Wednesday, January 07, 2009

In which I probably come off as gym-snobby

There was a very large woman working out with a trainer this morning at my gym. After a recent diet of The Biggest Loser marathons and the new DietTribe (the latter mostly to drool over trainer Jessie Pavelka, for whom the domestic partner and I would dump each other faster than you can say ILoveYouJessiePavelka), my first inclination was to congratulate this woman for her commitment to fitness and to do everything not-creepy that I could to encourage her whenever I see her.

Working out with (or even without) a trainer at 7:00 am requires a shit-ton of work. I get up at 5:45 so I can be dressed and breakfasted and out the door by 6:10 to catch my bus, get to the gym, get changed, brush my teeth (so I don’t gag my trainer as I grunt and groan) and be stretched and warmed up and ready for my ass-kicking by 7:00. I have to pack my high-protein, high-green-vegetable lunch and my clothes and make my before-and-after protein shakes the night before. I forfeit weeknight activities with friends and Law & Order reruns with the domestic partner and delicious, delicious, delicious cakes and cookies so I can be rested and properly fueled to get the most out of my I-don’t-want-to-think-about-how-much-this-costs hour of training.

Whew! I sure can write a long paragraph! Who knew? But back to the woman from long paragraph 1. When I first noticed her, she was doing warmup curls with a bar that didn’t have any weights on it. Then her trainer put a 10-pound weight on each end of the bar … and all heck broke loose. The woman did NOT want to curl 20 more pounds of weight. She whined and pouted and got angry, while her trainer steadfastly insisted she get over herself and do what she was told. And while yes, the woman was the customer and therefore technically always right, she had no doubt put forth at least half the preparation efforts I go through just to be there this morning … and then she decided to waste all her time and effort by not wanting to participate in 60 minutes of expertly guided, confusion-free, grotesquely expensive exercise.

I have a ton of reasons for showing up at my gym three mornings a week and twice on the weekends. They range from health to vanity, but they’re mostly about vanity. 40-year-old-gay-man vanity. Which can be the least rational kind. But I’d bet vanity is the driving force behind every gym membership … and certainly every personal trainer session. And while I’m not invested enough in this woman’s life to really care that she let her inertia overcome her own vanity and health goals, I was amazed how fast her outburst took me from admiration to irritation this morning.

But enough of that. This morning I also made friends with an off-duty trainer who was wandering the gym floor trolling for clients. After spending a few minutes in requisite small talk with me, he clearly looked disappointed when I told him I already had a trainer. But he kept coming back for more small talk. And lots of eye contact. And even more small talk. And since I was working out on my own today, I actually had little pockets of time to chat. And since he was 25ish and kinda dreamy and clearly not just chatting … well, let’s just say my 40-year-old-gay-man vanity had a very good morning.

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