Thursday, September 18, 2008

Picture this...

I got the monthly email update from the gym a couple days ago. It was full of the standard stuff. New classes, time changes, reminders to stop taking the towels home, etc. But then there was something definitely out of the ordinary..."no pictures, please". That got my attention. In all the years that I've worked out at gyms, I don't think I've ever seen anyone taking pictures. I've certainly never had anyone specifically tell me not to take pictures. I guess when I was juggling my water bottle, towel, keys and iPod, I just never thought to reach for my camera as I was heading out for a workout.

It seems that one of this season's "Biggest Loser" couples belongs to the gym. Okay. Got it. I also understand the request to respect their time and space. After all, I'm going to the gym to get a workout, too. Heck, I want my time and space respected. But, I'd have never known they were there if they hadn't pointed it out in the email - or if the local news station and newspaper hadn't done stories on them and made a specific point of the fact that they were working out at that gym. My guess is, neither would 99.9% of the rest of the city. They could have just left the name of the gym out. You know, like I have. So much for flying under the radar.

Several years ago, I was a Richard Simmons success story. When Deal-A-Meal was all the rage. Back when you had to lose weight at home and then get on TV via an infomercial - not lose weight on TV via a reality show in order to be a "weight loss star". I was everywhere when you flipped the channels. I did national talk shows, local talk shows, Richard showed my clip on QVC for months and the infomercial ran morning, noon, and night for over a year. There were print ads in the Sunday newspapers. Heck, I was even paging through "Glamour" magazine one day and came across my picture in a review of "Sweatin' to the Oldies 3". I have to say that in all the time that I was in the national spotlight, other than a photo shoot I did at the Y in Aurora, Illinois one day, no one ever took a picture of me working out at the gym. And, rarely did anyone ever interrupt my workout.

But times have changed. Paparazzi have changed the expectations and the bounds of reasonableness. I wonder if people really do have to be told to not take pictures at the gym? It will be interesting to observe from the distance. I hope that my workout schedule crosses theirs sometime just so I can see how others react to them - and vice versa. My guess is that everyone will do their own thing and no one will even notice that they are working out. Don't you think?

(btw Red of luck! I hope you win it all!!)

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