Friday, June 20, 2008

Gym shorts


It's not because I love working out. In fact I mostly hate working out. But I love the way I feel after I work out. I love leaving the gym fresh, clean and invigorated. I love the feeling of knowing that, although the sun has just risen, the hardest part of my day is over. I love listening to Marianne Williamson on the radio on the way to the gym and to Dr. Oz or the XM Baseball channel when I leave the gym. And of course I love the results. I weighed in today at 179, which means I lost three pounds this past week and forty-four and a half pounds since January. And because I'm building muscle I know that the lost pounds are fat pounds.


The gym is not a place I want to hang around. I want to get in, get my work done and get out. Not everybody feels the same way I do, of course. There's one guy at my gym who obviously comes just to hit on women. You can watch him when he comes out of the locker room. He has no workout plans other than to get beside the best looking unattached woman there and start a conversation. There are other guys who seem to enjoy standing around talking -- in the gym and also butt naked in the locker room. I've got the woman of my dreams and I have no interest in socializing with nude dudes. I always try to pick a locker away from everyone else so that I can have just enough room to attend to my gym bag business. Accordingly I pick out a locker that is surrounded by unlocked, unclaimed lockers. And inevitably when I get out of the shower there will be somebody right beside my locker with all his shit spread out so I've got nowhere to put my stuff even if I could get to my locker which I usually can't because the guy is always some OCD guy who is carefully folding his dirty gym clothes and hanging (I am not kidding) his towel up on a hanger.


Well, I never actually considered joining, but they are right down the street from where I work, and they offered me a free 21-day trial membership, so I thought I'd take advantage of that -- even though I had some misgivings over how many times they used the word "upscale" in their brochure. So I went in for a tour. The first thing they showed me was their bright and cheery smoothie bar with wi-fi and big screen TVs. Again, I don't go to the gym to hang out, so money and space spent on this stuff instead of exercise equipment was strike one in my book -- strike two, actually, since the biggest TV was tuned to the devil's network Fox News; I quit a gym because all the cardio equipment faced that damn propaganda pit. The place didn't smell right either; I mean it didn't smell at all. A gym should smell like Lysol fighting for its life against the funk. Strike three. I asked about yoga classes and my guide said they were starting one, and not to worry it wasn't about religion and not-eating meat and other woo-woo out there stuff. In other words they're dumbing it down, ripping it out of its foundations, trivializing it. A big strike four, which is one more strike than anyone's allowed but I was still planning to use them for 21 days right up until the time I started reading the gym rules. Most of it was pretty standard stuff -- no jeans, you must have your ID, etc. But they did have a rule I've never seen before -- No Loud Grunting. I walked out. I had no choice. Grunting is an integral part of my workout. So is sweating and although I didn't finish reading their rules I'm sure they don't allow perspiration either.

No comments: