March 19th, 2009


On going to the gym…

I’ve in about 3 weeks to a regular gym regimen and haven’t written anything about it. I think the world already has enough people obsessed with training and fitness writing about it and I don’t have anything useful to add.

But occasionally I see people doing remarkable thing. And I stay out of the free weights room so I’m not talking the real nutters. But …

This guy last night, who looked fit enough, but not remarkable, was doing a routine where he did push ups with his hands on 25 pound dumbells. In between each push up he would lift one dumbell up to his chest and hold for a couple seconds. Since I can barely curl 25 pounds more than a few times, and barely manage pushups at all, it looked completely mad.

A woman was doing full sit-ups with her legs straight, slowly, while talking on her cell phone. Like 30 reps. And she wasn’t one of the skinny-intense girls who attack their training like it’s world war III, either — she was a substantial woman.

The women’s crew team — apparently for ‘fun’ — were in one Sunday morning, running half-marathons on the cross trainers. And by running I mean ‘going like mad for a long-ass time,’ something like 130 strides a minute, for a couple of hours.

Of course, people who row crew, like rugby and hockey players, are just plain nuts. Not in a bad way, but nuts nonetheless. These are people who have redefined pain into a cheerful hobby.

There’s walls and walls of mirrors in this joint which seem to have at least three distinct purposes. First, so you can see and correct your form. That’s the official reason. Second, as a narcissist’s dream. While there are many excellent reasons to get and stay fit, you can’t deny pure narcissism as a motivating factor. Third, for punters like me, as a way to induce humility — a constant reminder that I’m the fattest, oldest, weakest guy in the room.

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.