Brad & Heather's Journal

Friday, June 09, 2006

Fight Club

I just renewed my (very cheap) membership at my gym. This is one of the oddest places I have ever seen. It's very un-gym-like, at least the way most gyms are now...there is no carpet, no A/C, no lockers, no showers, no bank of TV screens. The only mirrors on the wall are ones that used to be sliding doors on someone's apartment closet (you can still see the little wheels at the top). If you have seen the movie "Fight Club," you get a good idea what it's like. Dark. Lots of exposed beams with nails sticking out, the back room (free weights) with a concrete floor dimly lit by bare lightbulbs hanging down on black electrical cords, a few fans spinning lazily around--the big industrial kind of fans. In short, it looks like a good place to get murdered. But I like it. For a long time, I liked it because it was really cheap and really convenient (right across the street), but now I like it for its oddness. I like that old guys come in there to workout wearing jeans and flannel shirts, like that the most muscle-bound guy there steps outside between sets to smoke cigarettes, like that the reminders to replace the plates are on hand-lettered signs duct-taped to the wall, like that the attic of the building has a boxing ring formed by a piece of clothesline. Sometimes I wish I belonged to a nicer gym, wish that we had more equipment or that what we have would stay fixed. But I also like to think of this place as one strike against sameness. You know, the way every mall looks alike, every Wal-Mart, every McDonalds, every new house, every new singer, every new band. Sameness abounds, and I guess people find comfort in the generic. I don't. In fact, it creeps me out, like the whole country is turning into a Stepford Wife. So, even though the nice gym five miles away sometimes beckons me, I think I will stay with my small, crappy one. I might even take boxing lessons.

Brad

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