Wednesday, January 28, 2009


by Phil Houseal as published in the Kerrville TX Community Journal Feb 4, 2009

Here's some good news - not everyone is participating in this economic downturn.

I heard a report on public radio that some businesses are actually enjoying increased revenues. The example they used came from a spa in Massachusetts. The owner reported a sales increase of 10%, and no one was more surprised than she.

It turns out that spa patrons were using a strategy called "substitution." As I understood the term, it means that no matter their economic situation, people will continue to pursue pleasure and self-fulfillment. The only difference is that instead of taking the cruise of a lifetime, they are substituting more affordable diversions closer to home. This woman, for example, was unable to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but she could afford a weekend of pampering at a local spa.

In other words, they substituted a more affordable luxury. For some of us it may mean grabbing a candy bar instead of enjoying a four-course meal. For others, it means passing up that trip to Italy, and instead signing up for an Italian cooking class.

Club Ed - with hundreds of classes and workshops - can help in this phenomenon. I hereby coin a term : "Clubstitution."

If you find - for economic or other reasons - that you won't be trekking across Asia this summer, you can always sign up for the Club Ed backpacking course. You will hike the hill country, and it will cost less than a hundred bucks. That is "Clubstitution!"

I leafed through my catalog and came up with several more "Clubstitution" ideas for you:

- Instead of experiencing the wonders of Istanbul, "Clubstitute" Beginning Belly Dance. It's a 5000-year-old art form that will help you shed inches and attract attention.

- Lost your seat on the next space shuttle? "Clubstitute" Backyard Astronomy. You can travel the universe right outside your back door.

- About that trip to Italy. We offer a new Pizza and Pasta class - taught by Anthony Coden, a professional chef from France. If you can't go to Europe, we'll bring Europe to you!

- Considering calling in a landscaper? We have many options to "Clubstitute." Make your own Garden Pavers, build your own Raised Bed Gardens, learn to install a Rainwater Collection system.

- Yearning to whitewater raft down the Colorado River? "Clubstitute" River Kayaking, right here on the gurgling Guadalupe.

- Can't even manage that weekend spa trip? Don't need it - we have several Yoga and Massage classes. One is self-massage, so you don't even need a partner!

- Can't travel at all? "Clubstitute" Travel Photography, and live vicariously through others' work.

You get the idea.

And if you still insist on traveling, Club Ed can help anyway. Sign up for Gina Henry-Cook's "Free Vacations" workshop. She'll show you how to go ahead and take that cruise, and get paid for doing it!

That would have to be the ultimate "Clubstitution!"


Club Ed offers hundreds of classes you can "Clubstitute!" Visit to sign up, or call 830-895-4386.

Club Ed is the Community Education program of the Kerrville Independent School District. Each year, we offer more than 400 classes throughout the Texas Hill Country, along with online courses, business and individual training, and after-school and summer camps. Comment online at

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