I’d heard about this mysterious hotel gym for weeks, but it didn’t sound like anything I was need of, so I kept putting it off a visit. For one, I was still content doing my little Jane Fonda-workout at the office here, particularly since I could dictate the time I did it. I’m morning guy and rumor had it that the gym hours were from 14-21:00; strike two. Finally, I’d grown weary of the insane vanity of a lot of gymgoers back home. Exercising outdoors, free of the distraction of watching grown boys and girls admiring their muscles in a gym mirror is where it’s at. For the friends that have heard this rap of mine before…multiple times, do forgive me. Anyway, I joined the gym a week and a half ago.
First thing to report is that, much to my surprise (and disappointment), that ‘look at me heave this heavy, inanimate object with my muscles and, hey, while you’re at it, why don’t you snap a few photos of me doing it,’ culture is not relegated to the U.S.; bummer.
Day one in the gym and I immediately see two guys pounding away on their pecs from every possible angle. One fella had what can best be described as a spaghetti-strapped tank-top. The ‘Franz’ to his ‘Hans’ was wearing a skintight sweatshirt. I dress like a hobo at the gym. Some may argue out of it as well, so I’m not judging. Ok, I am judging, but the point is I want you to get the scene. As these two were training they took photos of one another from at least as many angles as they hit their chests, which was substantial. Mind you, this isn’t a huge space with private nooks. This was on display for all to gawk at, and yet, no one seemed bothered?
And here’s the beef of the story if you’ll pardon the pun. I’m nearing the end of my session and am now sitting on the floor with my headphones on and my shoes kicked off. My legs are stretched out in front of me and I’m attempting some gymnastics move called an ‘L-sit.’ Well, I have a severe tightness in whatever muscle it is that allows one to lift their legs off the ground in this position. Of course, I already know this, but I try it sometimes just for giggles. I would soon get plenty of them. Giggles I mean.
Out of nowhere, I see rather robust African gentleman squatting down in front of me. Without warning he starts lifting up my dirty socks…with my feet in them! He’s trying to tell me to push through it and life my legs. I response I tell him, unsuccessfully, that my legs do not in fact go that direction at this time, but it’s simply not translating. Before you know it, I’m attempting to pantomime my entire medical history to explain why it is I cannot perform this exercise properly. We finally reach an understanding. He surmises that it’s my lower back that’s at fault.
The good gym Samaritan, this ‘Gym’iny Cricket,’ then begins to take my arms and twist me rather vigorously in different directions. At first, I resist, not sure I know the rules of this little game. He goes off balance a few times and then I tune in that I’m meant to stay loose and relaxed. Easy for him to say!
The real comedy starts when he demonstrates the next move I’m to work on. For this demonstration he stood, arms at his side, feet together. Wait, did I mention he was one of these fellas sporting a huge upper body with legs that defy physics? How he balances on those with that bulk on top is beyond me. In any event, I’m now facing him with the same body position he has and I can’t help but picture us looking like a salt and pepper shaker. From this position he starts gyrating his hips in small circles…rapidly. He then starts gyrating mine…gulp. All during this I’m straining more attempting not to laugh than I did during my actual workout. He was quite serious though, so I played along until I couldn’t take it anymore. I simply had to get outside and laugh. I humbly suggest you all do the same.