Janet Urquhart: An impostor at The Aspen Club | AspenTimes.com

Janet Urquhart: An impostor at The Aspen Club

I’ve always said I would never join any club that would have me as a member. Nonetheless, I took The Aspen Club & Spa up on its offer of a free day to check out its facilities. Why they’re courting the riffraff at this newspaper, I don’t know, but I can tell you this: Membership has its privileges.Access to “ayurvedic rituals,” for example, whatever those are.I usually work out at a “gym” as opposed to a “club & spa.” Now, I actually know the difference between the two. One is sweaty, the other is swanky.My new theory is, you should never work out in an environment that’s way better than your home. You’ll never want to leave. Heck, if I joined the club & spa, I might never leave the locker room. I could have spent the entire day there, padding around in the slippers and plush robe provided for members. After luxuriating in the Jacuzzi, I could step over to the steam room.The lockers, by the way, aren’t so much lockers as they are custom wood cabinetry. No row of banged-up aluminum doors here.Spacious sink areas, with lotions, cotton swabs, hair dryers and anything else one might need to primp after pumping iron were all provided.I showed remarkable restraint and didn’t steal any towels, even though they, too, are better than anything I have at home.If I belonged to The Aspen Club & Spa, I’d probably skip the workout all together and just hang out at the patio cafe, slurping fruit smoothies for hours. After my massage, I’d head to the locker room to freshen up and then sack out on one of the comfy couches near the lobby fireplace for a nap.The next morning, I’d wake up and repeat the grueling routine all over again.But, since I wore my workout clothes there and didn’t really have a reason to slip into something more comfortable, I decided to actually work out. In fact, I wore what I usually wear to my gym – old shorts and slightly frayed T-shirt with a couple of little holes here and there.To the club’s credit, no one eyed me suspiciously or called security. I descended a spiral staircase into the immaculate weight room and immediately had an urge to remove my shoes because the carpeting was so nice. I found the machines I normally use among a multitude of unfamiliar-looking contraptions.It wasn’t anything like my gym, and not just because women were having their nails done in a little room off to the side. Instead of rock ‘n’ roll, there was background music. Instead of lively chatter among gym rats, there were a handful of members going quietly about their routines, much as I was. There were no shelves full of bodybuilder’s trophies; they had actual art on the walls.It was a little bit like staying at a luxury hotel, where I always feel like an impostor. I can’t really afford more than a brief fling in the upper crust, and I don’t really belong there anyway.[Janet Urquhart will be angling for guest passes if her co-workers join The Aspen Club & Spa. Her column appears on Fridays]

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