Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Uh. . . Thanks

Way back when I still worked for my previous employer, an automotive supplier in OurTown, we moved to a new office building which included, for the first time in my own youthful existence, a ‘Fitness Center’. It was mostly just an open area, where folks could have aerobics classes, or other forms of strenuous (or not-so-strenuous) exercise, on the theory that fit employees will work harder and be happier, and cost less in health coverage. The center also contained a large multi-station weight machine, a couple racks of free weights, a few stationary bikes and a rowing machine.

For my purposes, the main feature of the fitness center was the showers. Those enabled me to ride my bike to work during the months when the roads weren’t snow-covered (it was about 5 miles from my house to the office, which I could cover in about 20 minutes), and to do short workout rides on my lunch hour a couple days a week (there was enough time for me to get in about 12 miles, shower and get back to my desk in a little over an hour).

Of course, when I was showering after my workout, lots of other guys were in the locker-room at the same time, having done their own lunch-hour workouts. One group of guys were into body-building – they’d lift weights with the specific goal of building large, well-defined muscles, and they’d spend a fair bit of time in front of the mirror, making sure that all their work was paying off in terms of how buff they looked.

Now, at this point, I should say that, all the cycling I was doing in those days (upwards of 3000 miles/year) was having its effect on my own physique, such as it was. Specifically, my legs got very strong, and chiseled-looking in their own right. Check out any avid cyclist’s legs, and they’re probably pretty tight and ripped-looking. But I didn’t have a ‘Body Beautiful’ by any stretch of the imagination – I didn’t do any lifting, or anything to build up my upper body, or shoulders, or anything like that, and I still had a round gut that was a couple sizes too big. I just liked to ride my bike, and I liked being in good aerobic shape. At least, good aerobic shape for a fat guy.

So one day, having completed my lunch-hour ride, I was drying off after my shower. One of the body-building guys was getting dressed at a nearby locker. As I got dressed to head back to my office, he nodded in my direction, and said, “You got really nice legs.”

Uh. . . excuse me?

“You got really nice legs,” he repeated. “How do you get those?”

Okay, now this was really, really weird. Looking back, even a couple hours later, I suppose I understood that he was just talking out of his body-building focus, expressing admiration for something he was trying to accomplish for himself. But right there, on the spur of the moment, it felt the least bit creepy. Suddenly, I had a deeper, existential understanding of what women talk about when they say they feel like pieces of meat when men check out their bodies. You know, I might even have been flattered if one of the women complimented my strong, manly legs as I sauntered through the gym after my ride. But another guy. . . in the locker-room. . . both of us half-dressed (or less). . . not so much.

I mumbled something about riding my bike a lot, and hurried to get dressed and get out of there, while my body-building co-worker pressed me – you don’t do any lifting, or leg-work? Only cycling?

Yup, just cycling. Well, gotta go. . . big project. . . see ya ‘round. . .

I felt bad leaving him standing there like that, but I’m pretty sure he just turned and started checking out his own legs in the mirror, wondering to himself, “Cycling, huh? . . .”

14 comments:

flutterby said...

You know, Des... a fantastic pair of heels does great things to showcase nice legs. Just saying.

But, you are right. Cyclers have great legs.

Cocotte said...

I agree....that is creepy. I asked Husband once why he never used the state-of-the-art workout facilities at his place of employment. He replied, "I don't want to have to take a shower at work."

Cuz guys just don't like other guys checking them out!

for a different kind of girl said...

MAYBE he was checking out your legs as you walked out. I think you know what I'm sayin'...

lime said...

LOL @ flutterby!

my husband has been a cyclist, a distance runner, and a soccer player. he too has some truly delicious looking legs.

Sailor said...

Take up skiing- and do it fanatically- you'll end up with great legs (at least my wife likes 'em), and you don't need a locker room shower afterward.

Xavier said...

Funny how creepy it is for guys to compliment each other ain't it? Why is it my first thought is "Sorry I don't swing that way"?

Anyhow ....

Xavier said...

.... but he was right so why argue? :-)

FTN said...

Are you saying I should be bothered when guys compliment my ass in the locker room?

Desmond Jones said...

Flutter - So, when we were cleaning out my parents' attic a couple months ago, you think I should've kept my old pair of 70s-vintage platform shoes?

Cocotte - You know, when I was in HS/college, it was no big deal for guys to be naked in the locker-room. But, uh, making flattering comments about each other's legs? Not so much.

faDKoG - Hey, I can shake my non-existent booty with the best of 'em. . .

Lime - Is it fair to say that delicious-ness is in the eye of the beholder?

Sailor - A lot of cyclists do CC skiing in the winter months, so I understand what you're saying. And I only needed a shower because I had to go back to work. When I ride from home, it's not so much of an issue. . .

Xavier - Well, it ain't compliments as such that are creepy. Just compliments about my, um, body parts. . .

And what can I say? If you got 'em, you got 'em. . .

FTN - Your response to compliments about your ass is entirely up to you, my friend

Phyllis Renée said...

If I was in the locker room and a woman complimented me on my legs I would accept it graciously -- I would know she was lying, but I would try not to let on.

It's unfortunate there aren't equal complimentary locker rooms.

Tulipsanticipation said...

It's funny how guys get so uncomfortable complimenting or showing affection to other guys. It's like they're all afraid of looking gay or something and do everything in their power to avoid having people think they might be.

Watching guys hug is just hilariously awkward.

Desmond Jones said...

Phyllis - I think women are more 'dialed in' to their own bodies, and they're more used to people commenting on their bodies, than men are, I think. . .

Tulip - Well, I don't really have a problem with compliments per se; I'm just not used to people commenting on my body.

And, just speaking on my own behalf, I have no problem hugging other guys. As long as, you know, he's OK with me hugging him. And, you know, it's not a hug LIKE THAT. . .

Suldog said...

The other way to build up really good legs is to be a catcher. I got mine from years of squatting, balancing on the balls of my feet, etc. Of course, the price I paid was the destruction of my knees. But, damn, I sure do have good looking legs and a nice ass, even if I can't run very well anymore!

Desmond Jones said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sully. I always told my boys that they should learn how to catch, because catchers are a 'prize commodity', and their coaches would love 'em. . .