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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Taking it for Granted


The author hard at work.


Rainy Saturday afternoons can be a real downer.

This will likely be my final "free" Saturday this "Spring ." (lets be honest, this spring has sucked as much as this winter, but we all know about how sucky the winter is so let's try and move on.)

Coaching, house chores, and various other events, fill up the calendar April through June.   And that ain't bitching.  Eventually all the snow will melt and we will continue on with our lives.  If you aren't enjoying outdoor cookouts, sitting on lawn chairs watching kids compete, drinking your favorite cocktail, gossiping about friends, and counting Mets losses than you are not doing the suburbs correctly.

And I will get all that.  And I cannot wait.

It does however, seem to be a good time to take reflect on the past few months.  What the hell happened over this winter?

The short answer in my world is added weight. And that shit has gotta come off.  Two things.  The first, as many of us know, is its way harder to lose the pounds the older you get.  Secondly, how the hell am I gonna do it?

After some detective work it turns out I have a gym membership.  Yeah, been paying for it for months too.  Apparently they allow you into the building.  Once inside you are provided with state of the art equipment and an overly eager (and so many of them!) staff waiting to "pump" -pause- "you up!"

So that has been happening.  And it ain't easy.

For one thing I was never really a gym guy.  Getting fit for fit sake?  Who does that?

Well, me now.  Cause I should probably stick around.  A January physical alerted me to some minor concerns.  Not surprisingly my weight was chief among them.  Now, we are not talking Mike and Molly weight here.   But I am not blind.  My profile looks slightly different than a few years back.

It's fine.  I can do the stuff.  If I continue making the effort results will be forthcoming.

But I do need to set some ground rules, ok?

What exactly is your deal waiting for me to pull out of my parking spot?  This is a gym right?  Park a bit farther away and walk a bit.  You are just gonna be walking on a treadmill in 5 minutes.  Get that heart rate moving damn it.  And who cares if its cold or snowing out?  You will live until you get through the doors.

Also, don't judge me for what I am wearing.  What, dress socks and referees sneakers are not good enough for you?  Put it this way-  I am not going to judge you for your tank tops, muscle shirts and spandex shorts. Editors note: perfume's, cologne's, excessively teased hair might be viewed as objectionable too 

So leave my oversized (or mostly undersized) concert tee and bed head alone.  The purpose is to get fit.  I am in the building and I am getting a workout in.  That, in itself, is a winning day.  To expect me to understand and execute an appropriate ensemble is asking for the unattainable.  Not to mention, if I can both work and exercise in the same clothing I have saved myself a load of laundry.  If you saw how much this friggin gym cost me you might be lavishing praise, not condemning.   At the very least you can understand how I rationalize my appearance in this way.

There is a social contract in the locker room too, no?  The first and really most vital rule, should be to button it up a bit boys.  Now, if you read the first couple paragraphs, you understand I might have some body issues.  But I don't hate how I look.  That said, if I shave in the privacy of my home, I typically keep a towel or underwear on.  And that is the privacy of my home.  Who cares, right?

Well, I care if I see a grown man shaving naked, ball sack nice and cozy with the sink, in the our locker room.  I don't care if you just showered.  I don't care if HAZMAT scrubs the place down every 5 minutes.  No one needs to see...  be subjected to...  or even imagine it.

At what age do men stop caring in the locker room?  And it seems the worse their body, the more the feel compelled to display it.

Look pal, I do my best to cover up my old ass.  Return the favor!  Pretty sure your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend is sick of seeing it.  What makes you think we are all into it?  And so close to where I might want to shave or wash my hands?

Who am I kidding?  Planet Fitness has created a marketing campaign about gym culture.  These are people I have to co-exist with.  They would not like going to Music Hall of Williamsburg on a weeknight to listen to some hipster synth band whine about losing a lover.

It's these moments of conflict (both real and imagined) that unite our various sub-cultures.  We cooperate in our shared goals.  I want to get fit so I can stick around for my family and enjoy all life has to offer.  Others want to work out because they look so damn good in the mirror.  Or maybe they are putting maximum effort in to get laid.  However you keep score, that is all net positive.

I will get over my insecurities and deal with it.  We are all VERY different.

There is a kid that lives on our street that used to work at our local coffee shop.  We see each other enough that we are friendly.  I know he plays music.  He knows I listen.

Last time I saw him Fleetwood Mac came up.  It was announced this week that Christine McVie has rejoined the band after 15 years away.  My barista friend told me his band is having difficulty finding a lead singer.  "Have you tried a female?" I asked.

"We did for a bit, but it was the guitarist girlfriend so it was weird.  He kept defending her."

I replied, "Oh, like Fleetwood Mac."

He looked confused.  This kid did knew all about the band.  He knew Rumours.  But he was blissfully unaware that Mcvie was married to John.  Or that Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham were a couple.

Youth.  Amazing.

All of the sudden I am that old guy.  The guy who needs to get a workout in.  The guy looking for a sensible,  fuel efficient vehicle.  The guy giving up pizza and boxes of Lucky Charms.  The guy spinning yarns about 70s rock bands and giving "sage" advice in the middle of a coffee shop.  Egads.

Wait, the guy who uses the word "egads!"

The best part is I am not hating it.


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