I regularly go to the gym. Packing my gym bag is like preparing for a long weekend. First I pack the proper attire. I have one set of clothes for weights (sturdy shoes and loose drawers) and another set for aerobic exercise (sweat band and ‘tighter’ undergarments and light in the loafers). Then I gather all the props :


A work out towel


Straps (No, not that kind, but the kind that go around your wrists to help pick up heavy objects)

My work out journal and pen

My iphone

A water bottle. 


Lugging around this entourage means I invariably leave something behind as I go from machine to machine. I am surprised by the end of the workout I have anything left at all. The water bottle is neon pink, which may raise eyebrows but hey I don’t loose it (and no one bothers to steal it).


I always get a mild excitement whenever I enter the locker room, in anticipation of what I might see therein. Community undressing and showering have titillated me since junior high school. I have quite the talent for glancing at guys without looking obvious.


This is as good a point as any to disclose on a 1-10 scale (1= a church service; 10 = a bath house) my gym is a ‘1.5”.  I never sensed there is any cruising, maybe because the gym is predominately Mormons and snowbirds.  There are some beautiful ones to be sure, but they are mostly adoring themselves. The real good lookers seldom change in the locker room, worse luck.


Some anthropolgist or sociologist could write a paper on culture or the weight room. Mostly men, the weight lifters are often in ‘buddy packs’ of 2-3. They tend to talk loud and say nothing of interest.  Then there are the ‘loners’ who are quite serious, and also quite quiet.  Many are plugged into their listening devices.


Between “reps” I am supposed to be resting, but sitting still is not my strong point. I confess I enjoy watching the backsides of those doing back squats and hamstring curls. If caught doing this, I can say I was admiring their strength and technique.  Mostly I am watching in envy, comparing myself to others. This is bad idea, for I always look at guys bigger than  I, so I always come up deficit.  Truth be told, I more often engrossed in iphone past times  (scrabble, e-mail, texting) as I wait for the timer to go off.

Another past time between reps is tidy up. The members are supposed to put away the dumbbells and weights when finished, but there are always piles left behind by thoughtless and lazy people.  In the 60-120 seconds between reps you will see me putting things back on the rack. I am enabling others with their bad habits, but I see it as some extra work outs for me.


Despite their menacing physiques, weight lifters are friendly types who are very curteous at allowing others to ‘work in with them’ .  I am very shy and intimidated to do so. It is even harder for me to ask a fellow to ‘spot’ me. Perhaps because ‘spotters’ often grunt and shout brutish encouragement, which borders on the absurd or (worse) the erotic.  Imagine! lying on a bench with someone standing over you (your face looking up his thighs) as he shouts “C’mon, give it, do it!” 

I’ve seen “Gym Boys II”: I know what this leads to.


After work outs, I record my activities, text Someone I am coming home, and drink my post work out concoction.  I then take inventory I haven’t forgotten anything, glance around the locker room one more time, and head home.