Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I purchased a gym membership the day after Christmas. For all of you skeptics (or cynics) out there, I've been to the gym four times since then. I guess this is as close as I get to a New Year's resolution. I don't like going to the gym, but once I'm there, it's okay.

The place is full of some unusual rituals. The locker room spawns all kinds of (what seems to me) weird behavior. For example, some of the guys are paranoid that they'll be naked in front of other guys. They wrap a towel around themselves to get out of their pants and underwear, and to get back into them.

Another strange one is guys taking showers with their shorts on. Now some of them are undoubtedly on their way to the sauna or hot tub, but most of them are going back to the locker room to get dressed. Is this strange behavior?

Out on the floor you see a thing or two, as well. Men do a lot of posing for the women, and it doesn't seem to matter which man or which woman. I wish some of the men would pose for me, but that's probably too much to ask. I think if I were of another gender, though, I'd quickly get tired of the attention.

So what do I like about going to the gym? For one thing, it's a place where I'm entirely in my own head. Nobody talks to me, and I don't talk to anyone else, but I'm in the midst of a crowd of people. I feel comfortable there, but my activities there are solely my own.

When I cool down, I feel meditative. I go up to the big room, stretch, and just sit quietly for ten or fifteen minutes. I can listen to myself. And that's maybe the biggest benefit of working out. I'll see if I can keep it up.