Odd Times Gym

I am going to be in my first athletic competition in 59 years. I might mention that I am 75, wear bifocals, lost a gall bladder, gained a mechanical valve in my heart and have a rebuilt shoulder, stand 5”8 ½” tall and tip the scales at 220 lbs.

When I went to the gym that afternoon. The manager pulled me aside as soon as I walked through the doors. He was a bearer of great news from the gym. Well, maybe not. The staff and member of Odd-Time fitness, my gym, have voted my erratic workouts as “Most Pathetic.” This was not in an age-bracketed competition but it was open to all members. Apparently, a few months ago, the center’s manager took a video of me working and showed it as entertainment at the regional manager meeting. After they stopped laughing, they came up with the idea of having a competition for “Most Pathetic workout.” They took it to the national office who loved the idea.  The contest is all set. I will be competing in the regional competition in Gravity, Iowa. My local manager and non-mentor think that I have got it bagged. I don’t even have to drive; they are sending a van to get me and take me. They have contracted with the same van company across the USA, it’s handicap accessible. If I win there, I go on to Cedar Rapids for the finals on November 1st. I asked if they could use the video that was shown, but they said no. There were some center managers that felt that it was photo-shopped, nobody could exercise that poorly. Rumors have it the finals in D.C. are financed by Medicare.

Apparently, no one else does arm curls with two different weight dumbbells, a ten pounder in one hand and a five pounder in the other hand. No one else has mastered the leg lift done without one’s feet leaving the ground. No one had seen a rowing machine that veers to the left every time that I am working out on it. I find the concept of sit ups unacceptable

In the same conversation when the manager filled me in on the competition and my chances, he also asked me what day and time I was going to come in to work out again. Apparently, many of the members want to work out at the same time that I do. I wasn’t really surprised that the managers put the video out on YouTube and it went a
bit viral. The other members know they are doing hard workouts and they thought that a little comic relief would help them out. Two guys from Cedar Rapids are making the trip, I hear.

I am getting a pretty good response to my dietary supplement. The advertising campaign seems to be working. If you want to win fights you need to sneak up on the other person. If you are shirtless with rock solid abs showing, the other person will adjust tactics accordingly. My supplement helps you hide those rock-solid abs. Once you have developed those rock-hard abs, you start on my 17-day crash diet with “Ken’s Supplement” which you take six times a day. We guarantee that after 17 days all your opponents will be confused as you have hidden those rock-solid abs beneath a substantial layer of blubber. The FDA hasn’t really approved this yet but it has earned a five-star rating from the Hershey’s company and is seen predominately displayed in ads for expandable relaxed fit blue jeans.

While I am awaiting the state competition, I am doing sporadic training for the contest. My life at the gym continues.

Odd-time fitness has something for you every day. If you are not feeling well, maybe experiencing flu- like symptoms, they have balls of medicine for you to suck on. The dosages are clearly marked. They don’t say milligrams but they have the amounts of 2,4,6,8,12 marked on them. You take one off the rack and suck on it for about five minutes, wipe it clean and return it to the rack. I will warn you that it does taste a bit rubbery.

I am never one to take the hard way of doing things. After I few days on the rowing machine I purchased a sail to go on the back.

I did pull a hamstring one day while changing from my jeans to my work out shorts.

People seem stunned when I am working with barbells and they ask me which barbells I am using, I reply, “the black ones.”

I also address the scales as Mrs. when I am stepping on the foot pads after a workout. “Good morning, Mrs. Scales, please be nice to me this morning.” My reason for this is the machine must be female and married. I know this because she is going to tell me something that is true, but I don’t want to hear it.

In all of my years at Odd-Time, I have never really found a peer group. That is a group of my age and capabilities that I fit into. When I go early in the morning there are people like the nice secretary from the high school that does a full Navy Seal workout routine yet still posts cute little baking recipes and pictures on Facebook. Between 2 and 3 in the afternoon, there are some serious people. There is this cute little thirty something lass that is running on the treadmill. No matter what time I come in the afternoon or how long I stay, she is still on the treadmill.  There is the guy that I think could be a cousin of Steven Segal. He is the same height and build with a similar hair bob on the back. He is the guy who has four of the fifty-pound weights on the curl bar, on each side. He is the one that picks up the weight machines when they need to be moved around. Then there is this guy about 25 who does a good strenuous workout looking at himself in the mirrors at all times while constantly adjusting his music track on his phone. There are two guys of advanced age that could be in a peer group, but they come in street clothes and street shoes and don’t really fit in.

As I was going off to Gravity to start my serious competition, the manager told me that some of the members wanted to wear similar workout outfits that day to be in solidarity with me. Unfortunately, they could not find plain gray champion sweatshirts with the sleeve cut off. Apparently, what I wear was discontinued in 1983.

The Handicap bus was also picking up the other four contestants from our area. They were: One in a wheel chair, one with a “Chester” limp, one who could have been a twin of Truman Capote and the last one who had to wear a bib all of time for the dribbling. I am not the best-looking guy usually any place I go, but I won on this bus. I was going to wear spandex shorts but as I looked at myself in the mirror there was more span than dex.

The competition was held on a Saturday afternoon at the Odd-Time gym in Gravity. There were three judges: a former special Olympics judge who had lost his sight, a former gymnastics coach wearing an ankle bracelet and a talent scout for the local comedy club.

We were each given 20 minutes to showcase our routines. Mine was as I have already described. The girl in the wheel chair started out well, her routine centered on benching moderate amounts of weights. She also did a routine that used wolf sized doggy bones as dumbbells and did pretty god but, lost points when she attempted the leg lifts. “Chester’s” routine centered on exercises to develop the abs. He did well until he attempted stomach crunches. The routine was going along until we all heard something in his stomach actually crunch. The on-duty EMTs took him away on a stretcher. The Truman Capote look alike worked the ellipse and the treadmill while wearing a white suit and a bow tie. He made it 90 seconds on one and 2 minutes on the other before he fell off in complete exhaustion and had to have someone bring him a champagne cocktail. The guy wearing the bib did an impressive display of dribbling a basketball but that was all that he had. Naturally, the variety in my routine and the total lack of skill, talent or strength impressed the judges and I won. The trophy was supplied by the local McDonald’s and was a solid tin big Mac.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s