I’ve returned to the gym after a long hiatus. (I’ll hold briefly for your applause…). Actually, that’s not quite true. It had been many years since I’d set foot in a gym, having for decades been a “work-out at home” kinda guy. Yes, I had a chin-up bar, and in fact I used it. (AND to hang my laundry). I had a compact little program that I stayed with for a long time. Then, I got married, we left town, and I fell off the… spinner.
Now I’ve returned to a health club and have surveyed the scene…
First, there are the seniors on treadmills. We’re talking no incline, and SLOW… like a time machine in reverse. One 30-minute session and it’s now 2035. But God bless ‘em.
Then, of course, there are the Messrs. Muscle. These guys are cut, like door frames with a chest. But some of them have morphed beyond proper proportions and resemble inflatable NFL players in your front yard, but with the air let out of their legs.
And finally, Betty Gumby. I’ve never seen such flexibility. When she's in full form, warmed-up I guess, she wraps into a 98-pound paper clip. Betty should have work-out clothes made of caution tape. Were I to attempt those poses, after the snap you could pack me in carry-on luggage.
I do struggle with what might be my role at the gym, whether it’s one of intimidation or that of inspiration. I would say that I currently carry those twin powers in proper suspension, deftly managing my influence, knowing that my presence could either lift or crush the aspirations of others. These are formative moments. We’re talking about fragile egos here. I’ve been there. And yet, ever since I bid farewell to competitive body-building, I’ve always known that at some point I would give back. And now is my time.