Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Gym

What a colorful place. Seriously, literally, there are a lot of crazy outfits going on there, in all shades.

I'm highly aware of the fact that I won't be buying any new gym clothes for another, hm, 10 months now. Maybe that's making me more aware of the outfits I'm seeing there. It definitely sends me on a little stroll (a power walk, of course) down Memory Lane--to some of the best outfits and experiences I've seen at the gym.

All-time favorite was the guy...well, we'll call him Produce Man. Accent on the first syllable; he wasn't producing something. Because that's what it looked like he had in his little spandex shorty shorts--produce. Fruits and veg. Perhaps a whole produce section.

He waltzed into that slightly ghetto LA Fitness in Roswell, GA wearing 2 different shades of tangerine. His tight orange tank was almost lost next to those bike shorts, which were boldly, disturbingly tiny. Tiny, but not tight. Not tight enough. I say that because it looked like the mango, banana, and papaya he was storing in the front might just fall out at any second.

It was quite an entrance, too. The treadmills made a long line next to the front door, so there were basically about 30 of us ladies already panting when he walked in at the far end of us. Then he sauntered by, causing each one of us to either fall off or slow down, one by one like dominoes. We would slowly process the visual from the top down: average height male, big grin, silly orange shirt, weird pants with--oh. Whoa. Oh you can see all--everything. Clearly. Is that an eggplant?

And men, let me interject right now that we weren't impressed. The awe inspired by his appearance was like what goes on at Ripley's Believe it or Not, not when watching Troy. I don't want to encourage such behavior.

Because it already runs pretty rampant--the little shorts at the gym. There's another guy who wears them at my gym now, but he's much older than Produce Guy, and while he enters in those shorty shorts, he leaves in his business suit. I don't know what he does, but his posture and expression are such that I picture those suspenders taking him to an awaiting limo, then to that office on the top floor that smells of...what is it? Scotch and rich mahogany? Yeah. I'm sure he has a lovely British accent, too, and reads the Financial Times over breakfasts of figs and a spot of Earl Grey. But he starts his day doing chin-ups in genuinely tiny knickers.

It's not just the guys who wear the shorts. I have seen some daring feats of hemline accomplished by the ladies, too.

Well, I think she was a lady.

Both of these sightings of Hot Pants on Females happened from the stair climber. You know, the one that looks like a huge escalator. So they were extra exposed, like on a tower for all the gym to see.

I walked in just 2 weeks ago and saw a blonde lady up there. That's almost all I saw at first, was blonde. Her curly hair was everywhere! Long and tall and wide and yellow, it grew up out of her head, headed for the sky, travelled out toward the East and West coasts, then eventually billowed down her back to skim the scandalous hem of her...jean shorts.

And I say "hem" loosely, because they were denim cut-offs.

Really? Jean shorts at the gym?

Then, taking in the rest of her whole affect--the false eyelashes, the huge lips--the question popped in my head: She? Maybe...he? Maybe not.

But she(?) really made a great golden spectacle of hair and fashion on the escalator, which impressed me, really. Have you ever tried one of those stair climbers?

I can barely keep my balance, and would certainly fall off if I was wearing her getup. So...well done, you!

Even more daring, but perhaps less commendable, was the other lady I saw on the escalator-climber. And unfortunately, I can confirm that she was a lady. I saw when I opened my eyes from the mat where I was stretching, and quickly shut them again. Those already tiny shorts were rolled and tucked up in the high recesses of her butt, letting the rest hang out and spill out and pretty much be out there.

Now, I understand there are wardrobe issues at times while exercising. In the heat of running, or cycling, or even rowing, it's hard to realize what's going on around you. Even harder still to refasten a ponytail or tie a loose shoe string.

But while slowly climbing up the stairs, I'd imagine a wedgie of these proportions would be noticed and corrected. I know I've said that this machine is a challenge, but a quick backwards flip of the wrist could have probably really changed this lady's life. I know it could've changed mine.

But I think the true life-changer for me has been the Unitard.

It's only graced me with its presence on three occasions. The first was not even in a gym, but in a small hostel in northern Chile. As a backpacking group of students, my friends and I had the peculiar pleasure of eating breakfast served by a frazzled (we'd arrived terribly early to the hostel that day and awoken her), kind owner of the old house-converted-hostel.

As she bustled about us, throwing butter and jam on the table among our toast and coffee, I realized she was wearing a unitard. A gray one with bold red racing stripes down the side. I guess it was the kind of thing one wears when awoken extra early by a bunch of students on a Thursday. "Ahh, must make's so early...yup, I'll wear the unitard!"

The next one I saw was at that same marginally ghetto LA Fitness in Georgia. The lady was wearing a neon pink unitard--the kind that has the g-string built in, the kind you wear over another shade of neon spandex pants. Which she was. Along with the coolest headset ever--the kind that looks like huge plastic earmuffs, accompanied by a big antenna. This 80s child felt like it was time for Mousersize.

And finally, I saw one last week in spin class. This was the Mother of all unitards--while beginning in skinny straps at the top, it went full down to her ankles. And it was again gray, an excellent choice for showing every droplet of sweat created by its master.

She was sporting it along with some sort of workout vest, which should come in handy in spin, because your water bottle can be strapped in right next to your heart. If you've ever tried spin, you know that you can get a little delirious and forget where your stuff is, who you are, and why you're torturing yourself on a freaky little stationary bike.

Anyway, it was an awesome site, and it inspired me to begin to document the excellent fashion provided by the gym. Which I'll continue to do, because no doubt there will be more clothing boldness in the workout room.