At least six times a week, i drag my cellulite-encrusted thighs to the fitness facility at work. It is not cushy. No fancy classrooms, state-of-the-art fat eradication gizmos. It used to be a warehouse, that was re-fitted to encourage a larded workforce to stop filing so many health insurance claims get fit.
It’s most important feature, however, is that it’s free. Second most important? i can go on my lunch hour. Third? It’s free.
Patrons of this facility cut a wide swath through the employed masses. From the doughy, middle-aged folks* fighting fat so they can have just one more breakfast muffin at the next meeting, to the aggressive and disgustingly hard-bodied youth who throw weights around like they’re quarters, we have it all.
i do not like being there. It is necessary. i do not like making the machines move repeatedly. Three sets of twelve reps here, six sets of ten reps there. It simply blows. But i need to do it, it’s an hour of my day, and did i mention? It’s free.
My mind wanders as i count. i look at the other patrons. They look back, usually with the same glassy-eyed resignation. We have gotten to know each other on sight. “That’s the guy who grunts.” “She’s the one who waits a full two minutes between sets and ties up the machine”. “She sweats a lot.”*
Today, as i worked the machine that is the mechanical equivalent of “We Must, We Must, We Must Increase Our Bust”**, something caught my attention. Resting between sets, i looked at the “Dip Rack”***, and there was a guy doing tricep dips – with about a 20 pound weight hanging off a weight belt.
Definite spit-take, as i had to look twice to see the belt.
workout buddy (sitting on the next machine): Did you see that?
daisyfae: Ummm…. yeah. Whoa. That’s badass. Bet it gives him penile extension.
workout buddy: Unbelievable!
daisyfae: Would probably give him more penile extension if he were hanging that weight from somewhere else…
Which is exactly where it seemed to be swinging from when i first looked…
* C’est moi.
** Grade school chant. “We must, we must, we must increase our bust. The bigger the better the tighter the sweater, the boys will look at us.” Seriously. No wonder girls grow up with body image issues…
*** No, not like that. You climb up, hold the cross bars – which are parallel at the level of your hips – then do triceps dips with your knees bent.