10 Truths About Health Clubs

By this time some of you know that I joined a health club. My story about my experience with the hot tub was one of my most read posts of June.

I have to say that I went into all of this with some preconceived notions, which seemed to be justified. After all, I did belong to a health club, this same one in fact, from 1988 to 1992. The thing is, that’s about the age of most kids getting ready to go to college, 18 years, and obviously a few things stayed the same, but many things have changed. And some thoughts I had going in aren’t the same as they were when I joined either. So, I figured I would share my 10 truths about health clubs to see if people agree, disagree, or whatever emotion it garners.

1. It does take more than just exercising to start seeing real changes. This means that even if I did 1,000 stomach crunches a day and ran 10 miles a day that there probably wouldn’t be all that much difference in my body if I didn’t change how I ate; that stinks! Yeah, I know we already read about this concept of diet and exercise, but if you weren’t doing either one wouldn’t you think that just adding one of these would still be a pretty significant change? We first visited the health club on May 7th, signed up for the free 7 day trial on May 9th and started working out on that day; that’s 59 days ago. I went in with two main goals; lose weight and bring glucose down. To date, I’ve not lost any weight except for the 9 pounds I gained within weeks after starting. My glucose hasn’t come down one bit. However, I have lost an inch off my stomach and hips. I also gained 3 1/2 inches on my left thigh and an inch on my right; that wasn’t supposed to happen. So I’ve backed off weights for my legs, kicked up stomach crunches because a smaller stomach isn’t a bad thing, work on reaching my cardio heart rate goal, and modified my eating habits a bit.

2. Once you get used to a routine, you’re supposed to change it up so you start hurting again. Okay, soreness, since that’s what they prefer you to say, but so be it. This means always increasing either the weight or the number of reps. They say if you’re not feeling any discomfort after awhile then you’re not really doing anything. Bah!

3. Guys are bigger than they used to be. You know, I’m not a small guy. When I used to go to the health club, I was never a big muscle guy. But the guys who were big muscle guys were pretty much my size, just more muscular. These days, young people are bigger and taller than we were, and thus when they work out they’re absolutely huge. I have to admit that I hadn’t noticed that kind of size difference in guys until I joined the health club; that’s somewhat intimidating, and I’m not used to that. I have to keep reminding myself when I’m alone that there’s no way I can get that big, so don’t even try.

4. Women are still hot. I’m glad that didn’t change, but something you see more these days are these really tall ladies who get on the treadmills and run like the wind. When I was originally going it was always the short ladies who ran on treadmills, so that’s another change.

5. Men don’t wear socks anymore; they wear “socklets”. When did this happen? I don’t pay any attention to fashion, but my wife tried talking me out of wearing my regular athletic socks the one day I decided to show up in shorts. I wore them anyway, then found that only myself and one man probably in his 70’s were wearing them like that. I always thought ankle socks were for little girls; I am still freaking out about this one. I now only wear sweats so my long socks stay hidden; the socklets just feel, well, weird. Maybe one day I’ll get used to it; maybe not.

6. You just can’t look cool while working out. Okay, this one I think I already knew, because I certainly didn’t look all that cool when I used to work out. But I’m coming to grips with some things that I just can’t do; my wife hasn’t really learned this one, though. For instance, I used to participate in a high impact aerobics class; that’s not happening for me. My wife has not only tried going into one of those, but she also went into one of those weight classes and then a yoga/pilates class and injured herself badly enough to need medical treatment and a week or rest. I have to fight all the time walking over and yanking the heaviest weights like I see the younger folks doing. I know I can get it up; heck, until I realized I wanted my thighs getting smaller I was pushing 300 pounds. But that’s not me, so for me, it’s lower weights, more reps, and not looking cool but not hurting myself either.

7. At a certain point in one’s life, they just learned not to care what others think. I admit it, I have some body issues. One on one, I can suppress them, since I like massage. In public, though, it’s just not happening with me. In the hot tub story I talked about men with no behinds. Well, you see all sorts of stuff in a health club that equals or comes close to that; almost nothing will surpass it. You find yourself often wanting to say “cover that up”, but it is what it is.

8. People are nasty. Okay, this is a different direction, and maybe my wife and I are just fastidious people. At the end of using a piece of equipment, we wipe stuff down. There’s a sign asking people to do that. However, almost no one does it, and that’s just nasty. Some machines I actually wipe down before I use them. If there’s head sweat involved I wipe them down. If there’s the potential that I might have followed a heavy back sweating person, I wipe that piece of equipment down first. It can’t be an only child thing since my wife is one of 7, but she’s also in health care and knows sterilization processes, and she’s not having it. I’m not either; ick!

9. There’s a fine line between knowing your limits and suddenly being beyond them. The people at the health club are always saying to step it up. Well, I’ve seen some people stepping it up to the point where suddenly there’s a “pop” and, uh-oh, we won’t be seeing you for a few weeks. Frankly, one of the gripes I have about the health club is that the only training you’re going to get at all is if you pay for it after your first complimentary session. I’ve seen people doing things that my mind has said “someone should show that person how to use that thing”. Heck, the first week that “person” was myself and my wife, the supposed health club expert. When I was younger, I’d just do a machine I didn’t know how to use and risk the consequences; these days, I look and study, and if I can’t figure it out, I’m not using it. I think there should be a trainer on hand at least during peak periods, walking around and making sure people are using the equipment properly.

10. Smoothies are refreshing; are they healthy? Seems it depends on who you ask and who’s making them. This young lady who I get mine from, and only if she’s working, has learned that I won’t drink it if there’s not enough chocolate in it. She’s also stopped adding yogurt to mine and makes it only with ice; tastes good to me. She says it’s saving me at least 150 calories, and she’s adding something in it called “burn”, which is supposed to keep my metabolic system burning more calories throughout the day. I have no clue, and I’m not going to worry about it. Taste, especially chocolate, rules my life.

There you go; long post, but that’s what it takes to get through 10 points. If you belong to a health club, do you see any of these things yourself?

Link to iTREAD

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SMM Strategy, Phase II

Last Monday I posted about my first social media marketing goal. I had said that I was going to have a sticky post for 10 days before the event. Well, give me a few days before that, as in 6 more days. It just didn’t make sense not to advertise this as soon as possible. So, starting tomorrow, there will be a sticky post through the first workshop date, then I’ll slightly modify it and leave it up through the second one. The first date is July 22nd, the second August 19th.

What’s been the next stage of marketing this event? First, I finally created my version of the advertising & registration page and put it on my other site. In the last post I was sending you to Renée’s calendar page, and I decided that I wanted to create a marketing and sales page that looked more like our flyer and finally put a biography of sorts online so people who didn’t know who I really was could learn something about me, and of course Renée as well. Oh yeah, the image you see here is on the flyer, as the title of the presentation is “Make A Splash With Social Media Marketing”. 🙂

Second, Renée has sent out the first notifications to her email list. I’m waiting until later tonight to send out my first blast, but this time I’m going to be a bit more circumspect in who I send the notices to. I’ve decided that it’s not worth it to me to send the notice out to people who I don’t know, even if I have their email addresses. My thought is that if I send it to people who don’t know me that well that they not only won’t necessarily be happy, but they won’t forward it to others who might find the topic interesting. I could be wrong on that front, but so be it. If I didn’t learn anything from the last workshop I tried to market, then I need to get out of the game.

Third, you know the Twitter “blast” is coming. Actually, it’s not going to be all that much of a blast, but this week will have 3 different posts, of a sort. Yesterday I put out the new link to register for the event. Today is this post, which also has the link to the post. Tomorrow is the sticky post; 3 notifications in a row with a slightly different message talking about the same thing.

Fourth, I’ve put it out on Facebook. I first put it into my FB business page as a link. Then I added an event mentioning the workshop, but only for July 22nd. I’ll create a new one for the August presentation; I actually think I could create it now for August, but I think it’s way too early to do. I already have one person saying she’s coming to the event, and 3 saying they won’t be able to make it. Hey, it’s on a Thursday, and it’s not right in the city, which means participants living in Syracuse will have to drive at least 40 minutes. Still, and not because I’m putting it on, but I think this event is so worth it, which is why I’m taking part in it.

Fifth, I’ll start mentioning it more often on LinkedIn. I don’t have a place to advertise it a lot, but it will get mentioned enough times to that the message will get out, such that no one should have the opportunity to say “I didn’t know you were doing that.” Nope, not buying it.

That’s where things are going at the present time. I don’t know if there will be another update on this bad boy or not, at least until it’s over. Then again, I probably need to have at least one more beforehand, the last push for success. So, I make no promises either way. By the way, if you see my wife today, wish her a happy birthday; just don’t tell her I told you.

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My Blogs Are Finally PHP 5.2!

The struggle is over, and I have conquered the beast known as PHP 5.0. Actually, the beast seems to be my host, 1&1, though it’s probably not all their fault, and they’re definitely not alone.

Some of you may remember the battle I had in trying to upgrade my business blog to PHP 5.0 back in December. In that case, I knew that blog was on 4.0 because I had created it many years earlier, before PHP 5.0 came about. The same couldn’t be said for this blog and my finance blog however. According to my MySQL admin area, both were already on 5.0. However, I knew they couldn’t be running that way because I couldn’t automatically update anything, and I was having all sorts of problems with my dashboard and plugins.

It was time to do some research, and I have to say it took awhile for me to figure things out, mainly because I had to go to multiple places to get a full understanding of what the issue might be. See, everything I needed, it turns out, was at the codex area for WordPress.org, but it wasn’t making any sense to me. I eventually found a blog called Gabediaz that gave me everything I needed. Now I’m going to share it here, since the information is in many places, just not easily described everywhere.

The first thing I had to do was create a file and name it “phpinfo.php”. I used Notepad and I had to pop this code into it:

(<)?php (add this part without the parenthesis; seems if I remove them it starts coding in this post and you can’t see the first line at all)

You upload that file to your server. Now, if you have multiple accounts on your server, you upload it into the one where your blog is. Then you type in your domain name and add “/phpinfo.php”. That will tell you the actual version of PHP your site is running on. In my case, it said I was running 4.4.9, which isn’t what it was saying in MySQL.

Then there’s the fix for it, and this is dicey stuff because you don’t want to make a mistake, just in case. First download your .htaccess file to your computer, and make sure you know where it is. Then using Notepad, open that bad boy up. Once you’ve done that, immediately save it using Save As, make sure you’re not saving it as a .txt file, and name it something like .htaccess_original. That will leave you two of those files wherever you saved it. Open the original file you downloaded, go to the top, hit Enter once to bring everything else down, then add this:

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

Save that file as is, then upload it back to your server, overwriting what you already have there. Then run that domain name thing again, and if you’re lucky you’ll be running something better than 5.0; in my case, I’m running 5.2.13.

I then went to take a look at my dashboard, and everything is there, all notes and the like. I went to my plugins area and added a couple of plugins that I had disabled, just to see what would happen to my dashboard; absolutely nothing. I then took the chance and automatically upgraded to WordPress 3.0; viola! That bad boy worked, my blog is now 3.0, I don’t have to manually upgrade any longer, my dashboard works fine, I can get into all posts and comments fine, and life is great once more.

By the way, the best test to do after upgrading is to see if you can get into your posts. Y’all know I write blog posts for others, and I also manage the blogs. All except one of the blogs upgraded just fine, and the one that didn’t wouldn’t let me into any of the posts. With the manual upgrade it all came back, thank goodness.

Now, I’m not guaranteeing this will work for everyone, but I think I can safely guarantee that if you’re on 1&1 that it will work. And if you’re having problems, heck, it can’t hurt to give it a shot, as long as you remember to save your original .htaccess file somewhere so you can upload it back if necessary. Good luck.

New Wave Rug: NW37 Multi

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Social Media Day Tweetup In Syracuse

I’m glad I get to write about this event this time around because I’m going to embellish it somewhat. Oh, I’m going to tell the truth, but I get to add those little things about people that I’m not sure anyone else would add, in my own way. Just so y’all know, any links to names are people who were at the event; if you don’t get a prominent part in the tale, your names with your Twitter links will come at the end of this post.

Kelly Lux & Dan Klamm

Wednesday was Social Media Day, at least in the United States; I have no idea if any other countries played along. It was named thus by Mashable, and as I read about different events in some newspapers across the country, a lot of people claimed it as a PR farce, while others tried to take the mantle of best attended. I’ll say this; ours was the best attended tweetup to date, and I bet we had as much fun, if not more fun, than those really large ones. I thought I had a hand in helping to plan the date, as I had been talking to a few people about trying to have one on a Wednesday so that people who hadn’t been able to make Tuesday or Thursday could come, but it seems that Kelly Lux and Dan Klamm put it together because they knew about the Mashable date; oh well… 🙂

This time the tweetup was held at a place called the Bull & Bear Pub in Hanover Square on East Water St. My little story about this is that, back in the 70’s, this area was where the pimps and prostitutes used to hang out. As a teenager, I’d come downtown either by myself or with a few friends and we’d park the car someplace safe and walk over to the area to watch. They even had pimps with feathers in their hats and those big Lincoln Continentals. These days the area is definitely a bit more family friendly with the fountain running, and lots of bars and a restaurant or two, with a new one coming; I’ll get back to that.

I showed up right at 5:30, which means I got to park right across the street; love that! The first person I ran into was my buddy Josh Shear, who’s just started his own web design business called That Josh on websites, SEO and social media; yup, another competitor in the field. lol I also saw another friend of mine, Sean Branagan, who owns a company called Communigration, a national marketing company, who was buying the first round of drinks. That took care of my first diet soda. He introduced me to someone else, and I hate to say this but I can’t remember who; sorry about that. 🙁

Tim Dodge, Me, Kelly Lux

I next met Joanne Capella, who’s doing something up at Syracuse University that I can’t remember, but I do remember that she and her husband are big into arts and crafts, as she told me there’s a big community in Syracuse that does that. Will wonders never cease. While we were talking my friend Tim Dodge showed up. He and I have known each other almost 7 years now, as we met as part of this writer’s group I’m a part of, and he’s a great writer as far as I’m concerned. Check out his site to see some of his writings, and I believe it will link to some of his recorded books as well.

From this point people started coming in droves, so much so that I can’t think of who came in and in what order. But there are a few people I’d like to highlight, if I may. One was Scott Severance, who owns his own real estate company, and used to ask me to sit in for him at BNI meetings whenever he couldn’t show up. Two others are my friends Kelvin Ringold, who’s a master photographer and getting serious about motivational presentations, and Jill Hurst-Wahl, who travels around the country talking about library sciences, research, digitization and social media stuff.

Twittering during Tweetup

There was also my friend Steve Borek, who’s into life and personal coaching, and a new friend, Danita Becker, who does web design and promises she’s got a blog coming at some point. And of course, one of my best friends in history, Scott Thomas, who I’ve talked about a lot around here because he’s a man of many talents, including his photography blog, and someone who comments here regularly (and picks on me as well), brought his camera, and is responsible for all the pictures you see here.

Some of what I know about other people who showed up and deserve special mentions include:

Nicole and Kevin Samolis, who put together the wildly successful Syracuse Biz Buzz conference, which I helped work on the night before and is where I met Anthony Rotolo, a professor at Syracuse University who gave a brief presentation that night, and Jenn Pedde, who was one of the people helping new folks set up accounts, which is how I participated.

Anne Messenger is one of the most prominent local entrepreneurs in the area, and I have a feeling she has no real idea who I am, even though I was in two presentations she gave and of course gave my opinion when I felt I wanted to participate (I’m known for that). She does career management & HR consulting.

Todd Engel, one of the few attorneys I know (which includes the attorney who put the will together for my wife and I, who regularly seems to have my number when I go to the casino to play poker).

Kim Brown, who many other folks knew and is a stone cold fox (see, us married men get away with stuff like that when our wives are cool) who works for WSYR Channel 9.

Rebecca Kohler, the only physician who showed up, and strangely enough, is a sleep doctor (seems a lot of people remembered I was having a sleep study done, but didn’t realize it was last week and not this week), and we talked for awhile about sleep and such.

Those are the folks I got to talk to or knew already fairly well who showed up. Everyone else I got to meet but didn’t get to talk to, and by the time I remembered I’d brought pad and pen with me to get names were still around do I could get the info. Here’s everyone else who I hope continue coming to our “little” tweetups:

Mark Britz;

Lisa Baker;

Michele Wood;

Margaret McCormick;

Evan Watson;

Greg Ketcham

Sally Swartley;

Erica Strong;

Ines Mergel;

Cathy Stevens;

Martha Ketcham (who I’m really proud of because she didn’t have a Twitter account at the event but said she was going home and setting up one with this link, and she did);

Ross Stoltz;

Sean Griffin

At this point you probably think this post is over, but it’s not. Remember I mentioned a new restaurant coming. Dan Klamm’s father is opening a new restaurant on that same block at the corner of East Water and Salina called Prime Steakhouse (no real website here yet, but it’s coming, and we got to take a tour of it. I have no idea what it used to be, but you could tell that it was something fancy at some point in history, and some of the woodwork and the design is classic. There were even a couple of rooms where Scott and I talked about hiding bodies; I’m not kidding. lol It looks like it’s going to be fantastic, and, well, y’all know how I like my meat (well, love meat, but don’t like it fighting back when I’m ready to eat). I can hardly wait.

And now it’s over; whew! By the way, the young lady working the bar at Bull & Bear was extremely attractive and friendly as well; even finally showed me a menu, though Scott had already mentioned Friendly’s by then, so if you ever want a great burger and fries, it seems to be a great place to go for one.

inside Prime

Anyway, that’s all I can remember. This is what a tweetup is supposed to be; lots of fun, meeting new friends and catching up with old friends, and hopefully being a positive experience for everyone. I even got to talk a little bit about the social media marketing event I’m putting on come June 22nd. I had a blast; can’t wait until the next one. And for those of you living in other parts of the world, I heartily recommend going to one of these, even if you have to set it up yourself.

At-A-Glance QuickNotes QuickNumbers Phone and Address Book

At-A-Glance QuickNotes QuickNumbers Phone and Address Book

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