Come hail or high water .. so help me God !!!!!!!! . this time I am gonna do it .
Millions of times have I watched rippling muscles move like silken snakes, the smiles as poses were struck, muscles resembling a minor mountain range. Watched the hourglasses, which passed of as women, gracefully going thru their routines, routines, which would put a rubber band to shame. Watched, all sprawled over the couch, nibbling at my snacks, staring wistfully at the television set, wishing . wishing that I could have a body like that, my shirt straining at the seams with bulging muscles (currently my guts stretches the shirt) I think my chest has slipped a wee bit down towards my gut.
That was that and I made up my mind (which I am in the habit of doing annually) that I AM joining the gym. So there I was in the gym looking around at the few sweat-laden people with dull glazed eyes as they plodded thru their workouts. The Amazon across the desk smiled at me and filled up the forms extolling the virtues of how a good body leads to a healthy mind and all that. I was wondering why in the world wasn't she telling me about the hard work and sweat involved in it but then I guess they let you find out for your own selves.
I had changed into my battle gear, which were a pair of shorts and an old faded T-shirt, which had seen better days. (Note : I was told NEVER to use a new T-shirt coz that signifies that you are a novice, ALWAYS wear an old T-shirt so you can blend in without sticking out like a sore thumb . literally), anyway the Amazon called out to a trainer to show me around, an ape of a man, shoulders wide as a door and his arms sticking out from his sides, they were almost horizontal to the floor. I smirked to myself that he is sure going to have trouble when he wants to scratch his butt, when he turned around slowly and said .. "Oh!!! Its simple, I rub my butt against the wall". All I could do was grin sheepishly and say "was just wondering" and I made a solemn vow to myself that next time I'll do my wondering with my mouth closed else I would have to be scraped off the wall with a tea spoon very soon.
After a short tour of the place, he stopped in front of a contraption of pulleys and weights and told me to go ahead nice and easy like and NOT strain myself so soon. I assured him sincerely, that was one thought which was totally alien to me. Physical strain and me are like an airplane to a fish .. A world apart. I am basically a person who loves his physical comforts, and years of good easy living has left its mark on me. I am NOT fat, just nice and soft and portly, fat!!!!! Naaaah .. NEVER. After rattling off the instructions on how to operate the contraptions, he left me all alone, I had kept nodding at him at the right moments uttering short 'ohhs' at appropriate intervals. Now there is something I have noticed, Guys think its an insult when somebody explains the working of a mechanical gadget to them. Now take a female, she will ask thousand questions and feel nothing of it until she is confident of being able to work the gadget. But a guy, naaah he thinks it's a god given gift to him, him being a guy and all that he is perfectly capable of getting the mechanics right the first time. So like any normal guy, there I was all at sea, I didn't know how to work the contraption and didn't want to ask anybody for help either. After sneaking a quick look around and seeing that the coast was reasonably clear I settled down to my first workout. I set up a sizable amount of weights, which I thought I could lift without a hemorrhage, grasped the bar and pulled..... Have you ever realized how heavy 20 pounds can get? I DID, coz all I could hear were my grunts and groans and this dull roaring in my ears and tiny popping sounds as my veins strained to accommodate the increased flow of blood. I tried, honest I tried, but that damned weight wouldn't move an inch, when I heard a voice besides me go 'err, you are supposed to take off the safety lock before you start".
Now people, there is a threshold of pain, which once reached, the human body doest not feel pain anymore. I sometimes wonder if there is a threshold of embarrassment, which once reached would make any further embarrassment superfluous. I had a long way to go to reach that threshold. Sheepishly I turned the safety lock off. I repeated the same grunts and groans, this time the weights grudgingly moved an inch or so. I decided that was good enough for a day, I think they use a different set of weight measures in the gym. 20 pounds in a gym are NOT equal to 20 pounds in a grocery store.
I pitted myself against the treadmill next, that's the contraption where you do your jogging. There was this beautiful female running on the treadmill besides mine and glancing over I thought if she can run at that pace so could I, I was wrong. boy!!!!! Was I wrong? Within half a minute there I was wheezing and panting, every step was a 3rd degree torture, every fiber in me was screaming in agony and the only thing that held me upright were the bars on the sides of the treadmill. Folks, I am serious, but the gym advertisements they show are TOTALLY false, all those beautiful females in various skimpy outfits are NOT a pretty sight, they sweat, contort their faces and grimace in pain. You just cannot have amorous thoughts running thru your mind coz you are doing the same . sweating, contorting your face as you grimace in pain. nobody .. I repeat NOBODY can look good, be cool and smile and do a workout on the treadmill at the same time. Have you EVER seen a marathon runner smile when he is running the marathon, I BET he is thinking 'oh God!!! Let it be over quick, I just wanna go home and die". Soon my eyesight started to blur and I stopped, there is no point in killing yourself in one day when the same process can be repeated the next day. Right? I looked down at the display where it shows how far you have run, how many calories you have burnt and the time you've taken. I must have been a picture of utter shock and disbelief when the reading showed 347 meters in 4 minutes12 seconds (I am too ashamed to tell you the calories I burnt). I was sure that the machine was faulty. (I tend to form these kinds of opinions very often especially when it comes to bolstering my sagging ego).
Have you ever realized that some days when things don't go your way, NOTHING seems to go right at all. So wanting to ride out my streak of bad luck, I decided to finish off with a squat .. that's where you lift a bar of weights, place it on your shoulders and squat, at least that's the way it's supposed to be done. I did everything right this time, even managed to squat and I heard this nasty crack from my back. It was like something froze somewhere. It didn't hurt or maybe it did, my mind was too far gone numb to register it, but something definitely had locked up somewhere. Oh!!!! how I wished I were a tortoise so I could hide in my shell or better still make myself invisible. I resembled something like a frog wanting to walk on his hind legs, as I sidled my way out of that gym. I am home now, it even hurts to blink my eyes, I breathe in short shallow breaths else my ribs creak. I move like a zombie holding on to the walls as I walk. It hurts even to eat. There is a constant dull ache around me, and at times, some long lost tiny miniscule muscle starts screaming its heart out and I clamor for that dull ache to lull me into nothingness back again. I think I will need at least a year to recover from this misadventure of mine. But I am thinking that as soon as I get better in a couple of years or maybe even five more years, just to be on the safer side, I am going back to that gym, come hail or high water .. so help me God !!!!!!!!
Note : The author is busy reading medical journals so that he can identify the millions of muscles in his body, which ache every time he even THINKS about any physical activity.