I’m a sucker for sales techniques. I suppose we all are, to some degree or another—otherwise, nothing would ever get sold. However, some pitches stay with me more than others. For instance, when shopping for a new mattress this past summer, the sales professional reminded me that a good sleeping foundation was an investment. After all, in the course of a decade, I would spend more time sleeping than driving a car, but a new, high-quality mattress set was still much less expensive than a car. So, why not spend the extra bit of money?
This pitch came to mind recently when I was talking to a friend about where I work out. She had heard me talk about my 6AM workout class (and, yes, I may have mentioned how hard it is to get up at that time during this long, cold winter…). She asked about how the class was run and what kind of equipment the studio had, so I explained a little bit about the personalized approach and how, in our small group setting, we do a customized session that changes from week to week, each time targeting the major and minor muscle groups. I also explained how Kim, our fearless leader and fitness professional, knows each of our metabolism types, as well as areas of weakness and past injury, because everyone starts out with a detailed client interview, one on one training sessions, and a nutritional assessment based on hair analysis.
“Wow,” my friend said. “That sounds serious.”
It is. I still remember my first client interview session with Maryellen Grogan, the owner of the studio, who diagnosed injuries from a car accident that were affecting my posture and form during exercises. Keep in mind Maryellen didn’t ask me if I had been in a car accident—she told me I had, and as a matter of fact, the accident was so long ago I had completely forgotten about it. However, Maryellen could see where I was adding stress to my body based on poor exercise form and weak muscles, especially in the glutes (Kim told me later this is known as “deadbutt” and affects those of us who spend hours working at the computer in particular).
Going back to the conversation with my friend, I knew what her next question would be, and mentally, I cringed.
“So, how much does it cost?”
I cringed because this is the part where I almost always encounter a mental block from the person with whom I’m talking. This block usually takes the form of the same kinds of responses, e.g. “that’s a lot!” “I could never afford that!” or the dreaded, “Place X charges way less—and they have flat screen TVs!”
My point is, though, why do we think our bodies’ physiology and health are the places we should cut corners and look for the cheapest deal? I have friends who have had cosmetic work done on their bodies ranging from Botox to full-blown surgery (they belong to the same economic class that I do, so we aren’t talking about Kardashians here) yet somehow, I end up feeling self-indulgent because I pay more than the cost of a cup of Starbucks coffee for my workout.
When I think about what I’m paying for, just like the mattress, it comes down to an investment. Here’s what I get in return:
- Varied routines that kick my butt week after week. Fun? No matter what Kim says, no. Boring? Never.
- Fitness professionals who know exactly what my body can do, should do, and will do
- Nutritional counseling and guidance that work in harmony with my workouts
- Experts who will answer questions ranging from “why does my body do this during the workout?” to “what’s a good recovery snack I can carry around with me?”
- The feeling after each workout of being stronger, better, and happier
As important as all those reasons are, it’s the last one that gets me up before 6 AM, and the last one that keeps me coming back.