The Gym

I joined a gym a couple of months ago. As a result, I’ve become very buff, but I don’t want to talk about that now. Instead, I want to make a few observations.

First: It takes all kinds. One guy I see there occasionally is simply amazingly fat; he’ll have the treadmill on the lowest setting and be taking a nice, leisurely stroll. Another guy is incredibly pumped-up; I mostly see him giving advice to his acolytes or doing something impossible with free weights.

Probably 3/4 of the customers are men. The women don’t appear to occupy quite as wide a span of the in- to out-of-shape dimension, and they aren’t as likely to have tattoos as the men. (A clear majority of the men have a few tattoos, but a handful of biker/lifer types are basically covered with them.)

Second: XM Radio has a whole channel devoted to Led Zeppelin. And they play it at the gym. Incessantly. To my regret. When I see people grimacing as they work out, I don’t know if they’re straining their muscles, or if they’ve just had enough of Robert Plant’s singing. Also, the other day they played Kashmir, and it drove me crazy trying to remember what it was called. Was it Marrakech? No, that’s Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Katmandu? No, that’s that horrible thing by Bob Seeger. Singapore? Casablanca? Muscat and Oman? Finally I figured it out, but it took like 2 days. The thing with Led-Zep is they had like three or four songs I don’t hate, and only one I like: Fool in the Rain. (Okay, Hot Dog makes two.)

Third: The gym’s staff is very patriotic. They even have a poster-sized photograph of the governor on the wall.