This blog is not the only thing I’ve been neglecting. Working out and staying fit is another thing I’ve not been mindful about. There was a time when missing a day at the gym was a bad day for me. During my NY days, meeting my friends at the gym, working out, and feeling sore the day after was part of my daily routine. I couldn’t do without it. Given the propensity for gay men to judge other men by the looks of their body, it was compulsory to belong to a gym and frequent it regularly in order to keep your gay membership card.
Times change, but some things don’t. Gay men still judge you by how your body looks. Got muscle? Then you’re in. Got dad bod? Thank you for playing, but move on. So much so, that body shaming has become a thing on Twitter and other social media where certain body types are frowned and looked down upon. It’s awful to see how some men are talked about because they don’t fit into the narrow mold our “community” sets for us. And should someone say that bears are different (make room for upcoming heresy) I’ve been looked down and frowned upon by bears because I did not fit their den look.
Today I drove myself to the nearby gym and signed up for a membership. Not because I feel compelled to workout so I don’t feel judged when I go to beach, but because I can’t bear to look at myself in the mirror when I get dressed — or undressed (which is worse). I’m tired of wearing tarp style clothing I buy at HomeDepot for the amorphous, and I admit that I’m not getting better with age. So I took the drive of shame, opened up my wallet, and gave the handsome, muscled, Miami “massage” trainer all the cash I had on me. The deed is signed, sealed, done!
This should please my nephews who always ask me to go workout with them. Last summer, while we vacationed in Cancun, they wanted me to join them at the hotel’s gym. I told them to go looking for their “otro tio” the one who works out. This tio knits and drinks daiquiris by the pool. Back in Miami, when I go visit my sister, they flaunt their washboard abs and sweaty shirts when they return from a workout while I’m sitting at the kitchen counter snaking on chips and salsa — and a beer, sometimes. A Michelob Ultra, no less.
After getting my new membership, I texted my nephew. He was pleased with my decision and wanted to know if I would go work out with him when he came home from school. I told him I’d think about it, that I didn’t want to embarrass him when my knees and elbows began squeaking with rusty joints. He LOL’ed and said he’d be okay with that.
I’ve no hopes of looking like a gay porn star or a Miami “massage” dude once I start exercising (tomorrow, I promise. Really). But I would like to lower my cholesterol, shed a few pounds, fit into a size or two smaller, and stop looking at Marie Osmond on TV wondering if a TV diet for losing weight is my only remaining option to look good. There are men far older than I who look better than I do. I’ve done this before and looked well enough to shop at Old Navy, so maybe my body will remember what it was like to work out and adapt after the initial shock wears off.
If I learned anything from knitting is that nothing is easy at first. Learning to purl was a chore; ribbing was as challenging for me as casting on. But with time and practice, I learned to knit stitches together and make pretty things. This time, I hope to make myself pretty enough for me, again.