The Annoying New World of Working Out

Richard Simmons SightingWorking with young people forces an old fogie to accept lots of things in the world. I am very aware that almost everything about me is outdated. I dress like a pensioner, I don’t understand Twitter, and I only have a passing knowledge of Justin Bieber. I am certainly not hip to any new vernacular which arises these days, and as a result live in a world of confusion and sweat.

Confused though I can be, there are times the younger generation just has to be mocked. Bieber love is up there on the mockotron, as is the current fascination with soy products. But most of all, the younger generation has some very strange ideas about what constitutes a workout activity. And I don’t care if it makes me sound like Archie Bunker, let the mockery begin!

First on this list is something called ‘trampolining.’ And if you were born before 1990 you know this activity as ‘jumping.’ The basics of this workout routine are to get on a trampoline and jump up and down. Now, there are lots of neat things you can do, like jumping up and down and doing a flip and jumping up and down and doing a twirl and other things that involve jumping up and down.

In researching ‘trampolining’ for this post, I learned that it is not only a competitive sport, but it is also an Olympic sport. So the Olympic committee won’t allow rugby, but yes, instead let’s watch a bunch of people jump up and down.

I have now put that on my list of things to add to my upcoming book called The World: Are you Fucking Kidding Me?

This next workout doesn’t teach people how to use trampolines, but rather teaches them how to be tramps. Yes, we are of course talking about pole dancing. That’s right, pole dancing. As in the thing the ladies were doing in that place you went to on your 21st birthday when the nice lady sat in your lap and called you “Hon” and “Sweat Pea” while you stared into her C-section scar and cuddled your Rolling Rock…oops, nevermind.

But you get the gist, right? Who the hell came up with this? Every picture I have seen of pole dancing (purely for research), depicts a scantily clad woman wrapped in some awkward position around a large metal pole that makes the words Freudian and phallus fly out of my mouth.

If this is how my daughter (or son) wanted to work out, I would have many vivid visions of their imminent future and all of these visions would end up with them in a 9 minute internet video. It’s only a matter of time before a student tells me that she is working her way through college as a pole dance instructor.

I surely don’t care how people work out, but for the love of spandex, get real! What is this need to come up with new and exciting workouts? Isn’t spinning just cycling to music in at varying speeds? Isn’t Zumba just being in a flamboyant street gang? Can’t we just admit that we have run out of new workout methods?

At least the workout activities I grew up with are forms of survival. Walking from one place to another is going to get you somewhere safer, dryer, higher, or near food. If you can’t swim, then you are going to be eaten by the monster in the lake or you are going to drown. Either way, you have to do it. Running from a predator (or zombies) is going to keep you alive.

How are pole dancers and trampoliners going to fend off the zombies?

But here’s my real worry: if pole dancing is a workout routine now, what does the future of working out hold? Why do I foresee kite-dancing and pornocize?

Seriously, people, what’s next? What’s the next, new, annoying form of exercise going to be?  

  1. #1 by PJ on June 3, 2013 - 11:11 am

    Wow, your 21st sounds like it was a real classy event. I envision tuxes, martini glasses and jokes worthy of the New York Times.
    If I had to guess at the next exercise craze it would have to be competitive facial gestures. You spend 30 minutes making different faces to use all of the muscle groups. The unfortunate result of this will be a generation of people with horribly muscular necks and faces on top of tiny bodies.

    • #2 by Damien Galeone on June 3, 2013 - 11:46 am

      Does this stem from that one weird night at Fu?

  2. #3 by Emma on June 3, 2013 - 3:48 pm

    Real (I promise) overheard conversation between a customer and a guy working in one of those health food stores:
    “So, are these soy beans a soy product?”
    “Er… I guess.”
    “No, I mean, are they like made from real soy?”
    “They’re called soy beans, ma’am.”
    “Hmmm. I don’t think I’m going to take the risk. Thanks anyway.”

    • #4 by Damien Galeone on June 4, 2013 - 11:04 am

      Yes! It’s this sort of thing that drives me nuts! It’s a fucking soy bean! Hahaha. Be moderate and sensible and you will be healthy. By the by, when I visit Berlin, if you try to feed me one soybean, that will be a declaration of war!

  3. #5 by Tiffany N. York on June 4, 2013 - 4:55 am

    My theory is that if you’re a workoutaholic, you’re at the gym like 5 days a week. Multiply 5 days a week x 50 weeks a year (2 weeks off = 1 week for vacation, and 1 week for being deathly ill, because workoutaholics will always exercise no matter what unless they’re flat on their backs, hacking up blood.)

    So you have all these days at the gym doing whatever it is people at the gym do, I would imagine it gets pretty freaking boring doing the same crap, day in and day out.

    I used to do aerobics occasionally in my 20s and boy, was that boring. People need to mix it up. It’s like sex. It’s bad enough having to have sex with the same person for years on end, but if it’s always the same, you die a slow and painful death.

    I have no idea what Zumba is, Pilates, or Spinning. The only pole I’m familiar with is the Polish in me.

    • #6 by Damien Galeone on June 4, 2013 - 11:02 am

      T – I do agree with you. I am more just irritated that people jump on these trendy workouts like they’re trampolines at a kid’s party. I say, find something you love and do it. I love running, and find it great for my writing as well as clearing the mind. Others find it mind-numbingly boring. Oh, I agree on the sex thing too, I don’t have this leather mask and handcuff set just for Halloween!

  4. #7 by Gabrielle Piccari Luongo on June 6, 2013 - 6:24 am

    I’m just happy my age fell into the “cool” category on this one Dam. (1987-safe!)

    I believe the shake weight was an all new low when it came to new workouts.

    Hum…next new workout craze?? Perhaps, life sized board game workouts? You’re the frog in Frogger and get to run through a real world car jam? I don’t know, that actually sounds fun and terrifying, or life sized jenga and you move 2 by 4s until your crushed by someone’s mistake. These kind sound fun still, so perhaps I’m getting somewhere…

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