Friday, September 15, 2006

Masters of the Universe


Los Angeles Clean Freaks Rejoice – Equinox is Here.” The headline of the newspaper story was pasted on the windows near the entry. After a week at Equinox Sports Club on a pass from my friends at Edler Realty, I was hooked on the cleanliness. No way could I go back to 24 Hour Fitness (though I will miss seeing many friends -- Rose, Mel, Haya, Adriana, Ken, Beebe, Winston, Sue, Glen, Denise, Bob, Ali, Sally, Bobbie, …).

I was conflicted over the monthly cost (6 times what I was paying at 24 Hour) and was unable to find anything to give up in order to pay for it. When Merna suggested giving up alternate days at Starbucks, well, that was just too much. Man does not live by coffee alone, but he does need intelligent conversation. I made a commitment to not take up golf or smoking. Then Carolynne called and said “Go for it dad” and Lee said “What do you care about the cost” that was enough for me. I joined a week ago. Kylie McCollough treated me very well, and gave me several day passes if anyone wants to try it out.

The first class I took was Power Sculpt from a dictator named Christine. She was a lot like Vince Lombardi – cruel, but fair. I was the only male in a room full of social x-rays, to borrow Tom Wolfe’s phrase. I noticed that the current generation of social x-rays is evolved; they have shoulders out to here, triceps and lats, and lots of other muscles.

After 40 minutes of non-stop weights and bends and stretches, Christine told us to take our long stretch bands and pair off. I was disheartened to find nobody else with my black band (the weakest). Then a little gal named Miumi approached with two of the dreaded purple bands (the strongest) and offered to pair up with me. What was I to do?

I was winded and thought about excusing myself to go to the bathroom, but then Miumi would have no partner and I would be even more humiliated. So I meekly agreed and we held one end of each band in each hand. Then we bent over and backed up until the bands were stretched tight between us. On a signal from Christine I was to raise the bands above my head while Miumi pulled her ends down to the floor. At that moment, I lost balance, stumbled forward and the two of us nearly commenced a relationship.

Anyway, I survived the class and made a few friends. All the x-rays know my name.

After class I was talking with Karen who said her husband was downtown trading bonds. That brought back memories of Tom Wolfe’s novel (Bonfire of the Vanities) and of the Masters of the Universe who were out on the hunt while their social x-ray wives sweated at the fitness clubs.


I remember when the book came out, all the males -- investment bankers, college prof’s or R&D managers -- thought of themselves as Masters of the Universe. Of course each of us was “He-Man” while the competition was “Skeletor.” Finally, after countless campaigns spanning the decades of our youth, the Masters of the Universe get to retire -- and wind up at the fitness club getting our butts beat by the social x-rays. What goes around comes around.

Meanwhile, another Master of the Universe, son John, writes from Peru:

Hello from Puno, Peru on the shore of Lake Titicaca, the highest elevation navigable lake in the world at over 11,000 feet. Kate and I are going to stay with a local family on the lake tomorrow, and visit a group of people who live on islands made of reeds. Should be interesting.


The hike along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was amazing. There were two other Americans from Colorado, a couple from Ireland, three nice people from Austria, and three cute girls from Quebec. Everyone spoke some English, but there was a lot of French, German, and Spanish going around.

We hiked over 45km, camping three nights, all up and down mountains including "Dead Woman’s Pass" at over 14,000 feet! It was spectacular.

Then we spent a couple of days at a jungle lodge in the Amazon. We had a fun interaction with a bunch of monkeys. The alpha male (Master of the Universe, he looked a bit like Al Franken) kept baring his teeth at us so we knew he was in charge. Meanwhile the rest of the monkeys came up to us looking for food. One of them had actually learned to lift up velcro flaps and unzip pockets! It was a little spooky how smart they were.

I’ll send pictures soon.

John

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this latest Blog...I LOL'ed.......that is Laughed Out Loud in teenage talk!!!

Thanks for the bit of cheer!!

Erin

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW Bill I wondered why I haven't seen you. I have been thinking the same thing. They are changing all the classes and canceled our Tuesday Lift class. I am bored with most of rest so I am looking around. I know Sue and Pam are teaching at the Y so I think I will go and check it out.

Will miss seeing you but PLEASE keep up the WONDERFUL blogs..

Rose

6:54 PM  
Blogger pappy said...

I think I'll stay a social ultra sound:)

1:36 PM  
Blogger fetching jen said...

Today's Social Xray's sport fake boobs too. They wouldn't dream of being caught in workout gear without a set...

11:12 AM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

Thanks Erin, LOL is good. ROFLMAO is even better.

Rose, I'll miss you the most. We must keep in touch. I have free passes for Equinox if you want to try it out.

Jen, oh wow, I didn't notice. ROFLMAO.

11:00 AM  

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