reviews. I used to think they were lined with pretentiousness and hatred, the mad musings of a woman wishing Henry Fonda was still alive and all women still looked like Jane Mansfield and Tippy Hedren (though I can agree with that sentiment). One of my favorite characters from the best movie of the year, “Birdman,” was kind of an ode to her writing brought to life by Lindsay Duncan. “Tabitha” as she was so called, hated the very idea of a mainstream “junk artist” trying to make credible art to save their career. It would be like Michael Bay trying to direct Death of a Salesman or Channing Tatum attempting Shakespeare. In her small part of the movie, Tabitha revealed all that is unbalanced in the world, that just because someone thinks they are performing art, doesn’t reflect that perceived truth and it isn’t real art unless the performance is sincere. Kael was pretty good at smoking out the inherent inadequacies of a film, and while I was a much different man at age 21, I can say now at age 36 that I share a bit of a kindred spirit with her even though she has been dead for more than a decade (by the way, I’m 36 for one more day! hehe). I can now see the predictable and propagandist ideals of war movies, predict just about every turn in an action movie due to the preset archetypes of yesteryear, understand how this comic book movie phase might doom the entire industry and know right from the beginning that J.J. Abrams is going to ruin Star Wars. But much like Pauline, I am now a pariah because nothing “blows my mind” like just about every television show and movie out there. The thing I liked about the Sons of Anarchy finale was the fact the ending was perfect and suitable to the show. If you didn’t know the history of the series, then the ending would not be so satisfying. It wasn’t mind blowing or bent on shock value. It was in line with the rest of the series, and I’m glad it didn’t end up with the main character Jackson Teller getting abducted by aliens or the show being revealed as some lunatic dreaming up an alternate universe in his mind or worse yet, a meta-universe created by a dying motorcycle gang member as he is bleeding out on the highway from an accident. So yes, I have trouble accepting this norm of critiquing where everyone believes everything is so earth shattering that their very existence has been rocked.
With that being said, I segue into another subject that I am becoming at more ease with. Health and fitness are always something that get a lot of play at this time of year. People gorge, drink too much and make false promises at the end of the year to lose some weight and join a gym. It’s a typical merry-go-round in regards to the fact our society continues to prey on the yo-yo mentality of health and fitness. People say eat better, but then the public makes excuses by saying “I deserve” to eat that unhealthy meal once a week! Of course, this gestates into twice a week, a few times a week and then everyday (much like what happened to me many times in my life!). But this year proved to be a little different, mainly due to the influx of new technology at the fingertips of the public. As people continue to clamor for phones they can’t afford or really don’t need to update, several companies are taking the lead in providing applications for not just fitness, but setting up workout programs and even eating regimens. According to Google, the biggest digital trend of the year was the downloading of fitness apps, far out pacing music download services and social networking. http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/google-play-store-2014-most-downloaded-apps/ It used to be that people who made phone applications were mostly slackers trying to make a few bucks with a stupid game or a silly app that makes funny noises, but now real science is starting to muscle in on the competition. According to the article, there are now 10,000 mobile fitness and health apps to choose from in the world, and it is a staggering number considering an average person like myself might think three or four apps is a bit much. This increase in home applications is just one facet of the industry at large, for the fitness and health industry in general has turned into a fairly decent financial boom.
According to industry estimates, gyms are also becoming quite a financial beacon as the number of gyms in the country has reached beyond 30,000, which is more than two-fold the number of gyms in the United States when gym membership became a sizable trend in the 1970s. There is some 58 million or so people in the United States that hold a gym membership, and the number has gone up almost two million per year over the last 10 years. http://blog.gyminsight.com/859-most-current-fitness-industry-statistics/ Now all of these numbers are great, for the industry in general generates close to 22 billion dollars in revenue per year. Throw in the fact the humber of personal trainers has increased, and one can see why fitness has expanded so quickly since the turn of the century. Look all over the internet and you see people making money off small fitness fashion lines. Around several parks in my own home town, I occasionally see outdoor boot camps with people sweating and puffing, hoping the new found sense of community with a group of people that are struggling as much as you are will help in their road to better health. Heck, one time I went running at Quincie Douglas Park on the south side and I saw a fit camp with people doing tire work! I mean, a couple of guys dragged a few tires from their home, the size of tires I flip and pound at Parsons Training, to have a fit camp at a park and then pack the things back up and leave. Now that is dedication! One of the biggest reasons why I was inspired to keep running was the fact a fit camp group of overweight women started running around Reid Park, led by a guy that seemed to be well respected from the group of women. Heck, if these overweight gals were willing to put themselves out there and show the world their inner frailties and vulnerabilities through their struggles, then I could certainly do the same (albeit I was typically alone).
I want to believe all the good things that happening within the health sector of our country, but is it really happening? Unfortunately, the reality of truth is kind of tough to swallow, and maybe it is moments like this that make it tough for me to accept a perceived truth that might “blow my mind” upon first listening. http://www.statisticbrain.com/gym-membership-statistics/ While business is booming for the fitness and health industry, the inside numbers tell a different story. Business is doing great because it’s easy to maintain a product that no one is using, and I’m talking a lot of people. According to the research gathered from places like International Health, the Racquet & Sportsclub Association, Mint, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Club Industry and Club Manager Central, 67% of all gym memberships in total cost are going to waste! According to the national average in regards to gym monthly costs, the average monthly charge is 58 dollars, and only 19 dollars of that cost is going toward usage! Let’s just put this into actual numbers. If you had a 22 billion dollar business and you were given 14.3 billion dollars for free due to the fact you won’t have to use much money for maintenance, labor and insurance costs, wouldn’t you want to get in on that racket?! I hate to be the numbers jerk, but the cold hard facts are difficult for me to accept, and this is just one of many reasons why 100 million people are overweight or obese in our country. If something sounds almost too good to be true, much of the time, it is.
This is where the preachy, deliberate and exacting person within myself comes out. Take it from a poor person that drives a 21-year-old Mercury Tracer and has yet to use his heater due to the cost of gas. If you are using your hard earned money to get healthy, then make sure you drain every last penny out of that dollar! If it wasn’t for my writing skills and my ability to make a deadline, I might have slipped back into the overweight hell hole that I used to live in quite frequently (although, since I recently had my cable television cut off, I would probably be watching a lot of my old movies rather than reruns). I know it is difficult to get out of your chair and punish yourself for the sake of getting healthy, but it is worth it. Yeah, the real results come slow but over time you will see the intangible changes within your self, even if it doesn’t necessarily happen with your body. If anything, not having a television might make decisions about working out much easier for me as the pull of my glowing overseer is nothing more than static now. You wanna know what the benefits of being healthier is? I mean, on Sunday evening, a friend of mine asked me to randomly run six miles with her! Or how about on Tuesday when I did 100 light dead lifts (135 pounds) along with 80 push-presses with 50-pound dumbbells as well as 50 bent over rows with 53-pound kettle bells--and then went on a four-mile run afterward! And then I ran again the next night! Trust me, I never would have been able to do these type of things back in the day, for that horrible first session with Jon where I only lasted 35 minutes is a distant and bizarre memory. I just want to say that you owe it to yourself to use your phone apps and your gym memberships to their fullest extents. Make the people that work the gym you go to actually work, and put some mileage on your phone running apps (as for me, I love to boast the fact that my first year of official running has netted me 638 miles so far, with a rather outside shot of hitting 700! Now would that be crazy if I managed to do that!) So here is a good New Year’s resolution for much of America. Rather than say you want to lose weight, half the battle seems to be just showing up and actually doing it!
About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
Meet the Author
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
Steve shares his journey once a week here on our blog. We hope that you find a spark of inspiration from reading his blog.
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.