Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2004
Dear Diary:

There's a post-Christmas influx of newbies at my gym, folks who have clearly resolved that 2004 is The Year They Get In Shape. I admire their energy and resolve.

Today I was on the treadmill doing my 35 minute run and to relieve the tedium I looked over at the free weight area. One of the newbies was using the bench press. He was wearing very loose fitting, somewhat shortish jogging shorts.

And ... and ... he had decided this morning, of all mornings, to go commando.

Oh yes, it was gonad--go-go over there at the bench press.

Now you might think that having attained the august age of 52 I would be able to handle a situation such as this in a calm, mature manner. You would be so very, very wrong.

PEOPLE, I COULD SEE A DINGLEBERRY.

Do you realize how hard it is to run when you're trying to stifle a giggle?

I think we can all agree that it was an act of mercy that this was all I could see, that the young man hadn't inadvertently staged his own version of Free Willy. If he had, I probably would have perished in some bizarre choking/treadmill-related accident.

Looking out of the corner of my eye, I knew that I wasn't the only one who had absorbed Far, Far Too Much Information about the guy on the bench press. Like me, everyone else on my row of treadmills was now studiously looking everywhere BUT the free weight area.

Which of course cracked me up even more and made it even harder to breathe.

Because, you know, I'm 52 going on six.

This Testicular Show and Tell has only happened to me once before, a few years ago, when I was riding the Metro in Montreal with my daughter. The gentleman in question (also wearing shorts) got off the subway before we did, so the whole issue of "do I say anything to this person?" was neatly avoided.

Which brings me to the delicate question of etiquette in a situation such as this.

I considered telling a trainer so that they could advise the newbie that he was showing off more than his triceps over at the bench press. The thing is, my trainer was the one on duty this morning and she's a woman and it just seemed an incredibly awkward situation in which to put her.

I considered mentioning the situation to the young man myself, but I don't know him at all. I'm old enough to be his mother. How weird would it be to have someone your mother's age wander up to you and say, "You might want to consider wearing underwear when you wear those shorts to the gym."

Yeah, that's what I thought.

So I ended up saying nothing. I'm not sure that was the right thing to do, either.

I'm hoping that one of the guys mentioned something to him in the locker room, but who knows whether or not that happened? And, well, the possibility this might happen again exists, so ...

What is the etiquette in a situation such as this?

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 80.68 piddling miles
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers

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