By Marty Farmer
I haven't been to a club in years. In fact, I'd venture to say I haven't busted a serious move to the dance floor since Newcleus' "Jam on it" was the de rigueur dance hit back in the day. Thankfully, Instagram and Twitter didn't exist during the heyday of my dancing days, so my Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" Quinones-inspired pop and lock series, seamlessly transitioned into a patented robot move, must remain the stuff of legend.
On Saturday, old school Marty Farmer and decidedly new school Midtown Athletic Club of Oak Park became acquainted. Upon entry, I immediately noticed an impressive collection of attractive people, took note of a few closely located bars, and attuned my ears to DJ Matt Roan manipulating a hi-tech sound system not remotely reminiscent of any turntable I grew up with.
Other than those initial observations, everything else about the Midtown Athletic Club in Oak Park struck me as entirely innovative, cool and fun.
The club's Re-Birthday Celebration on Saturday served as an opportunity for club members and guests to check out its complete renovation.
"Tonight is a celebration and a way of saying thanks to all of our club members," the club's general manager Kate London said. "We've had a complete transformation. We put in all new techno gym equipment, a Pavigym Vertical Wall from Spain as well as OMNIA workouts, which no other health clubs in North America have. And we have a team of world-class trainers in a very supportive, welcoming environment."
In addition to Midtown's newest wrinkles, the club also offers social events, massage therapy, personal training, group fitness, Pilates, TRX, cardiovascular equipment, free weights, steam room and a studio for assorted uses.
Chris Janning, a club member from Oak Park who attended Saturday's soiree, was very impressed with Midtown's improvements and upgrades although his reasons for initially joining the club were quite simple.
"It's convenient," Janning said. "I live right down the street and the club has all the necessary machines I require for my workouts. The club is always quiet and clean and the staff members are very friendly and knowledgeable.
"I use the weight machines downstairs, but it's pretty unique how the club is wired. You can get a really good cardio workout with some cool equipment rather than just getting on a treadmill."
Earlier during Saturday's festivities, members and guests enjoyed other amenities like outdoor classes, OMNIA demos, a running clinic and even an autograph session with Chicago Bears players Craig Steltz and Kyle Long, who worked out on some of Midtown's new equipment.
"Our staff is top notch and we have a superb facility," London said. "We truly know our club members and it's a social club. There's a nice intimate feeling about Midtown."
In review, my rare re-entrance into the Saturday night club scene went surprisingly well. I met a ton of nice people, enjoyed a few tasty hors d'oeuvres and discovered a quaint, clean and state-of-the art health club right here in Oak Park.
Now, if I can just learn how to do the dougie and cat daddy.
For more information about Midtown Athletic Club of Oak Park, call 708-848-5200 or visit http://www.midtown.com/clubs/oak-park-athletic-club-fitness-center.