At Planet Fitness they say there’s no gymtimidation. But that’s bullshit.
Day after day I work hard. I bust my ass on the treadmill for miles – sweating, panting, and busting up my knees. I bust my ass but nothing much changes. I work hard for at least an hour, at least 5 days a week, but I’m still a fleshy middle-aged dude with A-cup man titties.
My cardio’s good and my strength is okay, but I still look like shit. It don’t matter how much I hurt my knees or I fuck up my ears blasting AC/DC through the headphones to get through another mile. Nothing changes.
Every day I run on the treadmiller. There’s a regular cast of characters that come in and out of the gym.
There’s the beautiful sculped ones that hang out by the mirrors, admiring themselves. Then, sometimes they gather around the mirrors to admire each other.
I’m not one of those beautiful, sculpted ones. That’s where the gymtimidation comes in.
It was earlier today – a Friday afternoon. I was doing the same old thing. It seemed like a lot more of the regulars than normal were at the gym, hanging out by the mirrors.
I got to thinking about it being Friday. And for some of them, Friday afternoon must be like the hours before a high schooler’s prom. I thought that’s why so many were there on the same day, at the same time. The weekend was almost there. Almost showtime for displaying all that hard work from in front of the mirrors.
I left the gym feeling bummed (i.e. gymtimidated). I drove by the car wash on the way to the interstate. It was 1:30 on a Friday afternoon. The car wash had a line of cars waiting to get clean. And there were a bunch more pulled in at the vacuums. It made me think it was sorta the same thing – getting things all pretty and polished at the last minute for the weekend.
I drove to work feeling bummed. My work in the gym wasn’t giving much dividends except for the cardio that you can’t wear on your sleeve like bulging biceps or buns of steel.
I wondered what to do. Then it occurred to me, do what most other people do – fake it. Just pretend to be something you’re not in order to feel better.
I thought about it. I understood it. I understood adopting things like patriotism, morals and religiosity without really believing it or knowing fuck-all about what they’re really about. I understood pretty well how self-deception is there to make a person feel better.
I decided that was the way to go. I decided I needed to believe I’m something that I’m not. I needed a different self. I needed to feel like I was one of those fit and lovely people posing and consorting in front of the mirror on Fridays. I needed their confidence. All I needed to do was believe in something I’m not. I understood that shouldn’t be hard.
I decided to start with a name. Then, I decided, I’d move on with the look. I knew a strut would be essential. A strut like most of the other stiff, beefy meatheads have. But I put the aesthetic considerations aside for a while to decide on a name first. A gym name. An alter-ego. That seemed like the place to start.
I thought about those guys at the gym with their big muscles. Then the names of my alter-ego began to flow.
I came up with: Stiff Wellington, Beef Hardcastle, Swole Bronson, Brick Sexton, Rex Flexmann, Ace Hammerhand, and Mike Gruntworthy.
I came up with: Stretch Headstrong, Lex Grindstaff, Ronnie Reps, Quads Quatmann, Hamstrings Howard and Guns Armstrong.
I’m not sure which alter-ego to choose. I like quite a few. Thankfully, I’ve got a full weekend to consider it before Monday and the new and improved me is revealed.