July 25, 2005
All around me, body parts are in motion. From the moment I push open the giant glass doors, give my card for the greeters to slide through the computer and head to the locker room, the signs of body action are everywhere.
On my left, exercise clothes hang from racks and are piled on shelves. To the right, through shelves of protein powder, I watch a tall tanned woman approach the juice bar. Wearing cheap comfortable clothes and expensive white shoes, everyone walks at a brisk clip, their bodies tired with sweat and faces flushed from action.
This is not a world where I belong. I am more at home walking down a dusty road looking for lizards darting through clumps of grass.
But I live in the hottest zone on the weatherman’s map…a red zone at this time of the year. Not only is it scorching outside, but my body is doing things I used to see happen to other people…older people.
This is the year I must deal with the boxes in storage. Either I get my body back into the work skirts and favorite designer jeans, or I pass them on to smaller, younger people.
Over the months I have found ways to delight in this stainless steel and polished glass playground. Parents come with their children in tow because there is something for everyone: swimming pools, tennis courts, basketball, rock climbing, yoga and kick boxing. In the weight room, there is a machine for every muscle I have.
I started simple. Walking. My pace is 2.9, my daily routine 30 minutes. All around me, bodies are walking, running, climbing, rolling, pushing and pulling. To pass the time, I close my eyes and imagine my blue mountain lake with clouds rolling in.
Time passes quickly today. Finally finished and showered, I sit in the MegaGym lobby, waiting for my husband. A big screen television entertains us. Or should I say…Sean and The Babes entertain us.
Sean struts and bobs across the television screen, pointing and rapping. Behind him the Babes gyrate. Rap and gyrate, bodies in motion, bobbing and pointing and thrusting.
Honestly, I sit in a MegaWorld of body parts thrusting, and not one of them is a pelvis. Except for Sean and his Babes.
A mother walks over with her young son, and they each settle into a brown leather chair. Clearly, like me, they are just passing time. For lack of something to do, their eyes turn to Sean. He gyrates with a Babe. He gyrates with another Babe. Two babes at once. And then they do a round of pelvic thrusts. I want to cover her son’s eyes.
Sean bumps and grinds while his ten Babes get in a tight chorus line. In time with the music, in unison they do pelvic thrusts. A mother and her two toddlers walk behind me heading for the family locker room. I am embarrassed for them.
I want to go to the Customer Service desk and ask why we are not watching a basketball game. Or what about ballet, Nureyev or Baryshnikov doing power leaps across the stage? Or swing dance? Or ice skating? Of all the wonderful things we humans can do with our bodies, in a MegaWorld that exercises every muscle known to man without needing one pelvic thrust…why are we subjected to big screen Sean and his Babes?
They lick their lips and shoot us sultry glances. She against him, him against her…and her…and her. A chorus line of pelvic thrusts, and I suddenly want this song to end.
Was it only half a life ago that Elvis provoked national outrage with one twitch of a nervous leg? Yet, with a career built on body motions, I never remember Elvis doing one pelvic thrust with a babe onstage.
Pelvic thrusts are common fare in America these days. Most people would consider them no big deal. MTV and Internet porn have given us bigger things to worry about.
But, if little things don’t matter, I wouldn’t be here in the MegaGym trying to undo the damage of an extra ten calories. Big things are grown from little things.
Elvis certainly knew what we used to know…this kind of body motion is a private thing. On stage, performed by a crowd of people we don’t know, it degrades the very essence of what makes human beings special.
Customer service needs to hear from us. We need to restore our sense of propriety that has been dulled by years of pelvic thrusts set to music. Reshaping the soul of a nation, like reshaping the body, comes from attending to what matters…every little thing.
May 7, 200: Thank You, Janet
July 30, 2004: James Bond in Danger…for Real