Should I Star in a Workout Video? | HumorOutcasts

Should I Star in a Workout Video?

May 2, 2011

I work out a great deal. I go to the gym four to five times a week. I used to swim all the time, but I felt as if I needed to change up my routine a bit and surprise my muscles. I think they got used to “what was coming” and decided they didn’t need to work as hard to get toned.  So, for the past two months, I have altered my workout to shake my muscles back into peak performance. Instead of diving into the pool each morning, I head to the treadmill, elliptical and weights.

The most difficult aspect of switching to “dry” workouts has been learning what to wear at the gym.  When I swim, I wear my Speedo one-piece suit underneath old sweatpants and a comfy sweatshirt that is about three sizes too big.  I don’t have to look good to walk through the gym. My swimming cover up clothing is there to keep me warm while I dash from the parking lot to the pool and back to the parking lot again.  The nice thing also about swimming is that once I get to the pool, I am in full disguise. No one cares what I look like or even if they did, they could not tell who I am. The swim cap completely covers my big hair (yes, I did have to get the super duper model), and it is impossible to determine who is swimming the laps behind my purple goggles.

However, now that I exercise among the masses, the entire situation has changed.  I am on center stage with every other sweaty workout person on the planet, and I have to say, I don’t think I am a pretty sight.  So, I have to wonder why my fitness center, which is part of a national chain, sent me an email inviting me to participate in a video profiling me and my workout routine. Yes, they want me to be in a video to show people how wonderful it is to workout at my gym, and how the experience has enriched my life.

I have to guess that the sole purpose of this company’s PR department is to sink the entire chain. Why else are they inviting me into this promotion?  According to the email, they sought me out because I am a very active member of my gym. Did they even bother to see what I looked like before they invited me to do the video?  Perhaps, they should have checked my membership photo. They took that beauty about 6 AM on a rainy day – not a flattering pose.

If I had to do this video, I guess I could don makeup for the cause. Usually, I don’t believe in makeup for the gym. However, I refuse to take the time to do my hair. I admit that I do wet it down before I do my workout regimen because I don’t want to scare anyone, but once I start exercising, the curls just boing back into place and the bulk of my tresses expand in direct proportion to my increasing speed on the treadmill.  Last week, an Asian lady with straight, silky, black hair commented that my treadmill should record not only my heart rate and the miles I run but also how much my hair grows during a workout.  She thought she was being cute and funny. I was tempted to hit the “stop” button on her treadmill and watch as she catapulted across the gym floor. I figured a sudden stop would send her flying pretty far since she only weighed about 87 pounds sweaty.

Next challenge for this video:  my workout clothes. Okay, I did get a few pairs of the new cute yoga pants for my gym workout and some tee shirts.  But I don’t have the tight fitting stuff that many of the women wear. I don’t have the coordinating gym ensembles that include the Capri pants, matching sports bra and tank tops, sweat bands, head bands and iPod arm bands. I don’t even have an iPod. I go economical and sing to myself on the treadmill.  Sometimes, if there is a really gross sweaty man running next to me, I sing really so he thinks I’m crazy and moves to a new machine.

Anyway, after I read the email, I sent the marketing people at the corporate headquarters of my fitness center a nice note. I thanked them for thinking of me and I was happy they were happy with my commitment to exercise, but I turned down the video gig.  I told them exactly what I told all of you, and they too agreed that maybe I would not be the best person for a video which is meant to extol the benefits of working out at one of their clubs.  I also said that if they ever want to do a swimming video and they could assure me that only my head and neck would be shown, and I could appear in my swim cap and goggles disguise, I would be on board.  They will let me know on that.  In the meantime, I gave them the name of the cute Asian lady who runs next to me.  They are going to call her.  Let’s face it: nothing sells gym memberships like petite women who never had an ounce of fat on them in their entire lives.

photo by floating_zen

Donna Cavanagh

Donna Cavanagh is founder of (HO) and the partner publishing company, HumorOutcasts Press which now includes the labels Shorehouse Books and Corner Office Books ( As "den mother" to the more than 100 aspiring and accomplished writers, producers, comics and authors, Cavanagh's goal is to allow creativity to flow. She is a former journalist who made an unscheduled stop into humor more than 20 years ago. Her syndicated columns helped her gain a national audience when her work landed in the pages of First Magazine and USA Today. She teaches the how-to lessons of humor and publishing at conferences and workshops throughout the country including The Philadelphia Writers' Conference and Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. The author of four humor books, Cavanagh hopes her latest book, How to Write and Share Humor: Techniques to Tickle Funny Bones and Win Fans, will encourage writers not only to embrace their humor talents but show them off as well.

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4 Responses to Should I Star in a Workout Video?

  1. lbwoodgate
    May 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Why do people like the 87 pound Asian lady feel like that need to be a member of gym? Are they on some kind of ego trip to show the rest of us what we once looked like but never will again?

    • May 2, 2011 at 10:23 pm

      I don’t know – good question. But next time I see her, I will ask. Maybe it’s a cardio thing. 🙂

  2. May 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I’ll give my husband your tip about singing really loud to make the gross sweaty guys at the gym stay away.

    • May 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm

      It is a proven technique. I use it once in a while and it really annoys them. Let me know how it goes! LOL

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