Sneakin’ in a Workout

June 28th, 2006

Recently, I’ve reverted back to bad habits. I’ve been sneaking into gyms again. I used to sneak in by acting like I was new to the neighborhood and wanted to try out the gym. Or if that didn’t work I would simply speed-walk by the receptionist’s desk as he or she barked out, “Excuse me sir? Sir?!!” This time around, I’ve found an even easier method. Since it is the age of the internet I realized I can now simply sign up online and automatically get a one-week free trial membership. All I had to do was enter my name, phone number, address, and email address on the gym’s website. The gym would then send the free trial pass to my email address and I’d print it out.

The first time I did it, I entered legitimate info: Rob Lathan, etc. The next time I did it, I slightly changed it. My name became Sam Lathan and my phone number and email changed a little. After going through this procedure a few times, I’ve started to run out of possible fake names and email addresses. Last night, when I filled out my info, my name became Bob Latham, my phone number became my new work number, and my email became Niki’s email address at Hunter College.

When I presented this info to a saleswoman at the same gym I had sneaked into several times before, she looked at me skeptically, then said “Have I seen you before, Bob?”
Me: (Long pause before realizing I was the Bob she was referring to) “Oh. Uh, no.”
Her: “You look familiar. Do you have an I.D.?”
Me: “Oh sure.” (I wasn’t expecting this. But I gave her my work I.D.)
Her: “How come it says, ‘Rob Lathan’ here?”
Me: “Oh well, um, Rob is my nickname. I go by either Rob or Bob.”
Her: “Okaaaaaaay?” (At this point she had to be on to my plan. Not only were the Rob and Bob incongruent. But so were the Lathan and Latham. And even more glaring, the email address I used was was “”. I was so busted.
Her: “Well enjoy your workout….Bob.” (I think she just wanted to get rid of me.)

This morning I received another call from the gym. It was a different salesman this time. I was at work, so I answered the phone as I normally do.
Me: “Hello, this is Rob Lathan.”
Salesman: “Is this Bob?”
Me: “Uh yeah.”
Salesman: “Did you enjoy your workout yesterday, Bob?”
Me: “Yeah, thanks.”
Salesman: “Any interest in joining the gym?”
Me: “No thanks.”
Salesman: “Do you work at Hunter College?”
Me: “Um, yeah.”
Salesman: “We offer some aggressive deals to Hunter employees. Would you like to hear them?”
Me: “Okay.”
Salesman: “Well, we can cut the initiation fee down to $49. And your monthly dues would go down to $85. Would you be ready to join now?”
Me: “No that’s okay. Thanks though.”

I might have to go back to speed-walking past the receptionist’s desk now.

Also, I think I might win the worst citizen of the week award.

3 Responses to “Sneakin’ in a Workout”

  1. Moye Says:


    This post made me laugh hysterically– and it brought back oh-so-bittersweet memories. I too used to rip off one gym after the other when I lived in the big city.

    It got to the point that it was like juggling multiple love affairs, where I feared that one would suspect the other. (EX: NY Sports Club would call me on my cell to “make a special offer” while I was taking an official tour of Equinox.). It just gets to be too much to juggle all the lies. Too many lies. Too much deceit.

    For the record, my Mom still refers to you as “the Latham boy.”

  2. Lathan Says:

    Nice Moy-e. Great to hear from you. And it’s nice to know I had a fellow gym two-timer. The lies really do get to be too much. At some point it’s got to end. There should be a made for TV movie about the life of a gym sneaker-inner.

    Also, your Mom’s not alone. Well over 50% of the people who meet me and know me think my name is Latham. Maybe I should just make that my stage name?

  3. brent Says:

    ridiculous my friend

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