Just Me Against The World

Ceramics Class

July 21st, 2020

If there are two things that I’ve learned in the past 15 or so years, it’s that if Andy Yu asks you to do something to your car 1) it’s definitely worth it and 2) it’s not going to be cheap. That’s what we call the Andy Life. I had dropped off my Acura NSX at Car Code to get a clutch job and smog check. Yeah. Andy owns an auto repair shop and it’s really clean. What a jump from the V-Spec days. While it was there, Andy texted me something along the lines of “do you want to do what Will (Law) did to his NSX? I ceramic coated it and he says never felt anything like it.” Ceramic coat my headers? “No. Your paint.” My paint? What is this voodoo magic that he speaks of?

Turns out that it was a new paint treatment that he was offering at his Car Code Auto Spa carwash. Oh yeah. Andy owns a carwash, too. It’s actually one of the best places to take your car because they do a true hand wash. No rails or anything so you don’t have to worry about scratching your body kit or rims. But yeah, we’ll save that for another day. I texted Will asking him and he said it came out great. But it wasn’t cheap. It definitely wasn’t cheap. Emphasized multiple times.

PJ Bonifacio had painted my NSX a long time ago and he did a great job. I, on the other hand, have not done a great job maintaining it. I’ve only washed it and waxed occasionally. No clay or polish. The Star Shield Armor clear bra that I had turned more into a yellowish color and rough feeling. And really, I’ve been pretty lazy about the washes since I don’t drive my car that much anyway (excuses). Anyhow, so I gave Andy the OK and kept my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t max out my Chase Sapphire card.

I ended up leaving my car at Car Code for a few weeks because I was traveling anyway. Then when Jingru and I went to pick it up and shoooooot. It was smoother than Baby Skyler’s little baby butt. Even my Star Shield felt like glass. See for yourself in the videos below. Someone a long time ago said about our magazine cover that you need to make it look so good that people want to lick it. I’m not going to reference his name because he still owes me money, but yeah. That’s how my car looked after the ceramic coating. Like you wanted to lick it (but please don’t).

Definitely worth it if you have some extra money, lots of extra money, and want your car’s paint to look better than new. Ask for Andy Yu or William Law. Use secret code: RikDaddy for a reverse discount lol. Information listed below.

Racism Is A Virus

June 30th, 2020

This post is actually from one of my good friends. She is a White American and we talk about racism all the time. More than any topic lately, which is a bit sad because that’s the world we’re currently living in. Dating outside of her race and currently being in an interracial marriage with a biracial daughter, she’s faced racism like she had never seen growing up. I asked her to share her experiences in the hopes that it will give everyone a better understanding of racism People of Color are facing in America.

My story starts off in a small country town in the United States with a population that is 99% White. All mid to upper class families. The high school I went to had a set of half Black and half Asian people in it. That’s probably as diverse as it got in my town. Growing up, I was CRAVING for diversity and ran off to a more diverse state for college in the South. I was met with my first taste of genuine Black culture, but also very racist White culture. Being in the car scene, I already had plenty of Asian friends, but now my Asian friend circle grew larger daily.

I was surrounded by Asian men with all similar interests to me and I began dating outside of my race. Filipino, Chinese, and Korean. I embraced all of these cultures and soaked up knowledge on customs, food, and traditions like a sponge! I finally felt more satisfied in life as I had friends of all color and continued to learn new things daily.

Then came my first small taste of racism. A coworker told me that her boyfriend said I was NASTY for sleeping with Asian men and that he looked down on me because of it. I didn’t even have a response, just a deep sadness in my body. How could someone say this to me? Why did it matter who I chose to date? I actually wound up quitting this job because I couldn’t stand the sight of this person any more. I became bitter and jaded, and swore off dating anyone from my race.

Fast forward to a few years later. I start dating a new Asian man and brought him to meet my grandmother in a southern state. We were holding hands in a major department store and an older father and son walked up to me, and in my face said “you’re disgusting!” Both my boyfriend and I didn’t even realize why he said I was disgusting until a few minutes later. That’s how dumbfounded we were! My second taste of racism. All because of the skin color of who I choose to love. I hate when people say “I don’t see color.” I DO see color and I LOVE color! Cultures are intoxicating once you open your heart to learning about ones beyond your own. (By the way I’ve dated many different races, not just Asian.)

Continue on to marriage. The day before my marriage my biological dad asked me if I was sure I didn’t want to find a nice White man. Devastation and hatred filled my veins. Then onto childbirth. My beautiful hapa baby. I am beyond proud of her. I began to take her out into society. Then come strange looks from people (she looked completely Asian). A few were so bold as to say “Are you the nanny?” “Is she adopted?” “Is she mixed?” Many White people have zero filter with their thoughts. Odd questions from strangers start to pick at you, and eventually I’d get a little snappy. Like “what business is it of yours, Nancy?”

My husband travels for work and recounts his experiences in most southern states often. Being followed by police, being called a chink, gook, and you name it. I hear stories from how he was treated as a child in an all White school, as an adult in an all White college, just in life, and my heart continues to hurt. Why are people so cruel? Cruel because of the color of your skin?

I did not know the world was like this until it directly affected myself, and my family. I grew up blind to racism existing. I come from a White family of privilege. My privilege has given me quite a nice, but naive life. I did not understand what racism actually meant. Looking back, I laughed at racist jokes. Now, I immediately walk away, or let the person know how wrong they are.

Nowadays, we have a president who promotes White superiority. He will not denounce White terrorists, but will verbally destroy anyone outside the White race. When our garbage of a human president started calling COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus” and “Kung Flu” I turned red. Did the rest of the world attack us for the swine flu? Which originated here? Then came the day I didn’t think I would see. My baby came home from school and told me that her classmates were bullying her for being Chinese. Previous friends told her to stay away from them because they didn’t want to get sick. They called her names and encouraged others to do so and blocked people from playing with her. She came home in tears because of the words that orange dumpster fire continued to spread on national TV. The worst part? One of the kids was Vietnamese!

So now my social media is filled with White people arguing semantics on racist incidents. “Well they didn’t mean it like that” “I hate that they wrote it was a White man” “they probably deserved it” “All Lives Matter”

I am sick to my stomach each and every time I see garbage like this on Facebook or elsewhere. What’s worse? People I thought I adored have shown their true racist colors to me. My race has let me down immensely. I’ve deleted family, and friends over this. I’ve seen people say “I’m so sick of hearing about racism”. GUESS WHAT? People are so sick of EXPERIENCING racism!

If you remain silent on these issues and don’t tell people they need to knock it off then you are just as bad. Words and actions hurt. Use your White privilege to make our world better, not worse! Little changes daily can help. If you are reading this and feel uncomfortable, that is a good thing. Take that feeling and use it for change. Be the advocate for your fellow man! Help make my daughter’s world a safer, and better one! It’s hard, but you can do it.

  • Anonymous White Female

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Spread The Word To End The Word

June 26th, 2020

I’m taking a short break from the new dad baby posts so I can write about something different but equally important. My goal here is just to educate everyone a little. I think the biggest problem in 2020 is that people refuse to see things from another person’s perspective. It’s always a right or wrong thing and it doesn’t have to be. I’m here to try to teach and even learn more myself on how to be a better human being. Lately, I’ve been consistently posting about racism on my social media because that’s a topic that hits very close to home. This “word” that I’m talking about isn’t much different.

I don’t want to say that we’ve all used “r*tard” as a diss to someone else, but a lot of us have. Either with friends joking or in a heated argument to try and demean the other person. I want to tell you that it’s not cool. Knowing what I know now, I’m embarrassed that I ever thought differently and I’m glad that I have friends like John Holtz to help open my mind.

A few years ago, maybe even longer than a few, I met John because we are both Clippers fans. He told me that he coached a Special Olympics team and started to bring his boys to our BBQs and events. Some of the coolest guys ever. We hooped with them and even ran a scrimmage with them up in the valley one weekend. When they had a Special Olympics event in my area, I would go support. When they won medals, John would give me one. I mean, I considered them my friends.

One day, John gave me a wristband that said “End The R Word.” I asked him what it was about and he explained to me that when people use “r*tard” as an insult, it’s really hurtful to those with special needs. It was a really short conversation. I never thought of it that way and I felt like shit. I saw these guys as my friends and was totally blind to the fact that I wasn’t taking their feelings into consideration by using such a hurtful word. What the hell kind of friend was I? Not a very good one, that’s for damn sure. I was a shitty friend and an even shittier human being. I honestly didn’t know, but I also never thought about it from their side. I’m sorry.

He didn’t call me out on it, but asked me to make a pact to “Spread The Word To End the Word.” Since that moment, I have never used the “r word” (other than talking about car timing) and I won’t entertain anyone that does. In a joking, trash talking, or any manner at all. I try to tell others but it’s up to them to decide what they want to do. I can’t change the world even though it would be great if I could.

Words can hurt. Not always directly, but often indirectly. This is a small lead in to our current world situation. Where people I know and used to call friends are ok with calling COVID19 the “Chinese Flu” or “Kung Flu” even though it’s affecting so many Asian Americans. Almost every day there is a story about an Asian getting harassed or assaulted because idiots want to blame us for the virus. Even knowing damn well that their friends’ kids are getting bullied about it. Asian get cussed out, spit on, beat up, stabbed, kicked, and even worse. Why? Because they think it’s funny or feel the need to blame someone else for this pandemic. And their only response is “it’s not my problem if people can’t differentiate between the Chinese Communist Party and any Asian person that they see.” It’s selfish as fuck. Selfish. As. Fuck.

“That’s not offensive.”

“Grow thicker skin.”

“Tell your kids to toughen up.”

Stop telling people how they should feel about something. I’ll actually continue this on another post. I’ve already strayed too much from the original topic at hand.

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June 18th, 2020

I’m smiling in this picture, but before it was taken I was really upset. Frustrated and upset. Because of COVID19, all of the hospitals had to take extra precautionary measures to keep everyone safe and understandably so. But I was tired and emotionally drained from all of the events leading up to Baby Skyler’s arrival and all of the regulations were keeping me from even holding my baby boy!

After the picture of Jingru and Skyler, they took him straight to NICU to put him on a breathing machine because they were worried that his lungs weren’t developed enough yet. They had me go up with them and then told me that I had to leave and come back later. He had feedings every 2 1/2 hours so I could go back and see him then. This is where things got tricky and confusing. I say confusing because the regulations change every day and nobody ever seems to know what’s going on.

Because of COVID19, they only allow one parent at a time to visit the baby in NICU. That’s why I said that his discharge picture is the first time we were able to be with him at the same time. Because Jingru just had surgery, we needed to call for a wheelchair so I could bring her down to NICU on the 6th floor. Her room was on the 7th floor. Getting in and out was already tough because they have lots of security measures to stop those weirdo baby snatchers. Like we’d have to be checked at the exit and buzzed out. When we got to NICU, we’d have to buzz in and show our wristbands then check in at the front desk to get checked and buzzed in again. They’d quickly tell us about the “one parent” rule and we’d say we knew and only one of us would be going in. Later on in the week, the wristband was faded and gross so I asked the nurse for a new one and she said “I can read it just fine.” Then I went back and a different nurse told me that my wristband was too faded so I needed a new one. ARGHH!

Twice, they allowed one of us to sit in the waiting area. Especially since Jingru was in a wheelchair and I had to push her. Then they changed it and told me that they never allowed people to sit there and I’d have to go back to the room to wait and they’d call me when Jingru was done and I could come down to pick her up. Not only have other nurses told me to wait there, I’ve seen other dads wait there. So I’d be like whatever and go back to the room. Which meant buzz out, go upstairs, buzz back in. If they remembered to call me, I’d have to do the whole song and dance to get back downstairs to wheel Jingru up then rush down again so I could see Skyler. If they forgot to call me then a nurse would bring her up and it would be too late for me to go down to see him.

Every time that I went to visit him, they would tell me that he’s sleeping and that I shouldn’t hold him because that would wake him up. I’m like OK but when can I hold him? They told me right after feeding time, but since Jingru just fed him that I would have to wait until the next one. Because they didn’t want to tire him out, they didn’t want parents to switch off during feeding time to hold him. I went down at 6:10pm and they told me that the nurses are changing shifts soon so I couldn’t go in. I’m like DUDE! How is this even possible?

Jingru didn’t realize they were being so strict on the rules so she thought I was just in a bad mood or something. That is until I explained to her the runaround that everyone kept giving me. Then she was like, no wonder you look so annoyed.

Finally, late the second night Jingru was like go down during feeding so you can hold Skyler. I think the nurse on duty saw that I was unhappy because she was super accommodating. She taught me how to feed him and set me up to hold him skin to skin. She even took a pic for me, which was really tough because they make you put your phone in a zip bag before you go into NICU. This was also confusing because some of the nurses wouldn’t say anything and the other nurses would straight scold you for not using the zip bag. Trust me, I get the need for safety precautions with COVID19. It can just all be overwhelming and confusing which all leads to frustration.

Get this, these are just the NICU regulations for COVID19. The hospital regulations are even more inconsistent so I’ll save that for another post. Baby Skyler is home with me now so I need to change his diaper or something.

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Navigating Pregnancy Through A COVID19 World

June 16th, 2020

There’s no question that when COVID19 – Coronavirus hit the States, everyone’s life changed in an instant. Jingru and I happened to be in the middle of her pregnancy when all of the State and County mandates started going into effect. I heard a lot of people talking about what pregnancy was like for them so I wanted to share our experience as well. Like I said in my previous post, a lot of timelines are going to jump around so don’t feel bad if you start getting confused. Also, don’t give me a hard time about it because I already warned you that it was going to happen.

The first change we noticed at the doctor’s office, of course, was that it was mandatory to wear facemasks or coverings. That totally made sense. But then it became more difficult to schedule Jingru’s OB appointments because of Social Distancing. They didn’t want too many people in the waiting room at the same time. Usually when we go in for her checkup, it’s packed. The first time after the regulations were in place, there were only two other couples in the office. As things progressed and COVID19 cases started to rise they tightened things up even more at the doctor’s office.

On one visit, they had us call in a few minutes before arrival and meet our doctor in the parking lot. He had a section coned off with his car parked there and he would check whatever he could while Jingru was sitting in the passenger seat of our Prius. Needless to say, there were huge limitations for him since he couldn’t pull his ultrasound machines into the parking lot. So any patients that needed more than a routine checkup had to go upstairs one at a time. He just really wanted to keep himself, his staff, and his employees safe since this was around the time when COVID19 was getting tested more so positive numbers were rising quickly.

This other doctor in Irvine that we visited for the detailed ultrasound also upped their regulations by limiting their appointment times and sanitizing everything. Facemasks mandatory. In a way, it felt weird but comforting at the same time. We wouldn’t want to put Jingru and the baby at risk if any doctors weren’t taking COVID19 seriously. We went to Hoag because Jingru was feeling early cramps so our OB told her to go in to get checked out. They have to be super strict because so many patients go in and out of there and pregnant mothers are considered high risk. When we checked in, they took our temperatures and I was only allowed in certain areas of the hospital. Things changed even more when we went in for Skyler’s arrival but I’ll to that in a future post.

The only awkward experience we had was at our doctor’s office. It’s a medical building with a bunch of different offices and clinics inside. Everything from our OB to plastic surgery to optometry. One morning we walked into the lobby and as the elevator door opened up, the lady in front of us turned around and told us that we weren’t allowed on the elevator with her because of social distancing. I was like, “what?” She said she really wanted to be responsible and was concerned for everyone’s safety so we couldn’t get on the elevator. I told her if she actually wanted to be responsible, she would wear a mask considering that it was a medical building and there were signs posted everywhere that masks were required. She just kept saying “Sorry. You can’t come on here” and ended up letting the doors close on us. Is that a “Karen?” Did we witness one in real life? She acted like we were so thrilled to jump into an elevator with some crazy lady that didn’t even bother to wear a mask inside a medical building. We just wanted to get to Jingru’s doctor’s appointment. I feel like nowadays, people just pretend like they care just so they can act like total morons.

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Meet Skyler Crawford Chu

June 15th, 2020

May 29th, 2020 I really became RikDaddy. I can’t say that we weren’t expecting, we just weren’t expecting so soon. Back in October, Jingru surprised me by telling me that she was pregnant. Quite possibly the biggest news of my life. Throughout the months, we started to plan and go to our scheduled doctor visits. Our due date was July 9th, 2020 but little did we know that our baby boy had different plan in store for us. I apologize in advance because the timeline is going to jump around way more than the Michael Jordan documentary did.

Midway through the pregnancy, Jingru got an ultrasound and the doctor told us that she had “marginal cord insertion” which meant that the umbilical cord wasn’t centered. He said that it wasn’t much of a concern and that closer to the due date we would have to come in once a week to make sure everything was ok. Around mid May, went back to our regular doctor and he said that we should start going in twice a week to see him and monitor the baby’s heart rate.

The first visit was on a Tuesday and it went fine. A 20 minute session on the heart rate monitor and everything seemed normal. The second visit was Thursday and the doctor saw a slight drop in the heart rate so he told us to go back again on Friday. The Friday session was smooth so he scheduled us for the next Tuesday and Friday. He wanted to space the days out enough but also didn’t want them too far apart. Plus the Monday was Memorial Day and their office was closed. Tuesday morning, no problems found so we went back on Friday. For 15 minutes, the baby’s heart rate was fine so the doctor was talking to us and then he saw a deceleration from normal 135bpm – 160bmp down to 85bpm. By the look of his face, we knew something wasn’t right.

He told us to go straight to Hoag to get Jingru and the baby on a monitor 24/7. I had a sales meeting, phone interview with Mo Kelly, and another Zoom interview on my calendar plus about 100 other things that needed to be done. So we drove two separate cars thinking we would be in and out in 30 minutes. That wasn’t the case. We checked in at Hoag and they immediately put Jingru on a monitor. For 45 minutes, everything was fine. They even sent a tech up to do an ultrasound and she told us that the baby looked great. Then Jingru got up to use the bathroom, came back and the baby’s heart rate decelerated again. I asked the nurse if there was a chance that the sensors slipped out of position and she said not in this instance. They shifted Jingru around and the heart rate went back to normal so everyone relaxed a bit. I went downstairs to hold our Ring Central sales meeting and talk to Mo Kelly. Jingru texted me that they moved her into a different room. They told me it was the “Kobe Bryant Room” because that’s where Vanessa Bryant stayed when she had their babies.

I go upstairs and the room was huge like a Las Vegas suite. Jingru is on the monitors again with a different set of nurses. They told her she can’t drink water or eat anything just in case they have to do a C-Section that day. We barely ate breakfast so both of us were starving. Plus it was freezing in the room so she had to use the bathroom again. Bam! Decel again. Nurses rush in and shift her around until the baby’s heart rate goes back to normal. The on-site doctor came to talk to us and so did our own doctor. They explained the situation and what precautions they had to take to keep our baby safe. From what it sounded like, Jingru was going to have to stay at the hospital until she went into labor in 6 weeks.

It was barely noon and we had so much activity already. I was exhausted and my dad called me for an unscheduled conference call. We didn’t plan for any of this so neither of us left the house with a charger, toiletries, or anything. I asked the doctor if it was ok for me to run home really quick to get some stuff and he said to wait until 3:00pm to see if anything changed with Jingru and the baby. By 4:00pm, nothing changed. The baby’s heart rate was as steady as it could be. So the doctor said I could leave but to hurry back. Just as I got to the second stoplight, there was a bunch of Friday traffic. My phone was at 20% and my sister and mom were calling me to find out what was going on.

I didn’t even make it past Del Taco when Jingru called and said the doctor wanted me to go back right now. RIGHT NOW! Now I was worried. I flipped a bitch and got right back to the hospital. Thankfully, the traffic wasn’t heavy going back. I get checked in, go upstairs and there are a bunch of nurses cleaning out the room and the alarm is blaring. So I’m like WTF WTF? They tell me Jingru was moved into a different room and that I can’t see her yet. By this point, I’m going crazy worried about her and the baby. Please let them be OK. Please!

Two doctors come out to talk to me. One was a high risk doctor. He told me that the baby’s heart rate decelerated again but for very long period of time compared to earlier. That was a huge concern because the baby might not be getting enough blood flowing to him. He said that he would wait for our doctor, but he was pretty certain that they’d all agree to do a C-section that afternoon. They suited me up in coveralls, shoe covers, and a bouffant cap (none from Chu’s Packaging Supplies even though I offered them up for donation) and I relayed their message to Jingru. I told her the most important thing was that her and the baby were safe so we’d have to trust the doctors and their decision. Maybe it was from going to the bathroom but with as much water as she drank and the room being freezing, there was no way to minimize her bathroom breaks. Our doctor showed up and pretty much told me the same thing and apologized because this obviously wasn’t anything that any of us were expecting that day. By the way, my phone was at 5% at this point. Jingru giving birth to our baby boy and I didn’t have a camera ready? No way. I asked the nurse if she could charge my phone so she plugged it into one of their machines while I waited for Jingru to get prepped for surgery.

“Baby Chu is on the way!” is what I texted my family and friends. Everyone was like “what?!” It’s just one of those things I keep reminding myself. Even though we have our timeline, the universe might have different plans for us. We didn’t have his nursery prepped and we hadn’t even picked a name yet. Wait. We didn’t have a name yet. Everyone had been asking us, even the nurses. We had narrowed it down to three options. Bryce, Skyler, or Parker. They all sounded strong with Chu as a last name and even stronger with Crawford as a middle name. I did some starting lineup introductions using the three names and they were all good. Crap. We’ll have to decide after he’s born. Dude. We had a baby shower scheduled in two weeks so that had to be canceled.

In the operating room, Jingru was so brave. They let me stay inside and hold her hand during the procedure. Before we knew it, our baby boy was out and crying. Thank goodness. He looked great and Jingru did as well. They let me cut his umbilical cord and rushed him up to ICU. Our little prince had arrived. Six weeks early but healthy and strong. I went with Jingru to her new room and watched her get situated then went home to pick up some stuff for our stay at the hospital. When I got home, I had two issues of PAS Mag in the mail. They probably just arrived since our mail man shows up at like 8pm. One issue was the Skyline GT-R special so I knew it was a sign to name him Skyler. My parents dropped me back off at the hospital so we wouldn’t have to leave to cars there. Because of COVID19, the hospital restrictions were pretty tough. I’ll follow up with those in my next few posts.

What. A. Day.

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Sleep Paralysis Type of Night

July 10th, 2018

I can’t really explained how this all happened last night or what triggered it, but it was disturbing enough for me to dust off my blog this morning and write about it. I usually have random issues with sleeping, though this is the first time I’ve ever experienced sleep paralysis and it’s not something I would like to go through again if at all avoidable. Maybe it’s stress from work trying to constantly get things right, thinking about training this new hire, looking for a bigger house, considering selling my condo, planning two trips to the pacific northwest, or something completely unrelated. I’ll never know.  Read the rest of this entry »

Chinese, Japanese, Look At These

October 31st, 2017

I have to skip my fitness blog this week because I wanted to address something that happened over the weekend and became a bigger ordeal to some than others. On Friday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers were playing against the Houston Astros in the MLB World Series. Probably a pretty cool thing for people who watch baseball, which I don’t claim that I do. During the game I was scrolling through Twitter and saw a bunch of posts about some Astros fool named Yuli Gurriel pulling his eyes back to be “slanted” to make fun of Japanese Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish and calling him “chinito” to top it off. Call it racist, call it rude, call it racially insensitive, call it derogatory. Whatever you want to call it, make sure you call it wrong and f*cked up. People were trying to pass it off that Gurriel had dirt in his eyes and needed eye drops. You have to be dumb as hell to believe that. Everyone knows damn well what Gurriel was doing, especially him.


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Back To The Basics

October 23rd, 2017

I was kind of busy last week so I didn’t get to start writing this blog post, which more than likely means that this won’t go up on Monday. Damn. Only the third week in and I’m already lagging. But since this is the first of a series of workout routines, I wanted to get into more detail and even have some videos to go with it. The videos will definitely improve, though. Probably more than they even need to since it’s just a bunch of exercises at the gym. Anyhow, let’s get cracking.


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Chu’s Your Gym Wisely

October 16th, 2017


Thinking about working out is already stressful enough if this is a new lifestyle that you want to take on. Then pile on the sales pressure from your gym and it might turn you back to eating chips in the dark corner of your kitchen while nobody is watching (I actually do this). I’ll use this post to list out a few things to keep an eye out for when signing up for a gym membership because you’ll be locked in for a year or longer to get the better rates. These people can be vultures. Worse than the prototypical used car salesman that promises you world and gives you a RAV 4 with a leaking radiator. Sorry. You signed on the line, bro. Nothing we do about it now. You should have read the 90 page contract before you initialed by all 400 disclaimers.

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