Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I have a job! Yikes!

I have been a stay at home mom for the past 6.5 years.  I have been thinking it would be nice to break into the fitness industry, but wasn't sure how.  I have been struggling with the childcare problem, because I don't have a ton of time when Soren is in school, and really, do I want to give up my first taste of freedom as soon as I have it?  I wasn't sure.  I thought maybe I would wait another year.  Well, some of you may have read in the news or been affected by the fact that Urban Active was recently bought by LA Fitness.  It caused all sorts of changes at my current gym. I wasn't terribly bothered by any of these because the main reason I was there was because it was cheap, and my kids were happy there.  My previous plan was rolled over, so I was paying the same amount.  All good.  Well, right before Christmas, when I brought Keira in with me, they told me I didn't have 2 kids on my account, and that they could add Keira for either $5 a time or $10/month.  What?  I explained kindly to the lady that it was obviously a mistake, and the let me workout no problem.  The problem was when I talked with the new manager, and she didn't want to fix it without my paper contract that I knew I didn't have anymore.  I was given the run around for several days.  I was furious with them, and didn't want to pay the extra money out of principle, even though it was still the cheapest option around, even with the increase.  I had "some words" with a guy in corporate, and he implied I was lying.  He didn't say I was lying about this, but I told him he was making me feel like a lier since he wasn't believing me.  He didn't deny that.  Finally, I was able to go into the gym on a day when the new LA Fitness manager was sick, and the old Urban Active manager was there instead.  He fixed it, no questions asked.  Whew.  It is all good now.  Or is it?

Where am I going with this?  Well, as a result of all this frustration, I started looking into new clubs.  I mean, if they were going to jerk me around and not fix it, I wasn't going to stay there.  However, all the places I looked at were just as expensive, and the ones that were similar in price were much further away.  I really wanted to join the Y.  Funny, but our Y is more expensive because once you have 3 people on your membership, it is considered a family membership, where at Urban Active, you could get a single membership and add on up to 5 children for one $10/month charge (not the case anymore at LAF).  I have gone back and forth on the Y.  The one that Soren goes to to play soccer is a lot closer to our house, except it is on the opposite direction of Costco and Meijer.  I had been lamenting that there needed to be a gym by Costco and Meijer, so that I could spend less on gas.  Our gasoline bill is out of control every month.  I had calculated that I could save enough money in gas to make up for the more expensive Y membership, if I was going every day.  However, now that I only go 2 or 3 times per week instead of 5, I am not seeing that gas saving since I have to still go to Costco and Meijer every week, and I have to do them on separate trips.  With those places being in the opposite direct of the gym, it was the same amount of gas to go from the gym to Costco, instead of our house to costco.  I couldn't win. UNTIL THEY OPENED A GYM BY COSTCO!!!!  It is a Y, and while they have raised their rates even higher than I had last checked, they are hiring AND WILL LET ME BRING MY KIDS TO WORK WITH ME, for up to 3 hours per day!  My membership is free, and I just have to add on my family, which will be about the same as what I am paying.  I hope I can make this work out.  I have some stuff that I still need to do to be officially hired, like background check and drug testing, so I likely won't actually start until next week when everything comes back.  As a result, I won't have the opportunity to work before I can cancel my membership with LAF before being charged for February.  This is probably a good thing.  This will give me about a month to figure out if this is going to work out.  I would really hate to cancel my membership, struggle with balancing work and my own workouts, and then not be able to afford the Y membership, and be back to square 1 with the LAF folks.  The big thing is that I can only do 3 hours of either workouts or work per day.  They said they can be a little flexible with that, so hopefully I will be able to squeeze in an extra 30 minutes or so to hop in the pool and rinse off before getting the kids, or just be scheduled for 2.5 hours at a time to have that extra 30 minutes.  I have listed that I am not available while Soren is in school, so hopefully this won't impact my running at all.  It will just mainly be my swimming.  I do my biking at home on the trainer.  They will need me for a weekend shift, so hopefully that won't be too big of a cramp in my style.  They schedule a month out, so I should be able to list my race weekends, and even still work, after the race is over, and it isn't a big deal is I can't do one here or there. 

They hired me to be a Wellness Coach.  I think I can handle that.  It is mostly showing people how to use things on the fitness floor, and answering questions about the equipment.  I will need to get CPR certified, which they will do onsite.  They will also supply my tops, and I just need to supply black workout pants.  I think I have that under control.  I will be making just a tad over minumum wage, so not much at all, but it is better than nothing.  It should at least help pay for our rising healthcare costs as well as defray the costs of racing.  It will also get me out of the house, have me closer to home and shopping, and perhaps be that foot in the door for bigger and brighter posititions.  The kids will get to use the pool, as well as Ryan. 

Also, since I am doing the Run Less Run Faster, I am running less days a week.  The program really only calls for 5 workouts total, which is a lot less than I had been doing.  I still want to train for tris, so I can't completely skip out on the pool, but I am completely fine with my marathon training with only 1 swim per week, and one bike per week.  This means only 2 gym workouts, because I like to do my speedwork on the treadmill.  I would like to add back one more swim, so hopefully I can still do this even with the new job.  Also, there is a bigger range of childcare hours, so even on the days I don't work, I can bring Soren in before school on a Tuesday or Thursday and swim, then run while he goes to school.  That might sort of suck, but it is at least an option to get it all in. 

Right now I am feeling a bit crazy on this program.  I like that it is 3 workouts, but they are HARD!  Also, it is best to have a day off between them.  We are scheduled to be out of town the next two weekends in a row, and I am really freaking out about how I am going to fit everything in since I am supposed to cross train or rest between runs.  I did do my track workout yesterday, which I nailed, and my tempo workout today, which I also nailed, so I am feeling good about this week.  Next week might be more of a challenge because I will be gone Monday as well, so I will only have 4 days next week to squeeze it all in.  It is our anniversary, and we are going to be in a secluded cabin in the Greay Smoky National Forest.  I don't know that we are going to do much touristy stuff, so we might get some hiking or biking in.  I don't want to have to plan to run.

Sorry I haven't included any pictures in these last couple posts.  I dropped my digital camera and the screen broke.  Most of my photos are on my phone, and not the best quality, and not really related to the post anyway.  Now that I have a job, maybe I can get the screen fixed or just buy a new one.  Although at just over minumum wage, it will take me a little while.  Not quite like working for Fordm but it is better than nothing.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the job! Sounds like a perfect scenario!

Meredith said...

Ooooh, lots to add. It's been tough for me having a job where I don't make very much money when I was making very good money as an engineer. It kinda makes the job feel stupid and like I'm not contributing, but I know even making some money is better than making no money.

On the flip side, I think you'll enjoy having a job, getting out of the house, and having something else to focus on. It really helped me to put the stupid ironman in perspective and know there are bigger things than 140.6. I've been struggling with the decision on whether to go back to work after baby is born. I have the fluffiest job and it's so easy to work weird hours there, but I don't know if it's worth seeking out childcare just to keep my job. 11 weeks to go and I still don't have a decision.

You don't have to do the other workouts with the RLRF program. I thought the workouts were hard enough and didn't want to or have the energy to do other workouts. Follow the plan and you will see results.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on the new job

I belonged to UA, I have not had all the issues you had with LAF, I will admit, I am kinda waiting for something to happen to make me mad

Colleen said...

This is excellent news Melissa... you'll love this job for so many reasons!!! Keep us updated!!!