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July 05, 1991 - Image 89

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-07-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

SINGLE LIFE

Aaron Ozrovitz lifts
weights at Franklin
Racquet Cub.

Local health clubs create more
than good bodies.

Lisa Joy Marrich pumps
some iron.

LESLEY PEARL

Jewish News Intern

W

hen the Reeboks
are strapped on
and the bodies are
squeezed into lycra leotards
and running shorts, most of
the members at the Franklin
Fitness and Racquet Club
have a serious workout — not
a pickup — in mind.
Of course, a lot of socializ-
ing occurs on the stationary
bikes, amid the blaring
music, around the pool and
on the various couches set up
in sitting areas, perfect for
conversation with this after-
work crowd.
For Linda Cohen, a thirty-
something, tanned and
leotard-clad secretary, this
provided the setting to de-
velop more than a flat
tummy. It's where she met
her future husband.
When she joined the
health club about a year ago,
she was re-introduced to a
man she had met a few mon-
ths previously at a party in
Birmingham. They con-
tinued running into each
other while working out and

soon something more than a
good figure formed. Even-
tually the relationship turn-
ed from weights to wedding,
but the two have yet to set a
date.
Ms. Cohen's experience is
not typical.
Sheri Aaron, a 34-year-old
speech pathologist and a
member of Franklin for six
years, said she chose the
club because the members
are serious about workouts,
yet friendly. And although
none of her dates with other
members have turned into
anything serious, she never
feels ill at ease when
"running" into them again
while working out.
"When you date someone
from the club, you know
right away you have fitness
in common," Ms. Aaron said.
"And that's why people are
here — to work out."
Ms. Aaron said she chose
Franklin primarily for its
convenience —located on the
heavily-traveled work route
of Northwestern Highway.
Another reason is the at-
mosphere, which encourages
a certain amount of socializ-
ing among a diverse age

group of mostly professional
men and women, she said
while cooling down on the
couch by the big-screen TV
with friends.
"Powerhouse, for example,
is not as social, and the
fitness club at the Jewish
Community Center has men

c7)
2

r6

2

6 0

Jacqie Coburn and
Barry Klein have been
dating for three months.

and women working out
separately," Ms. Aaron said.
"I'm into lifting (weights), so
I'd rather work out with
men."

Bob Gittleman, an at-
torney found bronzing by the
pool with a drink in one
hand and a cellular phone in
the other, agrees the club
atmosphere is friendly, but
hesitates to classify it as a
"meat market," a commonly
heard stereotype of the
upscale fitness center.
"I can't imagine people
spending this kind of money
just to get picked up," he
said. "Go to a bar or dating
service instead."
Single members at
Franklin pay a one-time in-
itiation fee of $500, in addi-
tion to $82 per month in
membership fees.
Mr. Gittleman believes
that for the money Franklin
charges many people leave
with something much more
valuable than a date. They
leave with confidence.
"I've seen people come in
here with no confidence and
leave with a lot because of
what they've done for them-
selves and with their
bodies," he said.
Hans Akan, an employee
at One on One, a fitness club
in West Bloomfield, at-
tributes the serious workout

atmosphere of his club to its
overall facilities including
tennis, aerobics and a
healthful snack bar in addi-
tion to a fitness center.
"Clubs that don't last are
the ones that offer limited
facilities and are known as
meat markets," he said.
Mr. Akan believes health
clubs were more of a singles
scene a few years ago, but
the image is changing as
people become more serious
about their health.
One on One members pay
an initiation fee of $75 and
$63 a month for the right to
pump iron with a poster of
Arnold Schwartzenegger
staring at them.
Beverly Earp, a tatoo-
sporting employee for
Nestles Beverages, exercises
three to four hours a day,
seven days a week — often
socializing on the breath-
snatching stairmaster.
"This has nothing to do
with mating," she said.
Instead, Ms. Earp stressed
that members of the club
tend to go out in groups. One
man she dated from One on
One has since become a good
friend. She fixed him up

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

77

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