Daily Prompt

Yes, we’re are at a gym, but do we need to talk about it?

Sometimes I really hate gyms. You wouldn’t assume so considering I’m a personal trainer, love being active and spent most of my time in college finding ways to make a career in the fitness industry. But after working at a gym full of corporate execs and engineers who spent more time curling their phones than dumbbells while boasting about their portfolios, I came to see this gym as an extension of the office people worked at.

 Working at my university gym wasn’t much better. Being filled with guys in cut-off tanks and girls, albeit quite attractive, wearing Lululemons and enough makeup to make Kiss look natural made the whole experience fill like a prelude to the night downtown that would commence a few hours later. I should make it known that I am no saint. I used to flirt at the gym (before I worked there) and I do own a few self-crafted cut-off tanks, but it isn’t something I admit with pride. Nowadays, I wear baggier clothes, lift in the mornings before the post-work rush, and lift at a small, non-Globo gym close to my house so I can truly enjoy the lifting without any of the gimmicks that are commonplace at gyms now.

So I was working out earlier today, minding my business, maybe small talking a few of the housewives that frequent the gym the same time I usually do. There is, however, a middle aged man who shows up towards the end of my lift who I’ve come to avoid at all costs. You know this man. He’s the person that always has something to tell you and will spend 20 minutes getting to his point just to realize that he has no point. I consider him a stranger because I know not his name, occupation, or anything about him besides his love for being at a gym and spending his money on supplements. I believe I’ve never even asked him a question come to think of it.

Because I’m one of the few people there in the mornings who isn’t a housewife or retired, he likes to come to me and talk about supplements and how he wants to drop a few pounds and make his push for his pro card in bodybuilding. For the record, this man is nowhere close to being ready to win a bodybuilding competition, let alone winning his pro card.

As I gather my belongings in the locker room after my workout, this gentleman corners me and asks me if I’ve heard about this new testosterone booster (I had not) and that he got hooked up at GNC earlier by getting a 30-day supply for $65.

Now I haven’t gotten into my feelings about the supplement industry yet in this blog and I won’t go into too much detail here for brevity’s sake, but I will say that no supplement is worth $65. The supplement industry is the current day snake oil salesman and, while there are some products that have proven benefits (although it’s a very small percentage), no product is worth the prices they retail for.

But I digress. I imagine this man is probably back at his house right now, perusing his latest issue of Flex Magazine (if you’re unfamiliar with this publication, it’s a magazine that consists of roughly 30% content and 70% supplement advertisements) trying to find the next breakthrough supplement that’ll help maximize his gains.

Although this is just an assumption, if he does find anything, I will surely hear about it tomorrow.


I own an Apron, a Steam Iron and I am a Man

Modern Families:

If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

This past Sunday, my sister and I met up with my parents to have dinner at their house for Mother’s Day. During dinner my parents were discussing my staying with her mom during the next few days to help her recover from her recent surgery. The conversation was dry enough for me to tune out as I asked my sister how her weekend was. But I could not tune out a question I heard my dad ask my mom.

“How do you do the laundry?”

I was shocked. Here my father stands a 6’2”, brawny, 51-year-old man who grew up on a rural North Dakota, nearly built the house I grew up in by hand, and worked from an entry level job in construction to become the manager of a water district, didn’t know how to wash the very clothes he’s mucked up busting his ass every day. I was taken aback. Not because it’s so strange that somebody doesn’t know how to clean his clothes but because my father has taught me more than I can relay to you. From working with tools, to driving a manual transmission, how the stock market works and just how to work hard so something that matters to you, my dad has done it all. But he never learned how to do his laundry and, as I later learned, even do basic cooking.

After my initial shock, I took a step back and realized that my ability to cook and clean is a product of a shift in societal norms and not any shortcomings of my father or the men of his generation. With the feminist movement, the ‘roles’ of men and  women is becoming less of a dichotomy as more women enter the workforce and men gain acuity in household work.

I find this very interesting because the generational gap isn’t that prevalent amongst my parents or some of the adults I know of similar age because my dad does do a lot of household work such as cleaning and all of our yard work and my mom is very well educated and works in the medical field. I’m interested in seeing how some of the past men in my family would react to having dinner with us if they could come back from the dead.

One grandfather was a farmer and the other was a steelworker and their fathers were immigrant farmers with wives that stayed at home and took care of the kids and the house. The definition of what a man (and woman) is has changed dramatically in the past century and would be very interested in seeing how my ancestors reacted to how we currently live our lives.


I love Ellen Page, Miley and Mean Girls, but they’re no guilty pleasure

No Apologies:

What’s the one guilty pleasure you have that’s so good, you no longer feel guilty about it?

I could make this a short post and say my guilty pleasure movie is Mean Girls, that I enjoy listening to Miley Cyrus (even before she started twerking with Robin Thicke), or that my celebrity crush is Ellen Page, but I’ve never been embarrassed to admit those things. No, my guilty pleasure a little more complex than that.

This is a little ironic to be writing about in my blog since my persona on WordPress reveals to the reader that I’m an English major who enjoys reading about technology, but the real world doesn’t know that I’m a total nerd at heart. I grew up an overweight, inactive kid without cable TV so my youth revolved around reading books, comics, collecting Pokémon cards and watching the original Star Wars trilogy and Muppet Treasure Island (my sister and my favorite movies growing up).

Eventually I started to play sports and developed the concept of carb control and started chasing girls and partying. Being the captain of a nationally ranked football team in high school and a three-sport varsity athlete, my mind focused on sports, girls and academics, if there was time for the latter.

I began college with the intent on majoring in pre-law (poly-sci/economics/philosophy combo degree at my university) because I was a member of my high school mock trial team and enjoyed public speaking, debates and research. But after having the worst professor I’ve ever dealt with teaching my Intro to the American Judicial System, I was put off Law forever and decided to become a personal trainer and major in what I was best at: English.

As a personal trainer at my university, I became close friends with my coworkers and ended up getting into bodybuilding and attempted to compete multiple times. Everybody I worked with and hung out with assumed I was a kinesiology major and most never knew I was an English major. I know my friends sound terrible because they didn’t know my major, but the topic rarely came up.

It didn’t come up because I didn’t look the part of an English major and I surely didn’t act like one. Between training myself and clients I was in the gym before and after class so I always showed up in shorts and a t-shirt (no, I ‘ve never worn a tank top to class) receiving some looks of bewilderment from other English majors in the class.

I’ve never regretted majoring in English and I didn’t stop reading comics or nerding out on Star Wars because I was ashamed of it; my lifestyle simply changed and my interests adjusted with it. Since I graduated college my passion for writing and interest in technology and comics has preoccupied my free time that used to be reserved for researching and blogging about fitness and nutrition.

So I’m writing to you today to say that I will not apologize for my inner nerd coming out on paper (technically screen) because it’s too awesome to be embarrassed about.

Oh, despite repressing some of my nerdy interests, there is one thing that I never hid:


I know some comic enthusiasts say he’s a lame superhero, but I don’t care; I’m not ashamed to admit my guilty pleasure.

DailyPrompt: No Apologies