group fitness class ignite at gym in baltimore
Fitness Tip

Member Spotlight Blog: Ron Swanson and How Brick Bodies Became Home


Real-Life Adventures of a Baltimore Gym Member

Is It Just Me, or…does your life sometimes resemble a sitcom, too?

Like any good story, let’s begin at the end and work our way forward

(or is it backward? I’m so confused).
After a sweaty but satisfying workout (my first in a couple of weeks), I was in no particular hurry to get home, so I stopped and read the various sign-up sheets on the table near the front desk. Lo and behold, there was a sheet to see if there was any interest in having a class dedicated to golfers and strengthening the muscle groups that are used so inefficiently during the game. As of this moment I have just completed my second “golf workout” under the tutelage of Jared Collins and I can say without a doubt that he a tyrant. He seems so nice and concerned, but the next day there are areas of my body that ache that I wasn’t even aware I had muscles.

All kidding aside, this looks to be exactly what we weekend duffers need to get just a little edge over on our golfing buddies who shall soon be hibernating for the winter. So if you have any interest, Jared is the man to contact: [email protected]

But what was it that got me to the gym that fateful day? It was the culmination of a lot of… let’s just call it frustration.

A few days earlier, my daughter Gwaltney and her family consisting of her husband (T.B.N.D—That Boy Next Door), our 3-year-old granddaughter (The GretchMonster), and sweet little Emmett, our five-month-old “who couldn’t be better” grandson, took Mrs. Commish and myself to Lake Tobias in Pennsylvania. This is a beautiful little private zoo, no state or federal funding involved, just entrance fees and a few concession stands. There is a terrific safari ride where you can get up close and personal with yaks, Watusi and Scottish cattle, elk, fallow deer, bison, water buffalo, etc. After the safari, there are many miles of walking as you take in other exhibits. By that time The GretchMonster was holding a ball python and petting American alligators, we were beat.

It was at this time that Gwaltney mentioned that she had not recorded her 10,000 steps yet for that day. It seems that she was preparing to run a half-marathon next year at DisneyWorld in Orlando. So she made it a goal to take at least 10,000 steps (as determined by her fancy wristband) every day that she cannot run. Silly me, I thought it was great that she was getting back into peak condition after some serious health problems after the birth of our “he who couldn’t be better” grandson.

On the way home, Mrs. Commish and Gwaltney wanted to stop at a Maple Donuts store “because they deserved a dozen after so much walking.” Well, while I waited in the car with the kids, I see Gwaltney vigorously swinging her left arm as she paced outside the doughnut store.

“What in the world are you doing,” I asked.

“I’m only at 7439 steps,” she replied.

Upon getting back in the car, she explained that by swinging her arm she could get her step count up considerably. In fact, she recorded almost 1,000 steps in the 30 yards between the car and the store.

Like any caring Dad, I pointed out that “faux steps” didn’t count nearly as much as real ones, but that didn’t really seem important as 10,000 on the clock (or watch or whatever her wrist thing is). 10,000 steps was the goal… she was going to hit it AND enjoy her doughnuts. It was at this point that T.B.N.D. (remember, that’s her husband) told me that Gwaltney had discovered the arm swinging “workaround” when she was riding her stationary bike. She found that she could pedal 10 miles and also get “credit” for thousands of steps just by swinging her arm vigorously, too. There was a drawback, however. The swinging motion caused her butt to sway so that she had a bad case of saddle-burn that made sitting down tough for a couple of days.

After a good night’s sleep, Mrs. Commish was on her way to Brick Bodies for a swimming class, so I asked her to stop at the bank and make a deposit. Upon arriving home, her car was “injured, ” and she was mad at me because she would not have hit that post at the drive-thru window if I hadn’t “made” her to go to the bank. My next mistake was laughing, not at her, but at the absurdity of the situation. Thereupon Mrs. Commish told me that she was also very upset about having bought another timeshare and that it was The GretchMonster’s fault.

“Huh?” I asked.

It turned out that she was feeling so bad when our little redheaded monster had to leave midweek during a previous vacation that Mrs. Commish felt she needed to get another timeshare to let her trade into DisneyWorld so we could take Gretchie more often. Now Mrs. Commish had buyer’s remorse about spending all of that money and it was Gretchie’s fault. On top of that, her car was now dinged up (and that was “my fault”), so it seemed like a good time for me to get out of the house and go to the gym for a little exercise.

Well, at least it did get me back to the gym. I was reluctant to get back home too soon, so I found myself perusing the table with various signup sheets near the front desk …and the rest, as you now know, is history.

P.S. Don’t despair over Mrs. Commish’s travails as she can now laugh at herself and her actions. However, I’m not so sure about Gwaltney and her arm-swinging as that is still going on.