No grunting in the gym, please.

The problem with getting older is that you have to push yourself a little.  The body either gets stronger or weaker (sorry,no staying the same).  The only way that it’s going to get stronger is with regular, strenuous exercise that gets you out of your comfort zone…way out.  Strenuous means that you are straining a bit, and quite frankly, I don’t enjoy that so much.  I breathe hard, I swallow too much air, I make rude noises.  As I was straining through my dinky little weight workout, I found myself being thankful that our gym doesn’t have a "no-grunting" rule.

A couple of weeks ago you may have noted the news story about the fellow who was expelled from his gym for grunting.  Apparently the management of this gym believes that grunting while lifting weights may be intimidating and/or offensive to the majority of their patrons (or perhaps a vocal minority of patrons?).  They also classify the wearing of bandana handerchiefs as intimidating, though they don’t say if there might be some hierarchy of impermissible display.  For instance, it might be okay to tie it around your neck like an ascot, but not okay to wear it on your cranium like a do-rag.  I could see that wearing it like a wild-west desperado mask might be intimidating.

When I saw the offender interviewed on TV it was obvious that grunting wasn’t the issue.  The man’s facial hair was tailored into the combination of mustache and Van Dyke beard that one generally sees on representations of Satan: a "devil-beard", if you will.  Imagine how the complaint would have sounded if the offender looked like me.  "Hey, I feel intimidated here." "What’s the problem?" "Well, there’s a little guy over there who looks like Barney Fife and he’s grunting."  "So?"  "Well, he’s got a bandana tied around his neck like a stupid necktie so that he really looks more like Don Knotts when he was on Three’s Company." "And your point is?"

I think that guy can grunt all he wants to if he will just shave off his devil-beard.  If he keeps that devil-beard, then he does want to intimidate people. Not me; I’m just trying not to let the body deteriorate… and I keep my bandana in my pocket.

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