31) Crummiest Job I Ever Loved!

In the last post you read about Priscilla and her frantic attempt to hold onto me while simultaneously caught in her addiction of speed and booze. In this post you will read about how events began to turn for me after I broke it off with Priscilla.

My first significant employment opportunity in California came when I got a job at a health club. The name of the club was European Health Spa, located in what was then Stonestown Shopping Mall, out on “the avenues” in San Francisco.

Fitness training was included as well as an opportunity to sell memberships. My job title was Exercise Instructor, and my duties were to provide one on one instruction, lead exercise classes and meet sales quotas. In the first two, I was brilliant. In sales, I lacked the killer instinct. Ugh.

Fit, Energetic and Fully Trained but Still Failing

My time at the European Health Spa was important to me because I learned the benefits of lifelong fitness and saw how difficult it was to succeed in direct sales.

Paradoxically, I now saw personal selling as a gateway for a person with no college or meaningful experience to better themself.

No Excuse for my Failures

Growing up white and healthy in America, I had no excuses for my failures by the age of 24. I had plenty of encouragement from Mom and a big family to help meet my basic needs. Yet, I felt disconnected.

I had a weak educational and social foundation, and no religious one. Yet I was brimming with confidence. I was blessed with the gift of curiosity and ability to figure things out – that is, except for math.


In the fitness clubs, I found my wellspring. The harder I worked out, the more I helped others who were struggling, the better I felt about myself. I had escaped my circumstances in Minnesota and grabbed a foothold in California.

But I was still lonely and confused.

Did someone ever hire you for a job and then you let them down?

Next: How a Sweaty Fitness Trainer Lived in Quiet Secrecy Among the Rich and Famous

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