Now hurtling at an alarming rate to the autumn of my life, my beard is white, my hair is getting silver, and my waistline seemingly is keeping pace with the national debt. Comments are made that I might resemble Jerry Garcia, Hemingway, or even Santa Claus. Not a bad lot to be thrown in with, but I would have preferred Kris Bryant or Aaron Rogers.
Along with this time of life comes the various maladies a person of my age and girth might have. Most of my lifestyle was shaped by following the advice of Winston Churchill - “Never run when you can walk, never walk when you can sit, and never sit when you can lay down.”
The wife mentioned earlier this year that perhaps it was time for us to get in shape. I replied that round is a shape, but she was unimpressed. Methinks she might have gained a few pounds so now it was time for “me and her” to get in shape. Funny how that works. I suspected and feared it might also affect future meals, a fact that was soon realized. At any rate, we joined a health club facility a block away. (We drive to it!) The wife went so far as to get us a trainer, just so we would have to go.
Now, this trainer she hired happens to be a young man of about thirty years, over half my age, and has muscles on his muscles. He likes to wear his shorts and T-shirts tight, flashing his million-dollar white choppers every chance he gets. Little bugger is also a know-it-all and I hate him. He takes my previously sore body and makes it even sorer. And he likes that too.
But there are some other observations I have made at this gym I suspect goes on at other gyms as well.
People like me, whether because of age, size and/or both are not allowed to look at the pretty young girls that work out there. This is not a commandment laid down by my wife either. I have noticed that these 20-something gals primp their pony-tails, put on light make-up, wear flashy workout clothes, and over-priced footwear, parading through all parts of the gym, smiling. However, if someone of my ilk happens to get caught glancing, or even if one of these gals just walks into my line of vision, I am met with either looks of hostility for allowing my eyes to moving across her being, or eyes of terror, as if I am Charles Manson in an old, holy, Cubs T-shirt that is a size too small. The smiles must be saved for the studs.
Conversely, the young studs in the place want you to look. They pump their weights, then relax by preening, flexing, breathing hard and placing themselves in a spot where the most eyeballs might land on their muscles. They are not as fashion conscious as their female counter-parts, but it seems the tighter the better.
Since they are allowing me to attend, tattoo’s must only be optional. I think my wife and I might often be the only people under fifty without one. Someone should open up a tattoo parlor next door to this place – one could get a tattoo and walk over to show it off.
There are people my age and older that attend as well. Funny though, they are all in reasonably thin shape and I suspect it is that ever-decreasing subset of humans whose metabolism never slowed down or they were blessed with “thin” genes. You know the type – they eat and drink like the rest of us, but never seem to gain weight. Don’t know about you, but they make me sick.
So, anyway, back to our Know-it-all trainer. At thirty, he is evidently an expert nutritionist as well. He claims an iron will to only eat that which has been determined to be healthy and, in my mind, totally inedible. He keeps giving my wife all these ideas for when she prepares the meals. I realize that in this age of political correctness, I have mentioned my wife preparing the meals. So that you understand, when we got married we mutually decided she would be the Director of Meal Preparation and I would be the Director of Meal Consumption. We’re both pretty good at it. That formula has worked well for 38 years. Now the Know-it-all is trying to mess that up.
Well, I have to report that in the first month of hitting the gym I…gained five pounds.
Of course, we all agree that it is just muscle.