Thursday, November 30, 2006

Morning fright

I'm sorry, but I have to divert from the normal baking, crafting, diy-ing to cover a topic that has been filling my mornings with fright and confusion for nearly a full year now.

I think some of you remember my reacquaintance with the gym earlier this year. It's been fine, you know, being back on my morning regimen of QT with the tready and pre-dawn wrestling matches with vicious sports bras. I've even gotten Bubba used to the routine to the point where he swears he doesn't even hear the alarm go off five times before I haul my ass from the bed. (He lies so sweetly.) So overall, it's been a merry little experience.

Except one thing.

Ok, there's probably more than one thing I can kvetch about (this is me we're talking about here), but this one thing gets me every single morning - men in spandex.

Or, more specifically MAN in spandex.

And halvsey tops.

And fanny pack.

And socks pulled up just below his knees.

And if you're thinking to yourself, "I don't know why she thinks her gym is so special, all gyms have these freakshows parading around in plum smugglers. What's the biggie?", I'll tell you what really gets me.

This dude is in the most amazing shape. He's probably in his early 40's, sort of tallish, pleasant-faced and friendly (he chats up the gym bunnies regularly) and is in incredible shape. Seriously, if it weren't for a receding hairline and obvious ignorance of acceptable athletic attire, I'd guess this dude was in his twenties. And maybe a baseball player or something.

Which is why the spandex and belly-shirts totally bug! Plus, oh I didn't even tell you yet, halvsey tank tops. Those kind like the dudes wear in the Strong Man contests that have the skinny straps and the gigantor armholes that are all baggy. The fact that these tops are then cut off at the midriff and paired with spandex man-pris and a strategically placed fanny pack just gets my goat.

I do not know what to make of this guy.

My first thought was that he was gay. But then I dismissed that for multiple reasons, one of which being that of all my gay friends I'd never known a single one to be caught dead wearing spandex of any variety or participating in any similarly horrifying fashion faux pas. Second being, that this Man of Spandex enjoys chatting it up with the ladies while he struts away on the stair machine (Not the stair master, but one of those machines with the actual stairs you climb. I don't know why making that distinction is important here.) and has been overheard making overt flirting gestures to said ladies while sweating up his yellow belly-top.

Plus, it seems that he doesn't feel the least bit out of place parading around the weight room, amongst other less conspicuously dressed members, as though his shiny navy blue shorties were the most normal things a man could pull from his dresser.

My second thought was that he is just your average dude, wildly out of touch with modern workout society, and going about his merry life dressed totally normal outside of the gym where no one he works with realizes that mere hours before their morning conference call this oddball was swaggering around the free weights section in his stretch-pants showing off his (admittedly honed) breadbasket for all the world to see. I bet some of the women in his office even think he's a "hunk".

The final straw was seeing him leaving the gym one day, dressed all friggen normal just like I'd hypothesized; in jeans, running shoes, t-shirt and ball cap. And he did look cute! Like a normal cute guy. Actually, he sort of reminded me of my friend's dad who all the high school girls used to lust after. And who, I should note, DID NOT wear spandex. This guy however, he is the Spandex Superman of the gym! He goes into the booth (locker room) normal and comes out fully clad in primary-colored spandex (substitute fanny pack for the cape). Then, after he has conquered the evil-doers (Calories? Flabby thighs?) he races back into his booth and changes back into Clark "I'm so normal" Kent and walks away like nothing happened.

What kills me is knowing that one day he'll meet that special woman (he doesn't wear a ring, so I assume he is not married) and she'll think he's all normal in his jeans, ball cap and shapely physique and then she'll stay the night and see him leave for the gym in his stretchy pants and babydoll tee and realize that she's been conned by his Normal Man by Day/Man of Spandex by Dawn double lifestyle.

And it is this continuing mystery that keeps me entertained while I bound away on the tready, whittling down my 30 minutes so that I can go over to the free weights and embarrass myself with the 10 lb barbells or try to sneak onto the lat machine before Mr. and Mrs. We Wear Weight Belts Even Though We Spend 90% of Our Time at the Gym Talking to Our Other Oldish Friends and Being Blissfully Ignorant of our Cellulite commandeer the upper body machines.

I'll get into those hammerheads another time.


  1. You should sneak a picture of him next time! Although I guess that would be a huge invasion of privacy---but entertaining nonetheless! :)

  2. I was going to say the same thing as Laura G. Three special words in honor of your readers...
    Cell phone pic.
    No fair to leave us just wondering.
    My ex an I used to travel a lot, and he would cozy up to mullet-wearing guys in the bar, just so we could sneak photos of our new friends. Cheesy, I know, but come on! Mullets? They're just asking for photos!
    Maybe this guy has some weird agenda? Could he be that clueless? Does he own any Dolphin shorts?
    Just sayin'.
    I once heard that you can tell a guy's age by the length of his shorts. I can already hear you...
    Dude! That's so true! It totally is.

  3. OMG. Leave it to my little Finny girl to have me laughing uncontrollably. This is funny stuff.

    Yes, my first thought was also, um, photo please. But then I do realize the fact that being inconspicuous would be molto difficile in this circumstance. Like, oops, did that flash go off while I was lifting that barbell? Pesky thing.

    If I wasn't always going on and on about you over on my blog, I would've given you my Nov. perfect post award for this. But people already know I am hopelessly in love with Finny, so it would have seemed a little bit biased, don't you think?

  4. Laura - I have thought a lot about how to finagle a camera into the gym. Or even bringing my cell phone with me onto the treadmill and feigning an early morning conference call during my workout. Either way, I think it'd be too conspicuous. HOWEVER, if they ever come out with a camera iPod, I think I'll have a chance. Feel free to suggest it to Apple.

    Barb - See above. I need a Camera iPod. Then I could photograph SpandexMan in all his stretchy glory. And then move on to all the other freaks.

    Shelley - I suppose it could be viewed as bias - or just really positive feedback ;) Either way, if I can manage a photo, please feel free to recind your previous vote and promote that as the perfect post. Especially since I'll probably be assaulted on the tready for doing so.

    Kelli - If only!

  5. Ohmygod, my midsection is killing me from laughing. I am still catching up on your posts, since I've been at the new job, haven't had time to read much...but OMG!! This is soooooo friggon funny. I have encountered these types at my own gym, and am left scratching my head wondering what the hell I just encountered. Oh god, I miss your funny posts. I almost want to print this just to have it and read it later for another laugh...



[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.