Too Many Perky Pills
Women Exercising
There’s an exercise franchise that I quite like. It uses a variety of exercise machines placed in a circle, and members spend a minute at each station. Genius. Fifteen stations, one minute each, twice; half an hour and we’re done. Bingo. Exercise guilt assuaged.

The trouble is it comes with some staff who, it seems, are required to take ten perky pills a day. It doesn’t matter whether you are in Canada or the US. They are the same in both countries. They greet you with over-the-top smiles and higher-than-human voices. They also giggle. They even giggle at my bad jokes. No one laughs at my jokes except these ladies. It’s almost worth paying $50 a month to have someone laugh at my jokes.

The last time I signed up for a membership in this club, I quit when I could no longer stand the perkiness of the super-perky coach who insisted on asking me about my marital situation, my family, my weight-loss goals, and my job every time I attended.

I optimistically hoped that she had been an aberration. I was wrong. I find that there is at least one more of these women out there. The one I met this week was responsible for signing me up, and the enrollment questions are just as “out there” as the perky people. Who the heck cares about how my family is supporting my exercise goals? What? Really? I had already explained that I was sixty-four, retired, and single. How did she imagine I might answer this question?

Maybe my brothers and sisters want to support my exercise goals, but I kind of doubt it. They are generally quite happy with me just as I am. If they started to give me pressure either for or against exercise, we would be in new sibling territory. Mostly we are content if one of us sends an email about the holidays.

Perhaps she thought my children would be pressuring me to lose weight, but that isn’t going to happen either. They are just hoping we don’t talk about weight–ever. I suppose there are partners or siblings or children who make it difficult for people to attend exercise franchises, but without a psychologist on the premises, it’s really unwise to ask about that.

And don’t get me started on the Body Mass Index. I’m not a big woman, but my BMI is apparently at the top of the charts. As much as I always wanted to be at the top of some chart or other, this is not the one I would have chosen. At my enrollment, I had to submit to measurement of various parts of my body and then hold on to a gizmo that should have made it possible for me to transport, Star Trek-style, to a new dimension, but all it did was make me feel fat and BMI heavy.

So, I am starting on my twenty drop-in classes of exercise hell feeling like a blob. Nevertheless, I’ll subject myself to the thomp, thomp, thomp, of the loud exercise audio, and the high-pitched enthusiasm of the perky person in order, dear reader, to present you with my new and improved self a few weeks from now. My own perkiness, however, is not guaranteed.


Image source:×4575609/african_women_using_exercise_equipment_in_health


  1. Wow…that was important for me to read and process. Thank you for sharing this…and oh by the way…I “support” you Auntie Anne! Come to think of it, I always laugh at your jokes too. Honestly you frequently crack me up. 🙂
    Signed, your guilty as charged, “perky” niece….
    PS…Some people come from a sabotaging environment with family and friends saying things like “Oh you don’t need that diet and exercise stuff, you need to enjoy life”, kind of input. It’s good to know when a client is dealing with that at home or among friends so we can be extra supportive to counter…but it’s only helpful if we actually care when we’re asking the questions and not just filling in the blanks on a form…the question should be posed in a way to let you know they are listening and learning how they can best help you get what’s important to you.

    1. I’m glad you sometimes laugh at my jokes! Thanks.

      You hit the nail on the head when you say that the questions need to be sincerely asked, but my experience has been that they are routine. It’s more important to me that a person is caring and genuine than that they are perky.

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