Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Big Book of Everything

Since I've received a few requests for it, I need to address something--
The Big Book of Everything (linked via Get Rich Slowly in this post) is unfortunately no longer available--the author of a similar work that was available for sale felt that this would cannibalize his sales and posed potential copyright infringement. Although I disagree (Erik claims that he had never seen Mark's work and from working in publishing I know just how frequently it happens that more than one person has the same great idea at roughly the same time), I respect Erik's right to remove The Big Book of Everything from his website as a courtesy to Mark.
In case anyone else is looking for it, I don't have a copy of The Big Book of Everything. I printed it but did not save it, and I clear my cache frequently enough that I couldn't recover any part of it (which is a little unfortunate for me, since I could use additional copies of some pages, like previous addresses and stuff). If you're looking for a copy of The Big Book of Everything, I suggest you contact Erik directly through his site and see if he is willing to share it on a smaller basis or even go to Mark to purchase It's All Right Here.
Or, if you're cheap, you could always put something like this together yourself. FlyLady has some good suggestions for lists of things you should keep in your files, and a google search of sites like Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living provide similar checklists. It's important information to keep around.
*insert snappy transition*
I went to the fancy health club last night to take advantage of my new shoes--I took some sort of boot camp class and Oh. My. God. I didn't think I was going to make it--not like I didn't think I was going to be able to finish the class, but like I thought I was going to die right there in the studio. Sweat was literally pouring off my face, which has never, ever happened to me before. Today surprising parts of me are sore (arms and shoulders--not surprising; boobs and inner thighs--surprising). But at the same time, I feel GREAT. I did that entire hour long class without crying or quitting. And for some parts of it, I really didn't do so bad. I'm taking the day off to recover and will do some light yoga tonight, then tomorrow I'm going to attempt my own boot camp circuit training with videos that I have at home (the health club has no classes I can squeeze in tomorrow between work and book club).
The thing I'm starting to realize is that if I'm really serious about getting fit and reaching my goals for strength, weight and endurance, classes are almost the only way to go for me. I'm really not motivated without a teacher looming over me and correcting me--videos are great, but it's empty assurance. "You're doing great!" calls out Denise Austin, during a move that I consistently skip because I don't like it.
So...I'm thinking that when this mystery shop is over and I no longer have access to the fancy health club, I might work some other angle to get a membership at a gym that has great classes. I don't know--most people seem more interested in cardio and weight machines, and gyms with popular classes are also likely to have classes that are really difficult to get into. I wish there was a gym of JUST classes that worked the way my dance studio works--you pay per class and can take pretty much whatever you want whenever you want, and you get discounts by buying a 10-class card up front.
Have you ever heard of something like this?


  1. Try checking actual dance studios. Around here most studios have at least one day a week that they have some sort of fitness class that you can pay per class. Our studio actually has Zumba on Sundays, and I know of many others that do the same.

    I'm not sure if that's a common practice in other parts of the country, but its worth looking into!

    Sidenote: you've gotten some really good mystery shop opportunities!! I'm jealous!

  2. I go to the largest dance studio in New York, but their fitness classes are kind of a joke (and are also offered at like 10 a.m., which doesn't work with my schedule). But you have a good point--some of the smaller studios might offer something I could work with.

    I've been mystery shopping for so long I now qualify for these crazy good shops. This one is one of the best I've seen in a while--the pay is ridiculous, the report isn't bad, and I can't believe they even need this place shopped. It's so beautiful and everyone's so helpful I feel like I just hired my own set of fitness instructors. Lucky me!

  3. YMCA/YWCA usually have a pretty good selection of classes are not as expensive as big name gyms. You might find something there.

    I am a certified Indoor Cycling instructor and for a while my employment at Gold's gym included membership for myself and Hubby. since you have a dance background, you could look at getting certified in Zumba or another group exercise class and then perhaps have to teach one or two times a week/month for a free membership.

  4. Oh yeah, and I only had two classes a week (and was paid per class).

  5. Aren't you going to school in the fall? Most colleges usually have a student recreational facility that is free or discounted with enrollment. My midwestern university offers classes on the card system you described. Some gyms offer student discounts and employer discounts.

  6. Thanks, Gypsie--I will definitely have to look into the YMCA. Last time I checked, it was about $70 a month but I don't think that included classes.

    Irene--that's a great idea! Unfortunately, I attend a professional program at a satellite campus, and I'm pretty sure there are no fitness facilities in the city (the main campus is north of New York and requires a car to get to). But they might have deals with regular gyms that are a better deal than what I can get on my own!

  7. I think you're in Sunset Park but I go to the YMCA on Atlantic Avenue at Court Street (it's called the Dodge).

    For my husband and I, we pay a combined $81.60 a month which includes a discount because of our health insurance.

    The gym is great - very clean, pretty new and includes a fabulous heated indoor pool and all the classes you can take. They also offer a "12 week program" where a trainer sets you up on the gym equipment and tailors a routine that suits your requirements. You see the trainer about 5 times but they are very supportive and at least it gives you a chance to work out how to use all the equipment properly! Oh, and six (or five?) guest passes a year.

    The classes have been good too and they run seven days, from 5 or 6am through to 10pm. It's worth checking out.

    All of this is included in the monthly fee.

  8. Thanks, Anita! I am actually in Astoria, but that's a great recommendation for a YMCA. I will definitely have to check one out!

  9. My bad. It was the Costco thing that threw me off (and my Brooklyn bias)!


Thanks for commenting!