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02.11.2003 -


I hauled my sorry ass to the Pro Club Sunday afternoon to flail away on one of those elliptical dealies for a whopping 30 minutes (caloric dent: one Corona Light). The Pro Club is basically Microsoft's gym, so it's enormous and huge and glistening and the towels are fluffy and there's various saunas whirlpools massage rooms tanning booths bistros tennis courts basketball racketball Olympic sized pool you name it it's there. I'm always getting lost, wandering around wondering where in the hell the weight room went.

The Ghetto Gym I went to last week for the Body Pulverize class is the complete opposite. It's tiny. Everything smells like dirty socks. You have to pay for towels, and you have to bring your own lock for the lockers. The cardio machines don't have the built in water bottle holders, boo hoo. And the parking situation blows goats. However, it's 5 minutes from Workplace so therefore gets a giant thumbs up for convenience.

At either locker room, be it the glittery cavernous luxury suite at the Pro Club, or the dingy and cramped space at the other gym, nothing gives me a big old squick like an unexpected close-up encounter with a Massive Bush. Do you know what I'm talking about, ladies? When someone just kind of...lets it all hang out, and you're like daaaaaamn, girlfriend needs to take a weed whacker to that thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a total wax-addict FREAK or anything, but when it looks like your privates are being attacked by a wolverine, or possibly a chow chow dog, you just might want to consider a little delicate pruning.

I went back to the Ghetto Gym last night for a - I can't believe I'm writing this - STEP class. I don't know what possessed me. I've always sort of thought step classes were vaguely related to cheerleading, somehow. With the perky synchronized movements and the clapping and all.

Well, I managed to make an utter and complete ass out of myself. I was the only person in the room who didn't have fucking clue one on what to do. Just when I thought I was getting the hang of it (ok, you step up with the right foot, then down with the left!) something else would get added to the mix. "Grapevine"? What? At one point I felt like I had been shoved into the midst of a vigorous Lord of the Dance performance - everyone else's feet were these absolute blurs, throwing out Russian squat kicks and shit, while I just sort of stood there and grinned nervously.

I also was the only person who didn't use their arms. Everyone else had these big swooping arm movements that accompanied every step, while I needed to fiercely concentrate on my feet, because I had one solitary goal: do not trip over the step. Adding in the arms would have meant certain doom - a sprawling, ass-over-teakettle face plant, possibly ending up somehow underneath the bench...surrounded by laughing Riverdancers...

Anyway. I made it through the class (somehow I made it through-ooh-ooohhh). Maybe I'll even go back, after some one on one lessons with Michael Flatly.

Of all the gyms I've known before (who travelled in and out my dooooor...ok, enough with the song lyrics), my favorite was one in downtown Portland. You know why? For whatever quirk of nature or mysterious underground network, it was primarily filled with gay men. Bonus! Pretty boys everywhere to look at, and NONE of them are looking at you. Ratty sweats and scary monster hair? Who cares? Certainly not Adonis over there in the corner.

It actually took me a while to clue in on the main demographic. I had sort of suspected, but JB cleared the air when he visited with me one day. His "gaydar" was going off in a major way, apparently. In typical heterosexual male fashion (I am certain they cannot resist my manly self) he said he wanted to tape a sign to his ass that read "Exit Only."

Despite JB's occasional descent in Neanderthalism, let me assure you he is actually very good people.


Squee! I preordered Pamie's book today.

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