Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Not My 9-5

I have been surprised at the language barrier here and how many of the staff - from concierge to gym staff - speak little to no ingles. I also have been surprised at the relative ease at which my Spanish has, thankfully, found its way back to me, after being tucked away in my subconscious for nearly six years. So, as mentioned, I'm here to personal train, right? Right. (And, y'know, test all the daquiri flavors.) I had visions of a shiny resort gym, a sign-up board with appointments, giving my trainees my best Jillian-esque workout, maybe even doing some on-the-floor weight loss coaching, converting their vacay into a mini Canyon Ranch in their one hour with me. Lovely, right? (I'm good at this vision work stuff.)

Reality? Not so much. Why I was way off:
1) It took me 2 days to merely figure out who scheduled people to be working in the gym. In these 2 days Matt and I learned that it also takes an act of congress to get towels or make a dinner reservation. Laid back? Um, you bet. When I finally found "my boss," I'm not even sure he really knew I was supposed to be here. Then he asked if I could teach "aerobics in la piscina." Luckily "no" needs no translation.
2) The gym looks exactly like my high school gym which was geared towards wrestlers and lineackers. The only thing "shiny" about it is the perma-stains of sweat on the weight benches.
3) The gym is run by Hector who speaks no english, thinks Matt plays for the Braves (did I mess something up in translation?), works from 7a to 7p for a wage that makes US minimum wage look like a make it rain kinda salary, and told me he's is mucho bored. So, no sign up boards.
4) I saw 2-4 guests use the gym. Most of the occupants are employees of the resort, and clearly not interested in a training session. I guess this is how Hector survives - companionship.

I felt somewhat awkward and useless today in my first "working" day. I spent 20 minutes talking to Hector, but the acoustics in the gym were so bad that every 3rd or 4th response was lost - add to that I was trying to salvage my rusty Spanish skills and it ended up being my brain getting the biggest workout of all. Don't get me wrong: I ain't complaining! I'm in a tropical paradise, working 1 hour a day, and the pina colada machine never turns off. I'll figure out a way to live with all this let-down.

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