Gyms and Fitness Clubs

A Habit That Could Save Your Life


I want to conclude this chapter with a story I heard from a speaker at a recent club industry conference I attended. It's a true story that really hit home when I heard it. The story is about the experience a membership salesperson at a health club had with a potential new member.

It was an early October day. The leaves on the trees were already showing dazzling rays of crimson and orange. The temperature in the morning was a chilling 37 degrees with just an occasional peek of sunshine to warm the crisp air. It was the beginning of another day where I looked forward to helping people achieve success and happiness in their life through exercise.

On this day, however, it was a little different. I only had one scheduled appointment with an individual who had kept putting it off for weeks. I looked forward to finally meeting him. He arrived just a few minutes late, hesitating to walk through the doors. After speaking with the gentleman about his health for what seemed like only a few short minutes, I learned how much he needed to begin exercising and make lifestyle changes in his nutritional habits. His cholesterol and blood pressure levels were elevated to what the American Medical Association considers unsafe, he had a family history of heart disease, and he led a life where exercise was regarded as doing a few chores around the house.

In spite of all this, he couldn't commit himself to purchasing a health club membership and exercising. He knew he needed it, yet didn't choose to make it a priority in his life.

After the gentleman left my office 45 minutes later, I wondered why someone who knew his health and activity level weren't the greatest couldn't find it in himself to make exercise a priority.

Well, I followed up with this individual a number of times without success. He just kept saying, "I don't have time." Finally, I thought I would call him one more time. So I called his home, after a number of rings a lady with a soft, sorrowful voice answered. Upon asking to speak with the client, she said "My husband passed away yesterday from a massive heart attack. His arteries were over 95% blocked."

What a feeling of anguish I felt after the phone call, knowing I had had the opportunity to make a difference in the life of this individual.

Even more depressing was the fact that he never made the commitment to "get started." He never made it a priority in his life. He didn't make it a habit and as a result he lost his life.