So I’m about to join another gym. You know that one in Hermitage is still charging me a monthly fee, right? Apparently I have to fill out a form and fax it to them, but the form never arrives. So how can I return it?

I’ve blown up so much this past year you’d swear there must be a tire pump attached to me somewhere. I’d like to blame it on stress, what with the move earlier this summer, but it’s more likely just a result of laziness.

Of course, there isn’t a gym anywhere near here. Well, I take that back. Last month, my little community celebrated a grant some administrator had received from the government that allowed them to purchase some brand new exercise equipment. They were so proud that they held an information session for that government agency in the “fitness center” here on the rez last week.

One of the (very, very) few things I’ve done this past month in relation to my new job, my boss and I attended that information session. We came out with a few good ideas but one of the big reasons I wanted to visit was to see the equipment and ask a few questions.

The workout area is large enough to house the equipment and maybe two or three people, assuming anyone else is already on the equipment. There’s no shower, pretty much no locker room, from what I could tell, and the receptionist told me the busy time of day is after work on weekdays. Of course, that’s exactly when I’d plan to be there.

Even worse, there’s only one of each item. One treadmill, one elliptical cross-trainer, you know what I’m talking about. Imagine the wait! Imagine how many people you’ll piss off when it’s finally your turn?

My alternative is to drive about twenty minutes into the nearby city, to one of maybe two large gyms in the area. My friend Noreen went to the one I’ll be visiting this afternoon at the mall before she decided it was too expensive for her (do I have to mention she weighs 80 pounds?). Instead of charging $60/month or something like that, they conveniently charged her $30 every other week. Back in Hermitage, I paid $20/month.

Of course, the difference between these places, I’m hoping, is that in the big city I’m sure there’ll be enough equipment to go ‘round and I won’t ever have to wait for anything. And there’s always cute menz down at the bookstore next door – and trust me, I don’t see TOO many of them around here – so perhaps this is where they hang out.

I’m serious. Back when I was a bit younger I convinced myself that menz in Canada were maximum potential metrosexuals, because from what I could tell (at least locally) they were all straight – I got no vibe, you know – and almost perfectly coiffed.

You know how straight menz in the South don’t put on any kind of primping show? It seemed I never saw that here. But it’s changing. You ignunt Americans are probably continuing to influence the Canadians in ways none of us even comprehend yet.

The easiest way to identify a straight guy – in this blue-collar region of Ontario, anyway – is by his moustache. You read that right. I was at the grocery store last night and this big bulky Tom Selleck walked by, carrying one of those little baskets. I took a second glance for two reasons: one, he clearly didn’t know how to carry a basket and it looked really funny, and; two, he was a big bulky Tom Selleck.

Oh, the moustache and the gays. Will either one of us outgrow the other? Does it seem strange to you, too, the way a lot of our identifiers seem to have outlasted the 1970s so nonchalantly, without any sense of defiance?

If you see a gay guy in leather, he simply looks like a gay guy in leather.

If you see a straight guy in leather, he looks like a gay guy from the 1970s.

Two menz looking exactly alike, yet because of their sexual affiliations we get hot from one and laugh at the other – and many times it’s the opposite of which one you’re thinking.

(Pretend a few hours have passed.)

So I just came back from my new gym. Yes, they robbed me: I’m paying $30 every two weeks, plus a total of about $250 more for the private sessions. Of course, the very last person I met before I left was my new trainer, who seems an asshole.

The good news: only one of the menz made my legs buckle. I can settle for that. Anything more and I’d just look foolish.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

Red Bull Unlocked Nashville


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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

Rumble Boxing Gulch, Nashville


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For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:

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