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So It Goes

Me and the Girls
by Jason Love


December 06, 2004

I spend a lot of time at the gym pulling and yanking and hurting myself. What brings me back is the odor. Some people enjoy the scent of diesel fuel; others prefer new tennis balls. I like the smell of stale sweat.

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Friday, I was stinking up the treadmill when it occurred to me that we could save major bucks on Stairmasters if we just built the gyms on top of mountains.

Someone tapped me on the elbow, stirring me from this fit of brilliance.

"A class starts at seven. Come do it with me, please, please, please..."

It wasn't an intellect groupie. It was my wife Yahaira. She was stuck on the idea of my doing aerobics.

My answer stayed the same: "You know about my Richard Simmons nightmares."

Yahaira raised an eyebrow.

I had to resort to the truth, albeit in hushed tones. "Honeeey... the guys will see me."

She considered my logic and, being a clever lass, turned it upside down and inside out.

"I didn't realize that the opinion of big men mattered so much to you..."

Oh, that was good. I worked on the problem as a 5-year-old might do algebra. Before I could isolate the variable, I was standing alongside 15 other women in the Fitness Room. So it goes.

There was a window to our left. I was pretty sure that others could see through it. I prayed for another, heterosexual male to join the class. Fate was not that kind.

The instructor somersaulted into the room, bubbling from her implants. Her legs were the kind of tone you get from jogging several million miles. She promised an uplifting workout, one that would shape our bodies and minds. I would have rolled my eyes, but you know, the mirrors.

We started with some "basic" moves that everyone else knew.

"V-step left, grapevine right, and power jacks, two, three, four..."

My body was too embarrassed to cooperate. I may as well have been dressing Barbie dolls.

I spun my arms in "baby helicopters" and peeked over my shoulder to see that others weren't watching. There was just one boy in the lobby, and he was fantasizing about having 15 mommies. Yahaira, on the other hand, couldn't stop giggling. She was either pleased that I had swallowed my airs, or she wanted me to come out of the closet, I don't know which.

The movements grew tricky as class wore on. The others followed the instructor like a well-oiled machine while I trampled my own feet.

"Shuffle up, sidestep down, pony twist, now mambo-cha-cha..."

Something in my brain was very upset with another thing in my legs, and peace was not in sight. A bead of sweat dropped from my head. In fact, my whole body was beady. Eventually, I began to understand the steps. Thank God for repetition. I was even kicking in the same general direction as the others at the same general time. Yahaira nodded her head to say she was impressed. I stuck out my tongue and added some flair to my cha-cha.

Ten minutes later, I had forgotten myself. The music was in my bones, baby, and I was sweating like O.J. at Saint Peter's. Feel the burn!

Maybe it's the endorphins talking, but I really enjoyed myself in that Fitness Room. I wondered why more men don't try aerobics. It's every bit the workout of weightlifting, only your arms don't grow so big that you can't scratch your chin.

The teacher directed our attention to the clock and applauded our surviving the class. The girls and I walked the room, checking our pulses. I was surprised to find that I had one.

As class dispersed into the lobby, I stumbled on a shocker -- two guys from my hockey team. They were here to get muscles for beating people up. One of them shook his head at me; the other looked away as if from a train wreck. I could already hear the laughter in the locker room. I put my arm around Yahaira, but they didn't buy it. In their minds, I was undeniably, irrevocably gay.

But I think they were just jealous of the definition in my calves.


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Copyright 2004 Jason Love
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