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Columnists Michael Elliott

Sports Shorts

Gym Guy–Recently signed up. Freshly anointed. Ready to roll. Look out world! I’m coming strong. Weights? May set lifting records. Flexibility? You’ll be calling me Gumby soon, fool. Core strength? Six-pack to die for. Treadmill endurance? Ironman. Stationary cycling? Take a seat Lance Armstrong. This cat don’t need any recycled blood transfusions.

But, why join a gym you ask? You know, for all the cool reasons. Once I get in shape gonna finally walk that beach sans shirt, unless I go with my tank top. “Sun’s out, guns out!” Chicks are going to finally dig me. Yeah, here comes the bronze bomber, baby. Dude’s are going to recoil at the sight of my physique. Probably take a knee in worship.

Okay, enough about the new me. (Geez, I’m already worn out!) This column is really about, well, gym guy! And believe you me, there is a variation on the theme.  I’m going to attempt to take you into the gym to meet the various gym guys whom I have observed since joining the fraternity. Names shall not be mentioned in order to protect the innocent, mainly because I don’t know a soul at my new gym! Now, some of this may become visually graphic so turn the page now if you are the squeamish type.

Quiet gym guy. He is the one you want to be working out next to. He goes about his business in a very professional manner and does not disrupt. Loud gym guy is a real nuisance. He is constantly talking out loud. Won’t shut up. Dominates the conversation with any other gym guy. If you are in the treadmill area and he›s there you move to the weight room just to rid yourself of his annoyance. Then he inexplicably pops up in the weight room right next to you, chatty daddy.

And then there is show-off gym guy. You know the one. Big guns. Has a permanent chip on his deltoid. Walks around like he’s going to kick everyone’s ass. Probably can. Probably mine if he discovers this article. Measurement from elbow to elbow exceeds his actual height. You swear one day you’re going to take him down, knowing you never will. Admittedly you’re jealous of him.

Well, you were warned, so brace yourself for walk-around-naked gym guy. Look, I don’t look! His thing’s not my thing. It’s just that when your awesome gym has a swimming pool, a sauna, a steam room, showers and a locker room you invariably will run into walk-around-naked gym guy. It’s inevitable.

Actually there are different species of walk-around-naked gym guy. Some are very timid (me) and very adept at rolling the top of the towel together in order to keep that cloth fig leaf covering up your buttocks and junk. This gym guy has mastered the art of getting to his locker after showering, with towel in place, and slyly making the transition from towel-wearer to underwear-wearer in an instant. He then exhales a sigh of relief. (“I wasn’t seen!”)

The species of walk-around-naked guy that scares me is the one who flaunts. I’m not saying he does it on purpose, but him being a possessor (use your imagination) lends him a bit more credence and he cuts a rather large swath in and around the locker room area. His head is held a bit higher and his shoulders are bowed back more so than usual. Listen, as stated earlier I definitely do not look, but there is absolutely nothing you can do about peripheral vision. It just happens. You try to eliminate glances from between the waistline to mid-thigh. Sometimes to top of knee. (proud s.o.b.!)

A real disconcerting aspect about running (literally) into the aforementioned walk-around-naked gym guy is when you are bent over drying your feet and he walks up to his adjoining locker and you raise up to find his crank directly in your face. Yikes!! You swear Groucho Marx is staring you down with that large proboscis and thick, furry unabrow. I still haven’t recovered from a recent episode.

Meticulous gym guy is very proper. He does as others should and wipes down all equipment and floor mats. Gym girl would love to have meticulous gym guy as her hubby.

Grunt gym guy is hilarious and annoying at the same time. While working the core machines grunt gym guy will amp up the grunt decibels as he ramps up his workout. Sounds like he is imagining having sex as he explodes off of the workout machine when finished with the clanging sound of the weights signifying the euphoria of a job well done. He then heads outside for a smoke.

I love my new gym! Been there for a few weeks now. Can’t wait to get back to run and lift and flex and swim and steam and continue building the new me. Will do, as soon as this pulled abdominal muscle heals.

-By Michael Elliott

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