I had decided to go to a gym, also called “fitness centre” in Flemish. I suddenly felt the urge to exercise because one morning I started noticing a slight breast formation in the mirror.
I am now very modern in my thinking and of course I know that men nowadays are also allowed to have breasts and that penises are becoming superfluous if you want to officially call yourself a ‘man’, but the slight nipple shaping was too much for me. It was true that they were still soft in the breasts that were starting to show, but for me they still shut the door. And so I went to Malaga in search of a gym that could give me back the toned body I had left nearly 38 years ago, when I replaced my daily physical training with the rotten life of my journalist.
I know what you’re thinking now. You’d think I could have kept working when I was a journalist, but that doesn’t include the mid-1980s editorial office atmosphere, where the landscape offices were blue with smoke all day long, the editor in chief had a good bottle of whiskey in his drawer and the editors blocked the emergency exit stairs from outside with buckets. From Jupiler, so that the beer was always cold.
And so I found myself at the door of a gym in Malaga to see if they could help me work on my muscles. It was small and dark, while I was expecting a large and brightly lit room with all kinds of rowing machines, treadmills, and other torture devices.
There were only a few dumbbells and other heavy objects that were lifted as if they were feathers by extremely muscular tattooed human companions. It soon became clear that it was a training center for bodybuilders. There was also a very large cupboard containing large bowls of all kinds of nutritional supplements, which seemed to be essential in the sport of noble physique.
They also sold a brown oil that will make your body glow, as you have seen. I took the form of the brochure that the bored boy behind the counter handed me. I lied that I would definitely take it and the boy lied that he was looking forward to seeing me again. These kinds of white lies are the fat of a happy society.
Glad I won’t be exercising here, I rushed to the next gimnasio. It turned out to be a very plush place where I could not only exercise but also have a tailor-made program, with a personal trainer by my side, with cryotherapy in a futuristic-looking egg-shaped machine that kept you cold and cold. With a price tag attached, it made me feel even cooler. As a result, I automatically tightened my muscles so that my muscle tissues were already trained.
The friendly guy behind the counter pointed out to me that this wasn’t a gimnasio, but a health performance institute with the latest technology. The health coach will do a 3D scan of my body first, followed by a genetic health test, in which they will take a haircut to check the impact of the environment on my genes. And the man quickly added “or a beard” because of course he didn’t want to offend me and my fellow baldness sufferers. A person has to walk on eggshells these days, because before you knew it, you had offended a minority.
The whole package costs an arm and a leg which is of course not what you want to lose in the gym. So I politely took another post with me and assured the guy that I would definitely call him again. We both knew it was a lie again, but we both lived under the illusion that we didn’t waste our time.
Four fitness centers and many of them “We’re in touch!” – Later, I finally found a training room that seemed familiar to me. With the equipment I knew, the weights that seemed possible to me, the rooms in which they gave spinning and boxing lessons in a classroom and above all fairly normal people who had never been equipped with muscle with cables and didn’t spend half the time looking in the mirror Look at their anatomy.
I immediately signed up for a month’s subscription and started slow working on the step machine, which also allowed me to watch tennis live. I saw that everyone present was wearing great headphones or earphones and soon I’ll find out why.
Halfway through rehearsal, I nearly fell off my motorcycle from the shock when crackling laughter resounded in the room. It turns out that one of the coaches – a girl in her early twenties – laughed out loud, which immediately reminded me of Janice, Chandler’s friend from friends. It was a loud “hahahaha” that damaged my hearing and my eyesight and made it impossible for me to focus more on my workouts.
In my imagination I saw animals fleeing with every burst of laughter, like in nature documentaries. ‘And the? Do I still need to buy some materials? My Spanish friend Estrella asked me when we had a drink on the terrace later that evening. “Ear plugs,” I answered, to her amazement. Or one of those headphones with noise cancellation. Bad physique for my ears.