Monday, December 27, 2010


There are 13,456 ways to kill a person. By far the most excruciating yet seemingly innocuous method to do so is... gymming (‘working out’ for the uninitiated). Barring Fin-Acc quizzes and Sumo wrestling, there is no mortal activity on the face of the planet that could possibly match up to gymming in making you feel like you died twenty two times in one nanosecond.

I just happen to be one of those ‘obsessively health conscious’ (read suicidal) souls in the universal quest for the 'Utopian anatomical configuration’, which partly explains why I ventured through the hallowed portals of the gymnasium. The other not so altruistic motive which constitutes the rest of the explanation revolves around the preconceived notion that the gymnasium is the breeding ground for the ‘finer species of the opposite sex’. A connoisseur’s delight, if I may say so.

A little impromptu jog and I found myself at the gym, albeit high on aspiration and low on respiration. But all my hopes of a grand entrance were annihilated by the effects of my little jog taking its toll. I mean, dragging myself in looking like I had been to hell and back, while all the while sounding like a cycle pump in action wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. All said and done, I was ready to embark on a soul-searching, paunch-losing expedition and headed directly towards the treadmill with a vigour that would have made Don Quixote seem inadequate. My efforts to do the same however were nipped in the bud by the gym instructor who politely but very firmly insisted that I do a couple of warm ups first. I thus began my first task of bending forward and touching my toes with a ‘huh, child’s play’ look which froze midway because that was exactly how far the tips of my fingers went... midway, just below the knees. I was cognizant of a wide chasm (justifiably comparable to the Grand Canyon) which no amount of finger-wriggling or toe-lifting could bridge. After sustained efforts aided by surreptitious knee-bending (deemed illegal by the moguls of the gym), I managed to complete the ordeal with out actually dropping down dead. I was all set to pack up and evacuate the premises. I’d had enough exercise for the next thirty two years put together.

Being endowed with a rather convoluted cerebral process, I pride myself in being capable of despairing over more than one thing at a time. Added to my abysmal gymming abilities (or disabilities if you may) the absence of that certain ‘finer species of the opposite sex’ was rapidly contributing to my mounting despair. But my despair like my gymming ambitions was pretty short lived. For in all their resplendent glory, and completely conforming to my idea of a grand entrance, there arrived a contingent of the finer species in question. It is amazing what a bunch of strapping young men can do to ones morale. One minute I was charting out a route map to the EXIT sign and what do you know, the next minute I’m back to Don Quixote mode again, ready to pump iron.

That was how I found myself in phase two of the exercise regime. This time around I had to touch the opposite toes with the tips of my fingers. Under normal circumstances, by no stretch of the imagination or my arm muscles for that matter could I have accomplished the feat. But egged on by a curious audience and subtle execution of the art of knee-bending, I came out victorious. I had thus graduated to the awe inspiring exercise machines that seemed to be made up of pulleys, weights and more weights. The task when put in words seemed obscenely simple - grip the handle bar, raise and drop the weights in a vertical motion. But the simplicity stopped right there. For try as I might, I couldn’t pull the handle bar more than two inches downwards. I blamed it on the pulley and tried explaining the laws of friction and other interesting aspects of physics to the instructor but for some reason that I couldn’t fathom, he wasn’t all that convinced. As a matter of fact, neither was my esteemed audience who by then had graduated from a level of curiosity to one of extreme amusement.

Anyway, I found solace in a new drill- the dumbbells. At least that’s what I thought until the gravity of the situation (pun unintended) dawned upon me. All my endeavours of wielding the dumbbells in mid air were thwarted by the fact that the dumbbells seemed to be the ultimate manifestation of Newton’s law of gravity……the only direction they seemed to be headed towards was the core of the earth. But this time I refrained from alluding to the laws of gravity scavenged from the elementary school physics text. Something told me that assimilating the subtle nuances of physics from someone who couldn’t even lift dumbbells wasn’t exactly one of the primary hobbies of either my instructor or my audience. It was somewhere during the middle of these contemplations that the dumbbell slipped from my hand and with stupendous velocity, acceleration and a considerable amount of precision fell exactly on my left foot. The result was profound. There was a unanimous gasp which subsequently diversified into three different reactions - the instructor embarked onto reciting a long list of anti-inflammatory, analgesic sprays to hit the market; my audience was rolling on the floor laughing with unadulterated amusement of the hedonistic kind; and I headed towards the door with a brilliant display of histrionics, successfully conforming to my idea of a bad exit.

My stint at the gym didn’t help me lose weight though I did manage to lose quite a bit of self-image. But one thing I did gain there was some gyan. Here goes:

a) Working out would probably kill me faster than obesity.
b) The finer species of the opposite sex have a weird sense of humour.


  1. Haha....but why exactly you need to go to the gym?....except for those 'finer species'?....

  2. It was one of those cliched new year resolutions that don't live past the 1st week : )

  3. I'm surprised none of the 'finer species' came forward to give you a hand in lifting those weights ;-)