I’m now into 5 straight months at the gym named after the clock and yes, I know the word womens is not grammatically correct, but in a sense, it is. All women are not the same and my reference is in this vein. Like fishes, women can be quite diverse and well, different, but in the end, they are still very female in nature, with a certain amount of tenacity that confounds men in general.
The older I get, the more I appreciate their persistence and individuality and I can say that and still basically retain my caveman man-card. A man-card is a delicate thing at best I reluctantly admit. Women instinctively know this and we buffoons who carry them, blindly believe we have womens buffaloed… well we don’t and they tolerate us with a generous amount of levity and leeway.
I got my man-card nearly revoked this past Tuesday when I sat my ample rear man parts on the skinny seat of a “spinner” exercise bike at the gym. It was my second encounter with this heinous and ingeniously designed torture device and I foolishly thought “this time” would be easier. It wasn’t and the reason is the Spinning instructor - a slim woman in every respect (except for her muscular thighs) is a danged-burned sadist. Yea, I said it.
Now, this last statement is open for interpretation and probably not the consensus of the “weaker sex” in the class, but I’m telling the truth when I say that she yells out commands pretty much like R. Lee Ermey in the movie “Full Metal Jacket” and she does it with a sweet countenance and smile – which doesn’t fool me one durned bit.
“UP!” she screams and in the mirrors, I see all the womens rise up on their pedals and begin to pump with reckless agonizing abandon. Hey! I’m good for the first session of “10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-3-2-2-1!” and I plop down on the seat only to realize with emasculating horror that the “1” is being held for 10 seconds and all the womens are still up and pumping with mindless zombie giggly enjoyment!
The instructor remains sweat-less and in what can only be described as super human estrogen exertion, pumping her muscular thighs like she is on effortless vacation. I stare at the floor and I see a growing puddle of…water? Why didn’t they clean this up before I came? Who left all this salty water here? It’s a total tapestry of injustice!
“UPPPP! MORE! YOU CAN DO IT! (and then the kicker) I LOVE YOU!” I love you? What? She doesn’t love me. I don’t feel any love. Nope; none at all. Wait. My fellow peddlers are all grinning. Yeah, they feel the love. I don’t. I don’t get it. “Why am I here? Why did I come here today? Did my Bride do this to me? Yes, she’s also grinning. Did she coerce me? Am I still sane? What is the meaning of life? Am I a Democrat?” So many confusing questions and all I see is the fog of estrogen rolling over me.
My mind is cloudy. I have “gym-brain”. Gym-brain, that elusive narcotic state of induced endorphins, where a person truly believes they are rational and walk around in the gym like an extra on the Walking Dead TV show… and I keep peddling. I cannot fail here. After all, I am in the company of the weaker sex, right? I need to man-up and I do, but my masculine backside doesn’t leave the seat, even though all the spandex in the room rises to the commands of the instructor. Certain portions of my anatomy are now so numb I wonder if I am being skewered.
I close my eyes and pedal furiously. I’ll catch up. Yea, I am still in the race. I have an ace in my pocket these womens don’t have. I have bulging man-muscles and lots of them. I’ll power past them and they know it and I know it. Meanwhile the puddle of water is growing below my bike and I suddenly have an ugly epiphany and it’s not a happy one.
It’s not my fault that I am sweating more than everyone else. It’s hotter over here. For some stupid reason, the two fans are pointed more towards the womens than me. If I had the cool wind they have, I could ride in the same easy comfort. What, my 20 ounces of water is gone from my water bottle? The danged weak bottle must have sprung a leak and that is why the floor is so wet. Yes, that’s it and such a simple explanation! Whew, that’s a relief and I gather comfort from this discovery!
“UPPPPP”! What tha? Again? Doesn’t she realize we live on the Gulf Coast and there are no hills here? Is she from Idaho or something? There is a distinct smell of moldy potatoes in the gym. What about coasting? How come there is no coasting in this spin class? I don’t get it. My gym-brain is swinging all over the pace as I try to convince myself that I am still in the race. I am, right?
You’re danged right I am and as the instructor tells us we are finished, I look around and smile. I can do this and the ladies are gracious enough to not point out that I am as wet as a whale, as I mop the “spill” on the floor with my towel. “I’ll show them next week what a real man can do.”