Friday, February 4, 2011

Goodbye inspiration

Chatting to one of the guys at the gym yesterday morning, it came up that he was leaving to move to another gym. As he has been a long term member one was intrigued enough to ask why he was going. It seems he doesn’t like the way the ethos of the place is developing... too much emphasis on bulk and too much steroid use... including use by one of the trainers. Now making an educated guess as to which one, it is no surprise.

Honestly you don’t bounce back from that much injury and in his chosen branch of interest (sports) any other way. Well not and keep studies and a job on the go at the same time. So knowing all of this information one was a little surprised at his stance... he’s not naive. Chatting more it turned out his concern is the amount of young people in the place who are going too far, too fast. He thinks seeing all the muscle around them encourages them to make poor choices, with no thought to the long term outcome*. They just want instant gratification and to see big results.

Purists... you meet them everywhere... and to be honest one is inclined to agree with him on this point. Mind you one is also disturbed by the advent of the exercise anorexics. You see them doing hours on the X-trainer as they hunt down the last molecule of fat in their body. Seriously, your upper arm is not meant to be the same size as your wrist, when your wrist is that small.

The thing is one will miss him. Occasionally you meet someone who truly inspires you... At a gym you meet the strong, the fit, the agile, the muscular and occasionally someone who is so fit and strong they are marvels, and he is one of them. Anyone who can do push ups while balance on three dumbbells is worthy of a little respect. To be able to do his gruelling workout and then run on a X-trainer for an hour, while holding a weight at an angle, is impressive. To be able to do this in your 60’s is gobsmacking.

The reason he does this? He does long distance touring on a bike... the peddle kind. To have that much working muscle, as opposed to bulk or the lean muscle usually found on distance riders is rare. Usually the body eats everything in its relentless pursuit of fuel. The man is testament to good genes and hours and hours of hard work... and probably an enormous food bill.

So one will mourn his moving on; though one understands only too well his reasons. He was an inspiration to those of us who don’t want a quick fix solution. Those of us who admire how far you can push a human body, fuelled by protein and the liberal application of caffeine... your starting to see why this guy was a role model aren’t you? Says the girl sipping morning mouse...

*In case you are wondering what the big deal is...
Steroid aided growth in a man has a similar effect to pregnancy and breastfeeding in a woman. When you grow that fast, the skin doesn’t have time to stretch and that is how you get stretch marks. Also anything that gets built up has to be built down afterwards. Either way you need to do a lot of work to mitigate the side effects otherwise you run to flab, or worse the skin collapses. There is nothing less attractive on a man, than a chest that has collapsed downwards because there is no muscle holding it up and out.

Now the peacocks know this and accept it. Most of them have been doing it a long time and have shaped and reshaped enough to know the issues. They also have the time, they are not about to be hit with the complications of life, jobs, relationships and children. Time suckers, each and every one of them that conspire to mean less time to go to the gym and / or play sport for these fledgling users. If they are still in the gym 30 years hence more power to them but... shrugs

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