I’m not in love with my gym. Not at all. Sure, we’ve only be dating for less than two months – perhaps she’ll grow on me – but for now, she’s a bore. Dull. Repetitive. Do I really want to get all hot and sweaty, and use the same equipment, every night? I’ll be honest: sometimes gym just doesn’t do it for me. Sometimes I don’t even come. Er, go.
We had a two week break there in the middle – I had a commitment to a holiday that I couldn’t back out of. While away, I cheated on my gym (and yes, fitness Nazis: on myself) with wine and cheese. But I ran. And hiked. And even did body weight exercises (which is really the fitness equivalent to masturbating, isn’t it?). Then I got home, ran straight into the arms of my gym, and… nothing. Absence failed to make the heart grow fonder… In fact, it probably just clogged it up a bit more.
That was ten days ago.
Since then, we’ve seen each other every day. Some days we’ve gone quick and hard, some days it’s been a more sustained sweat-up. Just the way she likes it. Tonight I’m pumping her like a… gym. But still: just no doing it.
I know, I know, I should give it time. Not rush into this thinking I’m going to be swept off my feet straight away. But something needs to give soon. Some result. Some magical feeling. Some glimpse of being… more. Better.
But I’m no quitter.
(Actually, I am. But this time, I’m so determined not to be).
Friday night and its sundae night for me. So much for eating healthy.
I took the family out for some healthy burgers – home-made ones, not the stinky plastic things you get from that Olympic sponsor . But the burger joint happened to be across the way from an ice-cream shop. Resistance was futile. And resistance training was even further from my mind.
Ice-cream is not usually a weak point for me: savoury tempts me more. But tonight, I was weak. A scoop of the magic icy stuff, a blob of hot fudge and squirt of cream on top. Even my kids ate better – lemon sorbet.
I read on someone’s blog earlier in the week that you have to understand the difference between boredom and hunger. Well, I don’t even have the boredom excuse tonight. I think I just wanted to be bad.
Bad. Ha. Some people pierce their old fellas and ride a hog, I eat a choc-fudge sundae. So macho.
In penance, I am doing burpees. And just straight out burps, to tell the truth. Neither are pretty. But I’m not about pretty… just read my posting from earlier today.
If you find yourself in a room full of people wearing very little, grunting, moaning and sweating profusely, either pray you’re in a gym, or be prepared to throw your keys in a bowl and use protection. Apart from a swingers’ club – or the vinyl floors and walls of a very ‘open’ couples’ bedroom – there are very few places as rawly and fleshy as the floor of gym.
Over the past week or two, my gym has become increasingly popular. While I could put this down to my attendance attracting people, that would be just plain wrong. It’s just a small little place, out in the ‘burbs, nestled between apartments, a drive-thru coffee joint and a fast food store. The irony is not lost on me. I go there at night, usually after ten, and usually after everyone else has gone home to bed – perhaps to get sweaty in another way.
But lately there are more people there. Like lots more. What are these people doing at the gym at ten o’clock at night? (And, incidentally, what’s that guy doing wearing a sun-visor in a gym at ten o’clock at night?). Don’t they get that this is my space, my time and I don’t particularly want to share with them?
I’ve always been cool with sharing. I played marbles as a kid and managed to share my tom thumbs and snake eyes with Dean and Eddy and Daniel and Mark – my playground buddies. I’ve lived in a share house. I’ve bought shares. I’ve even listened to Cher. But sharing at the gym… well, that’s different.
When you go to a hotel, you expect that the couple in the room before you had likely used the king-sized bed as their workbench for however long they occupied the room. Likewise the shower, possibly the bathroom vanity, the bedside table, the lounge chair in the corner, the desk with the internet port and, potentially the window sill. You also expect that housekeeping has come along and changed the sheets, wiped down all these surfaces and provided fresh flowers to disguise the smell. Don’t you?
In a gym – while it is hoped people only secrete sweat from their pores, not other fluids from other oriffices – it comes (if you’ll pardon the pun) about as close to a B&D dungeon as a public space can become. So what do people do to mop up their mess once they’ve splashed all over the place? Wipe it with a towel. WTF? You want me to trust that a quick wipe of a bench with your (stinky looking) towel is enough to make me feel comfortable about going to lie in your wet spot? Forget it. No, not even if you’re the hot chick with the butt expertly squeezed in to the virtually see-thru yoga pants. Although…
I am kidding. I think.
I live less than two minutes from my gym. I finish my cool down, pick up my stuff and head straight home to the shower. I haven’t even set foot in the shower at the gym. It looks clean in there, but for showers – just like humans – if you spend a lot of time with a lot of different naked people… you’re likely to be carrying some kind of bug.
Anyway, the only athelete’s foot I want to play tootsies with is one at the very end of a long, tanned leg belonging to a brazilian beach volleyballer.
72 hours in Vegas is enough, more than enough, to understand everything that’s wrong in the world.
When the fattest people on the planet are not at Disneyland devouring turkey legs the size of an ostrich, they are in Vegas, waddling their way along the strip from one resort monstrosity to the next, bucket of margarita in hand, leaving one free to accept the flicked card of a hooker slipped into a greased palm by some random on a street corner. It can safely be assumed that Occupational Health guidelines would require all hookers to ride reverse cowgirl style while in flagrante delicto so as to avoid being crushed under the weight of their mega-clients.
But I digress…
There are no kids in Vegas – they’ve either all been swallowed whole by their obese parents, or locked into a kids’ club somewhere, parked in front of Playstation, where they will learn to be sedentary… and lazy… and get used to the blinking, flashing, beeping sounds of screens, that will later translate into gambling addictions. To go along with their food addiction. The one family I did see was propped up against the counter of a hamburger bar, oozing cheese down there chins and making regular trips back to the soda fountain to top up their Hoover Dam sized drinking vessels (which flashed, incidentally).
The mega high-roller gamblers that hit town in their corporate jets and Hummer limos are commonly referred to as ‘Whales’. The name would be a good one, if it weren’t for the fact that almost everyone in Vegas is the size of a whale. But these whales are whales because of the size of their wallets. Their ability to swallow big wins or losses, not just Big Macs. You don’t see them on the street, they are shuttled in via chopper to the roof tops of the faux castles/pyramids/skyscrapers that make up the hotels of this very, very strange town. Once inside, they either drop more money than your entire extended family will make in their lifetime, or rip the shirts off the backs of the casino mogels daring to take them on. Then they will eat and drink like the rest of the crowd. Only more. And in private. And at great expense.
The hotels themselves are almost as big as the people. Mine was a grotesque reproduction Italianate palazzo. It was claimed by some of the guest I spoke to, to be “even better than Italy”. Better in a worse kind of way, I would argue. But then this guy would know. I mean he had stayed at The Venetian on a previous visit – so he was full bottle on la dolce vita, Vegas style. Not that he’d been to Italy. The real Italy. Why bother? When Paris is just next door…
Well, mini Paris. To say that Vegas doesn’t do things by half is just plain wrong. The Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel, Las Vegas is only half the size of the real one. Impressive? In a Lego kind of way…. But don’t worry, they double the cheese to make up for it. And the queues around the corner of the all-you-can-stuff-in-your-gob buffet (hey, that’s French!) are only bested by those at queuing, soda and candy in hand, to pay a mint to see the lithe, athletic, sexy bodies in a Cirque du Soleil show… Oh, Cirque du Soleil. Don’t even start me on Cirque du Soleil. Fast food theatre.
I feel dirty now. I gotta go run.
I can’t remember being less excited about an Olympics. I blame London. Dull, dreary, dowdy old London. The Olympics is meant to be a celebration of summer, skin, sexiness. Hot people in hot weather delivering hot performances. Think Sydney. Think Athens. Think Barcelona. Where the crazed former fascist Juan Antonio Samaranch gave us sizzle and sass, his successor, Jacques Rogge, the beige, bloated Belgian, gives us bland.
Sure, Tony Blair and his spin doctors did their best to make us buy London as ‘Cool Brittania’. But lets be honest. It’s not. Or if it is – if – it’s cool in a literal way. In a Rain-On-My-Parade-Queen’s-Jubilee-Boating-Jaunt kind of way. In a Boris Johnson’s hair kind of way. Or, in the ultimate slap in the face to Blair: Cool in a David Cameron kind of way. Younger my drift. Anyway, who’d really buy that line? The IOC? Surely they can’t be bought?
So instead of the colour and spunk of a Barcelona, the eastern intrigue of a developing Seoul, the twang of a bevy of southern belles in Atlanta, we get Fifty Shades of English Grey. Hold the spunk. Please.
You can bet the school-boy toff, Cameron, will turn up to slap bums at the beach volleyball, desperate to hide his Etonian erection bursting through his Union Jack boxer briefs, and scared stiff that one of the Amazonian Brazilian women might slap him back and tickle his ego. Ew.
Prince Charles will show at archery or fencing, or ride his wife into the equestrian arena where she can rub damp noses with her sister-in-law. Harry will front for a photo shoot with Usain Bolt, kitted up in his athletic Skins, revealing his very own Big Ben for all to see. William will be found at the pool, doing the pleasant Commonwealth thing of patronising the colonies, while wifey Kate will get snapped wearing something virginal and white with the half-naked body of an immensely athletic black man contrasting against her English rosiness. We really have not come that far.
The Brits will win things for the first time in decades, thanks to the home ground advantage (which only the Canadians managed to fluff), and the grants from the national lottery. America will come second to the Chinese, and Republicans will blame Obama for being a pand(a)ering commy sympathiser. The quaint stories of African tribesmen winning 10 000m events will be blunted by them FaceTiming on their iphones back to their village immediately after their run, while here, in Australia, 23 million obese people will stake claim to being the ‘per capita’ medal tally champions of the world. It’s what losers do.
There will be slow motion replays of heart breaking injuries, this year in 3D, and endless sob-stories of the champion whose sister’s fight with leukemia spurred her on to claim silver, four long years ago. This time, she’s ‘hoping to go one better’. If only the TV networks could hope for the same. But they won’t. There will be embarrassing mispronunciations, flattery and flirtery galore, and someone – some golden boy or girl – will be crowned forever as our hero of these games, and forever more drive an Audi, wear a Tag Heuer and wash with Sunsilk.
I love the Olympics. The games. The athletes. The dedication it takes to be the best in the world at anything. But they have become bland. Devoid of all the spirit they once stood for. Now it’s all about ‘the brand’ ahead of the bold. Where John Williams’ Summon the Heroes once sent a shiver of excitement through me, as the dignified Greek team would nobly take their place at the head of the Olympic family, I now shudder at just what lame ‘economic default’ joke the commentators are going to make as the founders – now flounders – of our democratic way of life lead the grandest parade of nations.
Visa will flog us to debt. McDonald’s will saturate us in fats. Samsung will convince us it’s good. And Count Rogge and all his pseudo-royal has-beens and never-was-beens will lap up their $10 000 a night hotel suites, drinks at Buck Pal and the best (sheltered) seats in the house at the venues of their choice.
Meanwhile, on the field and in the pool, on the track, the pitch, at the table, court-side, in the sand, the saddle and on the seat… the young people of the world will have gathered, fit as fiddles, ready to battle each other in the name of sport. And endorsements. Good luck to them all.
And roll on Rio.
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PS: The above is satire. Get a sense of humour IOC, it would make a great start. And don’t sue me.