translation. After we are done going over my stats, he hands me a belt and shows me that I need to lift up my shirt and wrap it around my rib cage. Not sure how to ask what this is for, I go in the locker room and buckle this belt around my ribs as well as plaster the I-have-no-idea-what-is-going-on look all over my face.
Trainer 2: When I come out of the locker room, trainer #1 hands me off to trainer #2 who escorts me upstairs to the treadmill. He plugs in a key into a treadmill and has me do this 15 minute walk with varying paces. Somehow, the key and the belt are connected because the treadmill is measuring my heart rate even when I'm not touching the treadmill with my hands. Pretty cool. So anyways, this little test ends after 15 minutes and, while it wasn't particularly tough, I guess it got the stats it needed. So I head back downstairs where I meet Trainer #2 and
Trainer #3: They escort me to the elevator where we go up to the fourth floor where there is a weight room. They show me how to do different weights and write down the different weight I can do for each machine. This is all fine and dandy, except me saying "heavier" or "lighter" is basically a moot point because none of them speak English and my attempts at learning Turkish have only gotten me as far as "My name is Sarah." They also underestimated my horseback riding thunder thighs, so I can guarantee whatever weight they wrote down for the leg muscle machines is wrong. About halfway through, I guess they decided they were done with this, because I got handed off to....
Trainer #4: This was the first woman I interacted with. We continue with the weight machines, but whenever I start a set, she leaves to go talk on her phone or do something else in the weight room. Luckily,
Trainer #5: comes over and he speaks a little English, so he tells me what to do and I finish. When I'm done, he hands me the list of weight machines that I've done and the weights for each machine. He tells me that I need to take this downstairs.
I take the sheet down, thinking they're going to give me some sort of workout plan/regimen. Nope! Trainer #2 just says "Okay thank you bye bye!" (side note: everyone here says this to us when we leave anywhere. It's kind of funny.) So I left.
About halfway home, I realized I still had on the heart rate belt, but there was no way I was about to go back there then. I also realized that I never got any sort of membership card or key or anything to show that I joined.Not sure of what took place yesterday, I had no idea what to expect when going today.
I walked up to the gate and smiled at the guy behind the desk. I paused when I walked in and smiled at him, giving him that look like "Do I need to do anything? Sign in?" but he just smiled back so I just kept walking. I walked downstairs where I originally received the heart rate belt. There was a guy (not one of the five trainers I met with yesterday...another one) sitting in front of the desk. I shoot him the same smile I gave the guy at the front desk, but again, just got a smile back, so off to the treadmills I went.
I did my normal run/jog, all while looking around for any sort of hint that maybe I needed to sign in or do something. There was nothing of that sort. Also, have you ever heard the saying "Girls don't sweat, they glisten" ? I sweat. I am a hot and sweaty mess when I leave the gym. Turkish women, though? Oh they glisten. They also look great while working out.
Anywaysssss, after my time on the treadmill, I head over to a bike, mainly so I can watch people as they come in to see if I am doing something wrong. Nope. Everyone does exactly what I do.
I guess I'll head back tomorrow and repeat today's series of events. Maybe if I'm feeling brave, I'll head up to the weight room, but I'm not sure if I need that paper with my weight and if I do, how to get it. And maybe, one day, if I'm feeling especially brave, I'll attempt to take a fitness class they offer, although it better be one where I can just watch what the instructor is doing and copy them because who knows what kind of test they'll have me do if I have to speak to them.
Overall, it seems like a really nice gym. The facilities are nice, it hasn't been too crowded and it has more than enough equipment for me. I just think that somewhere between me motioning that I wanted to join the gym and the woman handing me the papers, it got lost in translation that all I really wanted to do was run on the treadmill.