The Confessional, Part I

<!– Field notes for becoming Fitter Happier –>

Today is my Fitness Evaluation and Consultation at the club. This evaluation is mandatory for all new members of PF, and anyway, it probably will be useful to have some sort of benchmark from which to chart my "progress" towards the neoplatonic ideal of the 99th percentile.

The process begins before I arrive at PF, when I am at home completing a five page questionnaire for my consultation, which includes the PAR-Q (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire) published by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Other sections ask me to divulge my fitness background, my medical history, my nutritional and wellness status, and my lifestyle habits.

The final section, entitled "Desired Results You Wish To Achieve", offers a series of checkboxes in which I may check the areas I wish to "work on or improve". They include:

  • Weight loss
  • Aerobic capacity
  • Muscle toning
  • Body building
  • Intensity training
  • Flexibility
  • Sport Specific Training
  • Stress management
  • Knowledge/Education
  • Nutritional wellness counselling
  • Development/Implementation of a rehabilitation program
  • Other ___________________

Right after that I am asked to check the goals I wish to achieve, but now there are only boxes for Fat Loss, Weight Loss, Muscle Tone and Weight Gain. I check the first and third boxes and move on to the final question:

"On a scale of one to ten, how important to you is achieving these goals that you have set for yourself?"

My reply: 7.

It is always interesting filling in a questionnaire like this, particularly when it is purported to be a precursor to expert advice. Interesting thoughts run through your head …

Why do they ask me about every damn pain I feel in my body? I'm aging — of course there's going to be aches here and there…

What — tobacco, alcohol and caffeine are the only vices they are concerned with? Fine by me…

Am I normal?

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