the few. the proud. the headbands.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I just joined a new gym and it's only $10 per month. I don't know about you, but I had never heard of such an inexpensive gym membership. I did belong to the "wellness center" at my workplace and paid just $15 per month, but I only used it once. Somehow, the idea of working out with coworkers was less than appealing. I don't dislike my coworkers at all, but there's something... I don't know, highly unprofessional about getting sweaty together after a long day at the office. Or worse... would my reputation as a hard worker be damaged by spending a measly 15 minutes on the eliptical and then calling it a day (Not that I do that, I'm just saying)? Plus, there was always the chance someone would interupt my podcast with something like, "So, how about that new banner campaign?" None of these things ever happened (including the getting sweaty), but it was enough to keep me away from the "wellness center" for nearly four months.

Anyway, when I heard about the $10 gym, I thought, "What's the catch?" You can only work out Mondays and Thursdays from 8-10am? It's strictly boxing? It's an outdoor setting? I had to know. So, I checked it out and it seemed totally normal. Friendly staff, clean equipment, convenient location, normal hours, no boxing. So, I signed myself up.

Today, I found out what the catch is.


Call me crazy, but I wear a bandana when I go to the gym. Styling my hair is not a priority when I work out and without proper styling, my hair tends to misbehave (see previous post). So, I rock the bandana. I have about a dozen of the things, in various colors and fabrics and sizes. I think they're cute. They're certainly more attractive than the spiky bangs look I get otherwise.

Planet Fitness thinks my bandana is "intimidating." Apparently, they have an unpublished dress code that includes the following restrictions:

1. No jeans
2. No boots
3. No bandanas

Okay, I totally understand the first two. Jeans are not only terribly uncomfortable to run in, they restrict movement and thus, could prove dangerous. No boots. Duh. They probably include this rule for the one Tool who wears his construction boots in the free weights room (sneakers are for sissies). Whatever, I understand that one. But bandanas?

And it gets worse. After offering to fashion the offending garment into a headband, I was informed of the Addendum to Most Inane Dress Code Ever:
3.1. No Headbands. Also considered "intimidating."

Now, there may be a few readers out there I've never met, but for the most part I think we can all agree that when it comes to physical fitness and the public practices thereof, I am perhaps the LEAST intimidating figure imaginable. Bandana or no bandana. One glance around the gym and you'll find FAR more intimidating things than my hair accessory. Inappropriately short shorts over inappropriately absent underwear? Check. Enormous meathead in Spandex sqatting one million pounds? Check. Yet it is my HEADBAND that intimidates the good people of Planet Fitness.

I was annoyed. No, I was furious. But I didn't want to fight. As ridiculous as the policy is, I certainly didn't want to intimidate anyone by pulling my hair back. So, I just hopped off the machine and headed for the door. My 15 minutes were up anyway.

p.s. I think I know what the new dress code for the U.S. Military WILL include.


Jessica said...

I love their logo. "The Judgement Free Zone."
Could have to do with the numerous Latin Kings sporting their yellow headbands. Ask the manager if he would allow you to sport a non gang realted color. I don't think I have seen a gang whos colors are that hideous light brown bandana. Oh, or the purplish pink color I used to wear in college

The Bruces said...

That is the strangest thing I've ever heard. Can you cancel the membership? This seems like a deal breaker for you, as I know how much the the headband plays a part in your workout. What if you wore a skinny headband and pulled the rest of the hair up in a ponytail. Would that be considered off limits? How else is someone supposed to keep bangs and fly aways out of their face? the more I think about it, the more disturbing it becomes. I'm very sorry.

B. said...

I can understand the no headbands thing, because there's nothing more intimidating than an '80s basketball player.

becky said...

B is right. i am TERRIFIED every time i see pictures of Larry Bird. I have nightmares of Dr. J.

Sarita said...

My HS had an inanely strict dress code wherein bandanas were strictly forbodden. So I see how this could be a problem....... a gang ridden central cali town were fitness location shootings were the norm.

(The bicked head/red suspender/black boot/jean combo was also off it's only so long before they exclude active elderly balding men trying to hold up their drawers).

natali said...

do they offer yoga classes?

becky said...


Becky, Scott and Apollo said...

They must think you are a gang banger! You do look like one...

Emily said...

I could see a bandana being intimidating if it is worn over the nose and mouth, ala Billy the Kid. You should wear one like that just for fun next time.

laceyJ. said...

Wow... this kills me! How can they ban a bandana? Ridiculous. Sh-eriously. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

The Art Goddess said...

Oh how I feel your pain!!! I've been pissed over the last few weeks...I've been a member for 7 years!!! And they just started enforcing this with a change in management.. bullshit. I started turning it into a headband...2 week later, today, I am told I can't west that either !! But!!! I could take a purple or yellow stretchy headband the same width as I had enraged.

The Art Goddess said...

Typos, pardon.. they gave me a purple one to wear...stupid and how is a baseball hat okay?? Makes zero sense