Part of me feels like a sell out for getting a gym membership. What happened to punk as fuck, broke as fuck teenage me working for minimum wage at some vintage clothing store and mad at the world for nothing in particular? My ever effervescent dedication to anarchic fuckery notwithstanding, I must admit, I really enjoy going to the gym. As I sat outside Farley’s on Monday morning with – gasp – my gym friends, a fleeting sense of unattainability flitted through my mind as I watched a rather attractive, rather unwashed, black clad punk kid stalk by on the sidewalk. As I, clad in jersey cotton and spandex pants, sipped on my hot cup of tea, I wondered, if I were to be audacious enough to holler at this dude, would he just laugh at what he would probably presume to be a bougie, middle class me?
I’m aware that it’s absurdly narcissistic for me to try to justify my gym membership to be waning punk ethos, but I’m gonna do it anyways. Let’s just say, my recent affinity for attending a bi-weekly workout class with a slew of fellow bar tenders and industry folks is still as Occupy as it gets in the financial sense, seeing as the gym I belong to is ~not~ 24 hour fitness, or Gold’s Gym, or some other corporate chain from across America. Nope, it’s the embodiment of the gym version of the entrepreneurial spirit, a few blocks away from my home: KES Fitness. Everyone there is very nice, very attentive and very accommodating.
I was recently motivated to go to the gym by several factors. Namely, I’m getting old and I don’t want to be fat when I’m older. Also, you know when you see girls that have amazingly toned arms and sculpted asses? Yeah, they’re really hot. I want to be one of them. Also, working out will theoretically make better bed, what with more endurance, flexibility and stamina. And I’m taking Muay Thai classes, so basically I’ll be able to beat people up even more than before! But most importantly, I’ve been trying to quit smoking, drugging, binge drinking and rampant sluttery, so my recent decision to join a gym has been my attempt at transferring my emotional addictions from sex and drugs to working out. So far, it’s going well, and my recent purchase of 6 pairs of spandex shorts from the Internet will be proof of the muscular mutation of my ass as I waddle around Downtown Oakland drinking tea and ambling towards the gym.
I always thought that if I biked around enough, I wouldn’t need a gym membership, mostly because memberships are for white middle class women with jobs in Walnut Creek. I still kinda stand by that, but I also thought that I would never hang out in bars because I’d find myself standing around in the backyards of would be boyfriends drinking 40’s and pints of Ancient Age for the rest of eternity. That proved not to be true, and as I get older I wonder if the spirit of punk is really at odds with the notion of success. I’d like to hope not, because voluntarily opting to poor forever seems like a very un-punk thing to do, in fact, that’s kinda a total bitch move. Although narcissism and vanity are significantly less punk than even that.
Meh. The 16 year old punk inside of me is still not satisfied with this justification, but at least I won’t have flappy arms when I’m older. Or even while I’m still young, because as a feminist I’m still a huge proponent of beauty. (Although the topic of beauty is something completely different worth talking about…)
Anyways. An old friend of mine is curating an amazing art show at Old Crow on Grand Ave. I hesitate to call it “graffiti influenced” because it’s more than that, but Old Crow kinda has that immediate association. Stand Tall pt III…check it out.