Monday, June 1

God help us get off the couch.

Heath, OH - Heath's newest health club, Pontius Pilates Health and Fitness Center, recently opened its doors in the former Sunbeam Bread offices down on Main Street.

“We offer a lot more than just ‘Pilates’, of course.” Disgraced former priest and proprietor James Francis O’Brien said. “We’ve got Nautilus machines, free weights, saunas, complete shower facilities and personal trainers who’ll whip you into shape. Believe you me.”

The personal trainers wearing ecclesiastic vestments are called the “Alter boys.” They enthusiastically put patrons through rigorous circuit training exercises loosely based on the 14 stations of the cross.

If you join, you’ll be “condemned” to a life of fitness at the first station and then steadily make your way to the 10th station where you’ll be stripped down — just like Jesus. But instead of being nailed to the cross at the 11th station, you’ll simply “hit the showers.”

Customers being mere mortals, stations 13 and 14 have been eliminated.

A former priest naming a fitness center after the man responsible for the execution of Jesus of Nazareth Himself does seem a little strange, but it really seems to work.

“Why did I do this? I really can’t say, according to the terms of my settlement. I like to look at … er, uh, I like to stay young. And people really seem to love it when the businesses they patronize employ some sort of play on words.”

Our recommendation: give Pontius Pilates a try. For a limited time, if you tell them you heard about them in The Ledger, you’ll qualify for an exclusive “exorcise” package. You know, just in case.