Frankly, I am not About Being a Gym Guy
I’m a lot overweight. I could have said, I am very fat and that be all, but I am trying my new skills at “sanding-off” the harsh phrases and using synonyms as much as possible. The educated, powerful, and sleek people do that quite frequently. Why not me? I am as sleek as a 1966 Chrysler with two coats of DuPont wax, so don’t think that I am not smooth when I walk, talk, or negotiating for a free cup of “Joe” at my favorite restaurant.
Sometimes it works. Sometimes it backfires. Then I end up looking foolish as Danny Kaye when the stumbling he did in some of his films were conveniently taken-out before the film was broadcast. In Kaye’s day, I truly think that Public Relations people were sharper then. If you challenge my statement, just watch any film where Kaye is cast doing funny dancing scenes.
Speaking of me being smooth, there are these two places in my hometown that I have yet to darken their doors. I will not disgrace myself for naming them here, but I will tell you “what” they are: gyms. Special places for people (like me) who looks much like a bowling ball with feet when I stand up. I am not ashamed of myself—in fact, I get such a kick for brow-beating myself that I get to laughing at things that I write and laugh so hard that I end up crying. Someone told me about this situation and although they are far from being a licensed psychologist, they said that when people laugh a little too hard and then cry, can be labeled as Mentally Challenged.
I didn’t argue with this sports-shirt-wearing guy. He looked fine and did not what the term, “Fat” meant. The sharp dude I doubt could even spell it. This guy even smelled great and he was dressed in Designer Sweats that cost more than I am worth—his Designer Slippers with no socks, what a Stylish dude. I could only look and grieve when he power walked away.
I know now that I was either born way too late, or way too early. I missed Elvis Presley’s birth, Hank Williams, Sr.’s death, so that left me with Capt. Kangaroo and Fred Rogers and his Neighborhood. Bob Keeshan, (Capt. Kangaroo) was the most rebellious of the two children’s home icons. Rogers was, in my view, way too charming and courteous—fact is, many times, he got on my nerves for being so cushy and neat that I would leave the room. But not before I turned off the TV—for even then in Capt. Kangaroo and Fred Rogers’ day, I didn’t want to run-up my parents’ power bill by leaving the TV on.
So back to the Gym Scene, hey, man, let’s get in there. Everyone around my hometown, male and female, are going to the gyms. I’m talking the Real Deal, Cadillac’s of gyms with professional weight machinery including Pull-up and Cardio machines that would make any GQ male in San Diego tan with jealousy. I know what I am talking about, and have yet to go with my wife and grand kids to “do the gym thing.”
The reason? It’s not Rocket Science. I am a very lazy man. Let me tell the sad story—and a nod to Ray Charles who knows his Jazz. I began work when I was 14 mowing lawns for the public; working for a small grocery store and gas station when I was a senior in high school; worked in mobile home and bearing factories and settled into the newspaper business and retired there after 23 years of doing an assortment of things from typesetting to doing darkroom work. Love them chemicals, man.
And during one of the many “All Nighter’s” in the newspaper industry, I vowed to myself that if I made it until retirement, I would never get hooked into joining any gym—personal or professionally. I am simply not a Gym Guy. I wish you would fly down (or up to) where I live and we could have coffee and you could get an eyeful of me in my Lazed Condition.
I got a Lion’s Share of manual labor when I mowed grass and in years later, helped two buddies cut firewood for the public and when I was with the newspaper, I walked in the beginning when I went from store to store selling display ads. Sure kept my waistline looking sharp. At least that is what I told myself. It must have worked, because I believed myself. And if it’s one thing that I’ve learned over my 64 years of life, it’s I never lie to myself. That can lead to personal resentment of myself. I will not lower myself to lying to myself for I love myself and that’s all there is to it.
Back to the gym, and a question: Must we really? Okay. Some more Gym Talk. That is what I’d rather do “if” I did join one of our gyms where I live. Talk is all that I would want to do because I do not say this in a boasting, but I probably know everyone who has become a member of our two gyms. That would make a nifty title to an ABC Private Eye Drama: The Two Gyms—the action-packed drama that features Richard “Dick” Simmons and Jillian “Gnash” Michaels who go undercover following clues to the latest over-eater who is in danger of dying. In one smashing episode, “Dick” Simmons, aka/ “Sam Steele,” deceives the criminals that he and “Gnash” is chasing, by purposely joins the “Nathan’s Annual 4th of July Hotdog Eating Contest,” on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. “Dick” wins by a hotdog bun by downing 76 hotdogs and catches an addictive Food Addict and Jillian Michaels, “Gnash Goldsmith,” takes him to their secret gym to teach him some good habits to help him with his food addiction. On most of your ABC stations.
In passing, and “passing” is the key word, I have looked into the huge windows of one of our gyms, the one in uptown Hamilton, Ala., and I got to tell you, I had much rather just sit in some good natured farmer’s barnyard, eating raw peanuts and spinning yarns than dress up in Spandex, gulp water by the gallon and seldom eating “real” food. If I did join one of these “rackets” I would pay myself the price of their membership, eat a pack of rice cakes for a week and take off the pounds all for the cost of a package of rice cakes.
In those huge, professional gyms that I see on TV, the elite and serious gym members get to have a “spotter,” a man or woman who helps the gym member how to lift a few hundred pounds of steel without getting injured. I can do that for half the price. All that I will have to do is just yell, “Enough!” and the gym member will put the weights back in their place. Besides, the gym member really doesn’t want to lift hundreds of pounds when he can snack himself crazy with Cheese KaDoodles, in the Jumbo Size while watching Professional TV Wrestling. And I would sit there and help him enjoy it.
In our two gyms, there are NO pleasant posters tacked to the walls of these businesses. Why can’t these gym owners put up posters of Miss Anna “Mom” Farris, who is now “on the market” by divorcing Chris Pratt, “Andy” on “Parks and Recreation.” Or these guys could place posters of Gal “Wonder Woman” Gadot, but only for us guys to take our minds off of the smelly sweat coming from the other weight-lifters. Me? I never sweat enough to break a sweat, so I am cool when I lift my weight of 12 pounds. I can lift that much weight over my head about five times consecutively without passing out.
For a few days now, I have sat down and studied the current Gym Situation we have in our hometown and I have to be honest, both gyms could use a little upgrading, but by yours truly. How do I know this? An outsider can most times learn more from looking from the outside than being forced to look from the inside. Follow my thinking.
I would want someone to invest around $500 thousand dollars to make a gym of my doing. I would have automatic glass doors so the members will not have to exert themselves by pulling and pushing on a regular door. For music, none of that Muzak junk. I would want a continual loop of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s greatest hits along with 80s power band, Lover Boy and throw in the Dobbie Brothers and I would have people breaking down my automatic glass doors to beg for a membership which will not cost them a fortune. I would charge around $12 bucks a month all in cash and I know going in that most of these “Early Birds” will grow weary and quit, but I have that covered. For the small sum of $100.00, that is the entire amount that I will charge the Serious Gymnasts for a year’s worth of exercising, treadmill walking, weight lifting and give them a FREE personal trainer. I will be rich overnight. I will simply share the bounty with a couple of my buddies who will stand and brag on their clients while they work out and they will stay with my gym a lot longer.
For break time in my gyms, I will have a Large Snack Area with Little Debbie oatmeal cakes, hot coffee, and brand-name soda’s and a few bottles of processed water. Oh yeah, in the winter months, I will have a large supply of cocoa that a Gym Attendant (a pretty girl) will serve my gym members and I will pay her more than minimum wage for I want my gyms to be happy, not drudgery.
And lastly, for the “old gym members,” why not put matching posters of Kathy Lee Gifford and hubby, Frank Gifford in his New York Giants playing days. Kathy Lee’s poster just might convince me to join my own gym while I pretend to do some Sculling like on those Harvard films with Robin Williams. Truth be told, I would want to be the Coxswain yelling, “Stroke! Stroke!,” and before I got carried away with my yelling to the guys, I just might lay over in the linoleum and have a massive stroke . . .and then my Gym Days would be over. Back to where I came from: sitting on my butt in my nice soft recliner.
Ahhh, there’s no place like home.
© 2018 Kenneth Avery