Thursday, January 12, 2006

I joined the gym

To celebrate the new year and maintain my sex appeal and overall level of health, I joined the gym for new year's. I've been pretty good about going, spurred on by L's frenzied addiction to fitness and a healthy sense of competition, in the form of making sure she can't beat me up. Besides the tv's posted above all the treadmills, the best thing about the gym is the classes one can attend. And a good thing about going to a gym in the West Village is that I don't feel the need to be a rugged macho Marlboro man in a headband when many of the dudes are gay there anyhow (although they are the kind of he-man gays who are extremely jacked up and attentive to skincare). So I am free to take classes that would otherwise be potentially embarassing, if I were, say, anywhere else. After a week and a half, here is an update:

Boxing - Correction: there are burly guys in the West Village, and they all gather here, in this class, to kick my ass. I was the only person without handwraps. The teacher was this gnarled, angry muscle with a face, and he yelled the entire time. Amid the punching, running, abwork, and "bear crawls," I adopted that sad face you see on people who exercise, the face that's two-thirds misery and one-third orgasm, the face that is really unattractive. But afterwards he said I did well and I promised to come back (but I didn't because of a class conflict. So I look like a punk).

Total Body Conditioning #1 - Pretty good, fairly hardcore. No cardio work, all muscle. I need the structure of a class to make sure I get a balanced workout and this did the trick. I had three sets of weights, a mat, a bench, and something called a "body bar" that I jabbed into myself intermittently through the session. But it was what I wanted.

Total Body Conditioning #2 - Like the last class, but way gayer. The teacher had apparently just gotten off the trolley from Fire Island. He played this Elton John techno megamix, so we were pumping out to "Your Song" and "Can You Feel The Love Tonight." It did the trick, though. But this class was a bunch of lumberjacks armwrestling compared to...

Step - Ok, I was asking for it. But I was curious. This class was honestly pretty fun, although it was the least strenuous. We learned these complicated moves and routines, and it turns out there's a whole lot more to step than stepping - we were mamboing, shimmying around the benches, going in front of and behind them, spinning around. It was fun the way line dances are fun. I laughed when the instructor started barking, "Arabesque! Arabesque!" But there was another guy in the class, and he had been there before, and I did better than him, so that was rewarding. And, the instructor said I did really well for a first-timer. I thought about challenging him to a danceoff then and there, to establish alpha-male status in the step studio, you know, but I declined.

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