10 July 2009

San Miguel Fitness Center

I am getting in the groove in my Mexican fitness center. It was like old home week on my first visit even though I knew nary a soul of course. I think fitness centers are becoming another cross-cultural norm.

The same personalities are there lifting weights, only they are Mexican. The same young woman at the front desk yawning all the time. The same machines. The same mirrors. The same good looking trainers hustling the older ladies. The same black and white poster-size photos on the walls of beautiful models, male and female, with their pants half way pulled off. The same shitty music playing. The same secret room for the women. (What do the women do in that secret room?) And the very same signs on the wall, except now in Spanish:

Al terminar su rutina coloca el equipo en su lugar. Gracias.

Mexicans apparently do not rerack the dumbbells when they are through with them either unless they are reminded.

Here are the very few things you would encounter that are a little different.

1.There is no air conditioning. The windows are open instead. This means that the Americans are in there and out before 10:00 a.m. After that the Mexicans and I have the place to ourselves, which is great.
2.Most of the plates for the free weights are in kilograms.
3.The scale is in kilograms.
4.You might get on a treadmill with the instructions that are appended to the various buttons in Spanish.
5.There is no water fountain.

Other than those little variations on a theme, which do not constitute a problem at all, it is the same old deal.


Wendy said...

The secret room contains a small altar at which we make offerings to the god of fitness to ensure that the calories we are about to burn will at least equal the calories we consumed via hot fudge sundae the night before.

Obviously, it has been quite some time since I made such an offering.

Señor Steve said...

I keep wanting to suggest that you take up stand-up comedy, Wen, but I have been afraid that you would think I am being sarcastic. But seriously, you could earn a few extra bucks that way, I am confident.

This is by no means your funniest material, mind you, but it did remind me of this whole subject.

Candy Minx said...

Hey ho...I ma reading "Slaughterhouse Five" with a small group of friends in Chicago. I had read it before...in fact I consider it a formative book from my childhood if you will.

I am blown away reading it again just how good it is...and guess what. Here is mention of Iowa!

"I taught Creative Writing in the famous Writers Workshop at the Universisity of Iowa a couple of years after that. I got into some perfectly beautiful trouble, got out of it again. I taught in the afternoons. In the mornings I wrote."

Señor Steve said...

Oh, yes, Candy. My good friend, Hugo, who follows this blog but does not comments was a student down there at the time that Kurt Vonnegut was a resident teacher. Let's see. Richard Yates was there then, I believe. The great but now nearly forgotten Vance Bourjaily was there. I cannot recall who else, but perhaps Hugo will chime in. I know John Irving came a bit later.

In any event the whole lot was a very hard drinking one in those days, including Hugo. I don't think I slander anyone by saying that. And Hugo was thick with those guys.