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Hasta la vista ... fitness?

We found out Thursday that we're up for a Maggie Award, one of the highest honors in the magazine business. I'd like to thank all the little people for making this possible. Really, it's an honor to be nominated, as long as we win.

The top news story in our March issue focuses on the challenges that some women-only clubs have faced in the state of California regarding gender discrimination. The story includes plenty of viewpoints as well as the challenges that some other clubs have faced. (A million dollars goes to the first person that comes across the word "transvestite" in the story.)

It's ironic that a state where the governor is Arnold Schwarzenegger - at one time the model of fitness in America - would have trouble making people (especially women) feel comfortable about improving their health. If Ah-nold were my governor, I'd expect my state to do everything it could to promote the health and well-being of every citizen.

I couldn't reach Phillip Kottle, the man who filed separate complaints against two women-only clubs, for the story. Nor could I reach Shannon Hartnett, the owner of the Body Central club in Santa Rosa, CA, that was one of Kottle's targets. My thanks to the good people at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat for their background information and for covering this case so closely. It's always nice to count on good, strong newspaper people.

Because Body Central closed its doors, you have to wonder if Hartnett was simply ready to move on after owning the club for 10 years. From what I've read, she was looking to sell the club anyway.

This was not the first time Hartnett had been embroiled in controversy. A one-time weightlifter, Hartnett received a two-year suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in 2005 after testing positive for steroids. Hartnett had been training in Omaha, NE, with plans to compete in a powerlifting championship earlier this month.

That competition in Columbus, OH, was part of what is called the Arnold Sports Festival, named after Arnold Schwarzenegger. Go figure.

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