They make me laugh, if I’m honest. Not out loud, and not heartily, and there is a level of wonder and envy but, ultimately, I laugh at their preening and posing.
But never to their face.
As I puff and wheeze, legs failing on the bike as I crank out another kilometre, I can see them out of the corner of my eye. The clank of the dumbbells, those big weighty lumps explode into movement and then fall still. There is a fluidity, a raw power behind what they do, but the effects can be grotesque.
So I happily ignore them, leave them to their posturing. Such big proud men, so silly in their masculinity. There was a time I would’ve been threatened by them, or tried to ape them (I use the term advisedly) but that day has long passed.
Whilst us mere mortals sweat and gurn with the effort of our motions, I can’t help but think that we are the happier. We are happy to balance and trade off a nice dinner, a pizza now and then perhaps, or just that bar of Dairy Milk. We don’t need the protein shakes, and know that missing a day or two won’t kill us.
It’s an interesting place, my gym.