Friday, Oct. 19, 2007
Dear Diary:

Just recently the spousal unit and I have each acquired a groupie. His is a fan of his music, mine is a fan of my muscles.

It is all very droll.

After decades of not playing, the spousal unit has picked up his guitar again. Little wisps of things are coming back to him, but he's finding it tough to build the requisite calluses and to limber up his fingers.

Every night after the news, he slips downstairs and practices away for an hour or so. Wherever she might be in the house, the minute the first notes are played, our cat Eeny trots to the spousal unit's locale. She sprawls on the floor at his feet and watches him adoringly, purring softly.

The first night she did it, we figured it was a fluke. The second night we thought it was an odd co-incidence. Now it's an established pattern, something she always does.

The Spousal Unit's First Official Groupie. It is stupidly cute to watch.

My groupie is a young Dutch boy who joined my new gym last week. He's a very long, lanky kid, probably in his late teens and he's trying to build muscle because, well, he wants to impress the ladies.

Last week I did three pull-ups to start off my back day. He's been struggling to get his first pull-up, so seeing me do it really impressed him. He came over and said:

"You are very strong for such an old woman."

Look, I didn't say he was an optimal groupie. I just said he was a groupie.

Part of the um, er, ah directness of his, uh, compliment was language issues, what with English being his second or third language. In his native Dutch, he probably would have expressed the thought far more diplomatically.

I guess another part of it was perception. At 56 I am old enough to be his mother for sure and alarmingly close to being in grandmother range for him.

The wry grin I gave him with my thanks must have tipped him off to the backhanded side of his remark, because he apologized profusely for any ageism, thereby digging himself even deeper into that hole. I did my best to dig him out so we could both hold on to a few tiny shreds of our dignity.

He often comes to the gym when I do. We spend a fair bit of our workouts comparing tips, strength, and protein drinks. At the moment I am significantly stronger than he is. The 45 pound plates that defeat him I can move with ease.

Excuse me while I gloat a moment.

Gloat.

Gloat. Gloat.

Okay, so it was more than a moment.

Don't judge me.

Here's the deal. From what I've seen over the years, I would guess that about twelve weeks from now, if he is disciplined, he will totally blow me out of the water. It has taken me nearly seven years to build my strength. In a few weeks he will be able to do things I will never achieve thanks to the muscle building miracle that is testosterone.

It is hard not to be bitter.

Still, I'm grateful that he is there. The women who are my age at my new gym . . . oh, heck, who am I kidding, let's throw the men my age in there, too . . . well, they all look at me as if I'm some sort of freak. Some of them look as if they've been doing the exact same workout for months without upping either the weights or repetitions. While that's certainly better than living butt glued to sofa, there is just so much more that's possible if they would just challenge their bodies even just a little.

Oh well. Nevermind.

I'm glad the kid showed up. It's great to have someone other than the gym's trainer totally grok the joy that comes from sweating, struggling, and squeezing out that last rep you didn't think you had in you, that new personal best. Someone who thinks strong is cool.

Plus, it tickles my funny bone to be post workout at a table drinking my protein drink with someone who wears huge ass baggy pants and the visor of his cap tilted slightly to one side. Yep, white-haired wrinkly granny me talking gym three times a week with a pale skinny Dutch kid who wants to look gangsta.

Cracks me up.

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 392.34 milesTen percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Half way there

Going Nowhere Collaboration

Goal for 2007: 500 miles


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